The Washington Free Beacon -- which, if you don't happen to be playing the home game version of Washington's blog soap opera, was conceived of as a conservative counterweight to Think Progress -- has a massive scooplet today about a woman named Stacii Jae Johnson.
Who on earth is Stacii Jae Johnson? Well, from what I read, she is a "major Obama campaign fundraiser" who works for the mayor of Atlanta and "has bundled between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Obama reelection campaign." This, strictly speaking, means that she is actually a very run-of-the-mill Obama fundraiser (the top bundlers work in the millions of dollars range). She is also something of a run-of-the-mill actress, having parlayed her position as Martin Lawrence's receptionist into a role in "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate," and Bill Bellamy's "How To Be A Player."
But there is a twist, according to the Free Beacon's Andrew Stiles:
Her 2004 film “I Want To Strip For My Man” is currently available, in very limited quantities, on Amazon.com, and has been obtained and viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
Oh, well, of course it has.
Yes, as it turns out, Johnson produced an instructional video about striptease, which is why this tertiary figure in the world of entertainment and politics has drawn the prurient interest of Stiles, who has all kinds of problems with her, for reasons he never specifies, despite having studied this particular video (one of many you can obtain in this oeuvre) with a vulpine relentlessness. For multiple paragraphs, he describes the "plot" of this video, which is a pretty generic mashup of pro-sex sentiment, self help-style confidence building, and instruction on how to do various striptease "moves." (They actually teach some of this stuff at gyms, now.)
What follows from there is about 500 more words that repeatedly leave the reader saying, "Yeah, and?" "Johnson is reportedly about to assume a new position as commissioner of Atlanta’s new Office of Film, Television, Music and Digital Media Development." Yeah, and? "Johnson has been active in politics over the past several years." Yeah, and? "Johnson has attended at least one event with Obama, as evidenced by a photo with the president posted to her Instagram account on April 16, 2012." Yeah, and?
SPOILER ALERT: I'm not sure that you ever actually get to the part that comes after the "and," but I think this is the punchline:
It is unclear whether the Obama campaign was aware of the existence of “I Want To Strip For My Man” before accepting donations raised by Johnson.
No, it's actually unclear why that's important!
Look, I get the joke here. Stiles is of the mind that what Johnson has done with her life in this instance is wrong or immoral somehow, and that this in some way taints the Obama campaign. When it comes to dubious Obama bundlers, though, you can do better. How about Brooklyn's Abake Assongba, who raised money in the same run-of-the-mill range for the president (and many others), and who's been accused of fraud. That's a stronger intersection with a more newsworthy sort of corruption. (Mitt Romney, by the way, does not disclose the identity of his bundlers. The Obama campaign's efforts to expose Romney's donors has led to an ample amount of pearl-clutching on its own.)
Of course, there's nothing in the Assongba story that allows you to watch a hot lady show you how to booty clap, so, you know, you don't get the same awesome chance to do some half-way "slut-shaming." And to be frank, that's the other disappointment with this Free Beacon story. It's so obviously Pecksniffy about downmarket "urban" cinema, pro-sex women in general and this particular woman's aspiration to be involved in the civic life of her community, but it refuses to actually get up the guts to just come out and say so. This is just some pointy-headed judgment being cast from the far side of the room; it never comes out and says, "This is wrong." (It's possible that I have now unwittingly walked into the "Schrödinger's catfight" trap.)
But seriously, just own it, Free Beacon.
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