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So You’ve Been Caught Liking Porn on Twitter

Ted Cruz’s Twitter account had a “staffing issue” last night that led it to liking some porn. He should learn from the Famous Ghosts of Jerk-Off Past. It's best to own it.

Something incredible happened last night. Shortly before midnight, while decent folks were sleeping or thinking about turning in for the evening, somebody who has access to Ted Cruz’s twitter account liked a tweet from an account called “Sexuall Posts.” It was a pornographic video.  

The post was promptly unliked and blamed on a hacker, but that didn’t stop Twitter from spending all night utterly losing its collective shit over it. The Texas senator finally got around to addressing it today. He first joked that he should have done more pornography-liking during the Indiana primary last year, in reference to his frequent complaints over what he perceived as a lack of press coverage. Then, in one of the most magnificent freudian slips in recent memory, Cruz explained that a “staffing issue” had led to the smutty social media interaction. One might argue that, ahem, staffing issues are the origin of most pornographic searches.

As long as the same machine that connects human beings with their workplaces and the public also gives them access to pornography, from time to time, wires get crossed. Cruz is far from the first public figure to accidentally broadcast his pornographic preferences. And he’s far from the first to backpedal, sweaty and humiliated, as the masses point and laugh.

In 2010, Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett tweeted “To overcome the numbing weight of our politics” and other Obama SOTUexcerpts” along with a bit.ly link. The link directed Garrett’s then-13,000 followers to a website hawking Las Vegas call girls. He deleted the tweet and blamed bit.ly for the screw up.

In 2011, intrepid pornography noticers discovered that Eric Cantor’s communications director Brad Dayspring was following an account called “SexyTwitPics.” The account, in its own words, posts “only the HOTTEST Pics DIRECTLY from Sexy Ladies’ Twitter Accts!” Dayspring was defiant when reached for comment, saying that he was friends with one of the models who was frequently featured on the account, and was uh supporting her. Yes. Supporting her. Good save, Dayspring.

Last year was a big year for journalists being caught looking at sexy photos. Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall tweeted out a link to a Pornhub video starring “Angela & Strawberry.” Marshall was, given the circumstances, pretty cool in response, noting that it was a shame that so few people on Twitter watch pornography. The truth will set you free.

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald was significantly less believable when he posted a photo of his browser to Twitter that had in one tab a search for a tentacle porn called “B-chiku.” He wasn’t looking at the tentacle porn for sexy reasons, he explained. He was doing it to prove to his wife that tentacle porn was real. Well, he and his kids, for some reason, were teaming up to prove to Kurt Eichenwald’s wife that tentacle porn was real. The consensus on Twitter seemed to be that this was not a very believable excuse.

(If they wanted to learn about tentacle porn as a family, the Eichenwalds should have just watched Mad Men. There’s a whole tentacle porn conversation around a piece of art in Cooper’s office in one episode. It’s on screen for quite some time.)

And, of course, there’s the mother of all accidental sexual tweets: the infamous Anthony Weiner bulge photo. It’s burned into the retinas of anybody who lived through 2011 and it’s burned into the history books, as it kicked off a scandal that led to the congressman’s abdication. And then another sexting scandal led to his swift tanking in the NYC mayoral race, which paved the way for Mayor Bill de Blasio. And then another sexting scandal that led to a guilty plea for transferring obscene material to a minor.

Let this be a lesson to all would-be political denizens: when you’re looking at pornography, use a private browser.