05/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Whinnygate Continues: Dousing the Forrest Fire

Still no retraction from J.D. Hayworth, the Republican Senate candidate from Arizona who asserted in a radio interview fifteen days ago that the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in its ruling extending the civil contract of marriage to gay people, defined marriage as the "establishment of intimacy." He then went on to say that such an absurdly broad definition would allow for a man to marry his horse in Massachusetts.

Even after Rachel Maddow, the day after his idiotic assertion, pointed out to Mr. Hayworth that nowhere could she find such a definition in any of the opinions written by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, Mr. Hayworth insisted that "well, we'll just have to disagree on that."

For an account of what's transpired since then you can see my previous posts here, here and here and in Open Salon.

In my last post, I was about to get the number for the Admiral Benbow Inn where, you'll remember, the recently fired Forrest Lorne was hopefully holing up after being thrown under the bus by his boss, Alissa Deal, head of publicity for the Hayworth campaign.

After dialing the number, I was greeted by a pleasant New England lilt saying "Admiral Benbow Inn, how may I help you?"

"Hello, I'm looking for a guest; a Mister Forrest Lorne. Is he still staying with you?", I asked.

"Hold on a minute; I'll patch you through to his room." The Inn only has seven rooms, so I guess the staff knows who's staying in the hotel at any given time.

"Hel (pause) lo?" Forrest was obviously woken up out of an extremely deep sleep or very drunk.

"Hello, is this Forrest Lorne?" I asked.

"Hey, thass my name, Forresss Lornnnn-e. Ashally the "e" issss (belch) silen (pause) t."

Okay, drunk it is.

"Listen, Forrest . . ." I started

"I'n Forresssss, who are you?"

"I'n -- I'm sorry -- I'm K.J. Dwyer and I was at the Town Hall yesterday and I was wondering . . . "

"You were there?" he perked up. "D'you see wha' ha . . . wha' ha . . . wha' hap(belch)nd?"

"Yes, Forrest, that's why I'm calling; I was wondering if I can come by and talk with you?"

"I'n Forressss!"

"Yes you are and I want to talk to you."


"Why don't you lie down for a bit and I'll come to the Inn to speak with you in person. Would that be alright?"

"I lie down now. You come see me?"

"Yes, I'll be there in about an hour. You rest now."

"Forressss go resssssssssssss. I say by-by."

"Okay then, I say by-by, too" I say . . . I mean I said.

Poor Forrest. I remembered seeing him outside the Town Hall when he was trying to roll ink onto Whinny's hoof so she could "sign" the application for a marriage license. He was your typical campaign gopher. Young, eager to please, obsequious, would've worn his underwear as a hat if Hayworth had asked him to.

After hearing Harry Fetlock's description of how he was treated, though, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. No one, not even a young Republican, deserves to be betrayed like that. Poor guy sounded shattered.

The Benbow was fairly close to my motel, so I figured I had about 45 minutes to prepare my questions before heading over. I turned on the TV to have a little white noise in the background while I worked. As I was flipping through the channels, I heard a report that, according to a recent poll, Hayworth had pulled within 7 points of McCain in the Republican primary for the Arizona Senate race. The poll had a plus/minus 4% margin of error, so Hayworth and McCain were potentially neck and neck. In other words, Hayworth had actually gained ground on McCain with his horse/marriage remark.

The report also announced, however, that Mitt Romney was throwing his support to McCain; in no small part, I'm sure, for being stood up by Hayworth after Alissa Deal had arranged a meeting with Romney.

I couldn't help wondering that if I'd only gone viral with my footage, or included it in my original report, perhaps Hayworth would be nothing more than a party joke right now. But no, I rushed my original article and was in the midst of writing a more detailed report -- thinking I had time with Hayworth behind bars after attacking the Aquinnah Town Registrar, Millicent Lovey -- before including the video portion. I thought the first piece would wet the whistle and create interest, as well as elicit possible denials from the Hayworth camp, and then I could drop the video bomb. Who knew he'd be a free man and on a plane the next day, apparently with no charges filed against him, or that his little goon squad would drug me, rifle through the contents of my backpack, and then go to my hotel room and steal my computer.

As it was, only three people bothered to comment on my original report on HuffPo, and one of those was in response to another comment from a McCain enthusiast who hoped that my article would help him defeat both Hayworth and "Obamacare." Like that was my intention.

Now, my only hope was to continue to keep a chronicle of my investigation, hoping that it would lead to the unearthing of further evidence, some recanting of recanting and a possible rescue of my computer and/or its contents by Harry Fetlocks. Not looking good.

I had to shake my head vigorously (more of a shudder) to re-set my mind to the task at hand. I finished outlining my interview with Forrest and headed off to the Benbow.

In 10 minutes I was there. I rang Forrest's room from the front desk and he responded urgently, "I'll be right down."

Drunk to sober in one hour flat, I thought. Ah, the powers of youth.

As he came bounding down the staircase, suitcase and carry-on in hand, I marveled that not one hour ago he was a sloppy, blathering drunk and now, outside of a some faintly bloodshot eyes, there was virtually no clue that he was ever anything other than the picture of conservative sobriety.

"Hi, you must be K.J. Dwyer", he said cheerfully.

"Yes you must be . . . " I started.

"Could you excuse me one minute; I have to check out," he said.

"Oh, okay," I responded.

He then proceeded to rapidly settle his bill and asked the clerk when he could expect that taxi he ordered. The clerk told him it should be here any minute.

He then turned his attention back to me and asked "How can I help you?"

"Perhaps we can help each other," I started. "I heard you were let go from the Hayworth campaign this morning and I wanted . . . "

"I'm heading back there right now. I just got off the phone with Alissa and everything's fine. Your information is a little old. You should check your sources a little more carefully," he snarked.

To think I pitied him.

"So, you weren't fired this morning?" I asked.

"That was all a misunderstanding. Right after you phoned, Alissa called and told me that it was actually a good thing that she . . . I mean that I . . . never alerted the press. 'Imagine if you did,' she said. She apologized for not going to bat for me, but had talked to J.D. and all's good now. I take the next flight back to Phoenix," he chirped.

"Imagine that. So, I suppose any hope of an interview . . . " I started.

"Yeah, that's not gonna happen. But I'll tell you what. All those notes you've got there? I'll stipulate that you asked me each question if you write 'no comment' after each one of them. Will that help?" said the little wise-ass.

"Yeah, that's great; thanks. I hope you're able to wash your hands somehow."

"Excuse me?"

"Whinny's hoof left all kinds of ink. On your hands. See? Ink's hell to get rid of. Over time it fades, but it sure is annoying while it stains."

There was a car horn from outside.

"Well, there's my cab. Nice to meet you and better luck on your next assignment," said Forrest cheerfully as he left the Inn.

"Same to you," I said, and I silently swore to myself that I would never feel sorry for another Republican for the rest of my life.

I wandered back to my motel, and now with no interview to distract me, I thought again about my computer and started kicking myself all over again for not having backed-up everything and for not having disseminated the video immediately. So stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

When I got back to my room, it was now about 4:00pm and I felt abysmal. I knew I should go find Millicent Lovey, the police or the other two or three people who witnessed the Hayworth meltdown, but I just needed to mourn a little. A drink would be nice. Early, but nice. I was about to go looking for a local bar when the phone rang.

"Hello," I answered; hoping to hear Harry's voice on the other end.

"Is this K.J. Dwyer?" a woman's voice asked me.

"Yes it is; who is this?"

"Not important. I just wanted to let you know that you don't have a snowball's chance in fuckinghell - all one word - of getting your story. Harry sends his regrets. Sleep well," she said, and hung up.

The blood drained from my face. I could feel it rushing into my hands and feet and I got a little dizzy. I hung up the phone and noticed a little wire poking out the back of the phone console.

"Alissa," I whispered.