I'm grateful to Salon's Justin Elliott for calling attention to an ad placed in this week's Austin Chronicle with the headline "HAVE YOU EVER HAD SEX WITH RICK PERRY?"
Elliott's post begins:
An Austin Ron Paul supporter has taken out a full-page ad in the local alt weekly newspaper seeking any "stripper ... escort ... or 'young hottie'" who has slept with Rick Perry, part of his single-minded jihad against the presidential candidate.
Please read Elliott's entire post for the full story on why a guy named Robert Morrow created a one-man organization called CASH -- the Committee Against Sexual Hypocrisy -- to place the ad, which encourages anybody who has hooked up with the Republican presidential candidate to come forward about their "direct dealings with a Christian-buzzwords-spouting, 'family values' hypocrite and fraud." (Tacked at the end of the ad: "Note to gay people: If you know the truth about Rick, please QUIT covering for him.")
Regardless of how you feel about Rick Perry, I think this is a signal moment in the history of negative campaign advertising because this is a whisper campaign that 's basically trying to crowdsource itself by shouting and/or foaming at the mouth. Also, CASH's ad seeks to expand the "full disclosure" burden from the candidate to the citizens, which seems only fair.
Toward that end, I think all Americans should come clean about their past sexual dalliances -- or lack thereof -- with presidential candidates. I'll start:
- I did not have sexual relations with that Texas governor, Rick Perry.
- I have never engaged in Harry-Potter-themed cosplay (costume play) with Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus.
- I have never acceded to Mitt Romney's demands for an erotic scalp massage.
- I have never spanked or been spanked by Herman Cain while wearing a Godfather's Pizza delivery-boy uniform.
- I have never been in a Newt Gingrich-Buddy Roemer sandwich.
- I have never Googled Rick Santorum.
- Jimmy McMillan has never "helped" me with "my rent" (even though it is too damn high).
- I have never been sexted by Jon Huntsman.
- I have never spooned with Ron Paul.
- I have never been in a three-way with Barack Obama and Bill Ayers.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.