THE BLOG
05/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Whinnygate

To bring you up to speed, on now the third day without retraction of Arizona Republican Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth's assertion that a man can marry his horse in Massachusetts, it was noted by this reporter two days ago that Mr. Hayworth flew his prize winning filly, Whinny, to Martha's Vineyard in the hope of obtaining a marriage license. You can read the original report here.

The fallout from the Martha's Vineyard fiasco -- where Hayworth wound up assaulting the Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head) Town Registrar, Millicent Lovey, and where Whinny apparently became enamored of the mare, Nelly (who works for the State Police Mounted Unit Division of Martha's Vineyard and who carried the Mounted Police officer responsible for the arrest of Mr. Hayworth) -- has been fairly muted. Although Mr. Hayworth's staff sought to make hay of the marriage license petition, this reporter turned out to be the only member of the press present. The mainstream media has been oddly disinterested in this story and only Open Salon and the Huffington Post has seen fit to publish my reportage.

Furthermore, throughout negotiations that went into the wee hours this morning, both the State Police and Millicent Lovey were somehow convinced to drop any complaint against Mr. Hayworth. As such, any potential fallout from the Aquinnah Town Hall fiasco (or, as I will be referring to it forthwith, "Whinnygate") have been effectively quashed -- for the moment.

All attempts to speak directly with J.D. Hayworth have been unsuccessful. His staff has become an impenetrable, silent wall surrounding him at all times. I continue to dog his every step, but all questions are met with "no comment" or no response whatsoever. In addition, because of the nature of whatever settlement the parties came to, all the locals involved have become similarly unresponsive. They've recanted their original eye-witness accounts and now refuse to be interviewed at all.

However, trailing the Hayworth entourage on the way to the Martha's Vineyard airport, I noted that they stopped at a Starbuck's along the way. It was around 10:30am and it occurred to me that if a Venti Americano has even half the effect on Hayworth as it does on me, I had a chance to get a quote after all.

I sped ahead to the airport where I immediately went to the men's room and hid all the toilet paper. I chose an end stall and waited.

At 10:55am, Hayworth entered the bathroom giving instructions for his team to wait outside. Once I heard the click of the stall two doors down from me, I went to the sink opposite the stalls and pretended to wash my hands.

"God damn minimum wage idiots, fucking . . ."

"Mr. Hayworth," I interrupted, "I'm the reporter who witnessed your assault on Millicent Lovey yesterday and I'm in possession of a roll of Charmin; two-ply and quilted."

There was a long silence before Hayworth finally said "What do you want?"

"First, I'd like to know if you are now willing to retract your original statement; that the finding of the Massachusetts Supreme Court could be interpreted as allowing for a man to marry his horse."

"No."

"Even after the debacle at Aquinnah Town Hall yesterday?"

"I deny any debacle; I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Very well, let's move along. I understand that Millicent Lovey along with the State Police dropped any charges against you. Was there any kind of financial settlement reached in those negotiations?"

"I was never charged with anything. I have no comment."

"I see you're going home without Whinny. Will she be joining you back in Arizona on a later flight?"

There was a long pause before Hayworth responded. "No comment. That's all. This interview is over. Now give me the fucking Charmin."

I rolled the generic, practically transparent, industrial grade one-ply tissue under the stall, at which point Mr. Hayward was heard to utter "You bastard."

"You don't know the half of it, Mr. Hayworth," I said. "If only you'd simply retracted your original statement, I never would have thought to come here in the first place. But, no, you doubled and tripled down on your idiotic remark knowing that a lazy press will simply let it go after a couple of days. You're banking on the idea that enough ill-informed people will hold to your original premise and continue to float the idea that extending marriage to gay men and women will lead to people marrying their horses. No matter that there's simply no basis for such a remark, as long as you don't recant, and answer questions with "well, we'll just have to disagree on that" it hangs out there virtually unchallenged and tacitly accepted by an uninformed and ignorant segment of the electorate; kind of like Fox News and the Tea Party Movement.

"But know this, Mr. Hayworth, for every day that you don't recant your original remark, I will be here, in Martha's Vineyard, delving further and further into the dirty business of Whinnygate. I'm your worst nightmare: A reporter with an exclusive. And just like Abu Gharib, the truth will out, Mr. Hayworth.

"Can you really be sure that every Town Hall witness' cellphone camera was scrubbed? You don't think there's one person in Aquinnah I can get to? You don't think I won't find out what happened to Whinny?

"However, even at the risk of losing a great story, I'm willing to make you a deal. You recant your original remark that the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling could lead to man/horse marriage and I'll drop my investigation. You make an open apology to gay couples everywhere and all of this goes away. Do we have a deal?"

After a long silence, Hayworth responded. "We'll just have to disagree on that."

"Have a pleasant flight, Mr. Hayworth," I said. "You'll be hearing from me."