COMMENTARY | You knew it was bound to happen. You knew that someone so emphatically moralistic had to have a skeleton or two in the closet. But is it true that another family-values demagogue made a sex tape and because of a little digging by Politico's Ben Smith, said sex tape will see the light of day? And is it true that the video involves none other than Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry?
Well, it isn't as bad as all that. In fact, by today's standards it might not even be rated as much of a scandal. But, still, schoolchildren were involved...
To explain: Back in 1986, when then state representative Perry was trying to educate Texas teens about the horrors of drugs, his office disseminated a video to the high schools in his district. At the end of the video there was a thirty-second gap. Then there was five seconds of a scene from the movie "1984." A sex scene.
According to the Associated Press, one account from an assistant coach at Baird High School recalled that it was very difficult trying to instruct a bunch of snickering and laughing teenagers after the video was turned off.
A technician at House Technical Services took full responsibility for the scene be added, mistakenly placed on the video while copies were being made. Perry, of whom it was said had no knowledge of the sex scene prior to the video's distribution, asked that all 26 of the videos be returned to his office. He admitted to being shocked that the scene was included.
"We were doing it for public service, and it backfired on us to a degree," he said. "We were trying to help kids with drug problems, and now it's totally ineffective with this five-second skin shot."
Gov. Perry, who is now leading all Republican contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, has had his fair share of scandals, including the most recent involving what some Texas clergymen described as an exclusionary public blending of church and state. When Perry hosted "The Response, " an all-day prayer event in Houston dedicated to asking divine intervention on behalf of America, clergymen of various religions signed a petition protesting the gathering because it seemed to be denied to those outside of the evangelical faiths.
And he did get embroiled in a scandal where he signed an executive order making it mandatory that school-age girls in Texas be administered the vaccine for the cancer-inducing Human Papillomavirus. Not only did that not set well with Texans with regard to what a government could or could not do with regard to their children, but the state Congress stood against the mandate as well. It was also alleged that Perry's ties to Merck, the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the drug, ran through a lobbyist that once worked in Perry's office.
There are a few other scandals but none involving a sex tape or video. Unless, of course, one counts the five-second "1984" sex scene at the end of a drug education video from 25 years ago.
At least the video scandal can be laughingly dismissed...