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United States Idle Politics

State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor 574

Posted by samzenpus
from the let's-vote-on-this-instead dept.
Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"

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State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor

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  • Florida (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:03PM (#32086356) Homepage Journal

    I think it is safe to say we earned our Fark tag the hard way.

    • Re:Florida (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:04PM (#32087518)

      Speaking of Fark, I think this "News story" is somewhat beneath the standards of Fark.

      A politician otes to invade our personal privacy? Zzzzz. A politician sides with corporate interests against the public at large? Zzzz. A politician makes a stupid incorrect statement about sciences, history, geography, or technology? Sometimes interesting. A politician is caught with his pants down in some way? ZOMG NEWS!

      Leave that line of thinking with cable news and tabloids.

    • Republican (Score:5, Informative)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:13PM (#32087656) Homepage Journal

      Bennett [flsenate.gov] is a Republican. His Republican Party would send us all to jail for watching porn at our own jobs. Indeed, Florida Republicans would have us all locked in stocks and publicly flogged by some priest for it, if they got the theocracy they're working on.

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:04PM (#32086366) Homepage Journal

    You liberal nerds are just jealous you don't have female coworkers sending you naughty pictures.

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      Her and three of her nude friends?
      • by Sleepy (4551) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:49PM (#32088218) Homepage

        Um, they're only "nude" if you consider a bikini nude.. in which case you are delusional.

        The picture CLEARLY shows bikinis (even the ones that were partially black-boxed are obviously bikinis).

    • Dude. He was also looking at video of a dog.

      • Bingo (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Moraelin (679338)

        Bingo. It seems to me like the bigger "crime" is that he's not paying attention to doing his job. He'll then have to vote on that issue, and I'm hard pressed to imagine how watching bikini babes or dog videos is going to help him make an informed choice.

        • Re:Bingo (Score:5, Interesting)

          by shadowrat (1069614) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:16PM (#32087706)
          His job is to vote yes or no. It's actually not a hard job. I'm not certain he needs to or should be paying attention to do his job well. The R behind his name implies he's going to vote against abortion. It's not his responsibility to listen to the other side of the aisle and all their arguments. His job is to vote the way he thinks the people who put him there want him to vote.

          whether or not these guys should be paid so much to do such an easy job is up for argument.
  • Porn..... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dthief (1700318) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:04PM (#32086372)
    now available in SEC and Senator flavors.
  • by Pojut (1027544)

    ...anyone else surprised that porn isn't blocked as per the IT policy for the Senate? Or am I expecting too much?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by characterZer0 (138196)

      Do you have a filtering system that can identify pornography inside a video file inside a zip archive?

      • If you do, GP, share. I still have to find all my good user porn manually by reading their emails and looking through their files.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I'm sure it is, and you know there are NEVER any holes in blocking technology.

  • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:08PM (#32086438) Journal
    Risque or naughty, maybe. Still, the guy should have been paying more attention to his job.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeng (926980)

      being topless in most places is not an actual crime.

      It only becomes a crime when women go topless for money in public.

      You can show it for free in public, or charge in a private place, but you cannot charge if you're showing it in public.

      Considering those laws I would say that that shot of women with their bikini tops moved to the side would not be porn, unless they were paid for it.

      • by iamhassi (659463)
        Umm... no one said it was a crime... do you understand why looking at photos of nude women while at work is not acceptable behavior?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by d3ac0n (715594)

          Yes.

          Now, do YOU understand that the image was:

          A) Of Bikini-clad women. Not nude, and not even (as TFA falsely states) topless.

          B) E-mailed to the Senator uninvited and unannounced, with a deceptive filename.

          C) Sent by a female co-worker.

          Basically, it's looking more and more like this Senator got Punk'd.

          But hey, let's not let a few facts get in the way of a salacious story! This IS /. after all.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Really?

          what about my friend that works HR for a stripper club?

          I am certian it's not only acceptable behaivoir, but expected!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by compro01 (777531)

        Depends on your definition of "most places". It's illegal for a woman to expose her breasts in public (excluding for breastfeeding, which is protected in 47 states) in most of the USA. Exceptions are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

      • You can show it for free in public, or charge in a private place, but you cannot charge if you're showing it in public.

        Creative commons for boobs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iamhassi (659463)
      Maybe he already made up his mind how he wanted to vote?
      • That's pretty much a given. Almost nothing ever actually comes to the floor for debate until at least sixty senators have already made up their minds about their vote. Anything actually happening on the Senate floor is purely grandstanding for the public, aside from the actual voting.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Asking a senator to pay attention?

      Next, you will ask they actually read and understand the bill they are voting on...

      You forget how this country works.

  • A setup (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rurik (113882) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:08PM (#32086442)

    Purely a setup. Notice how the presence of a black bar insinuates that it's covering something offensive? If you look at the picture, there's all fully clothed, the straps to their tops are visible, including the top themselves under and above the bar.

    He's wrong for viewing pictures of girls in bikinis while on government time... but there is no porn here.

  • by Reason58 (775044) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:08PM (#32086450)
    I think the fact that it was "pornographic" is missing the point. This guy is not paying attention, yet will be voting on bills that will affect our entire country.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      This guy is not paying attention, yet will be voting on bills that will affect our entire country.

      My question is: "Isn't his vote pre-decided by his political party?"

    • Bills are hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages of legalese, constructed by dozens of staffers over the course of several months. Bills don't get written on the senate floor, they get written literally in back room offices by people at least one, and usually two levels removed from the actual representatives, and then summaries are made and distributed. The 'debates' on the floor are seldom more than grandstanding their views, as opposed to anyone trying to convince each other of anything.

      So, while I agr

    • by TheKidWho (705796)

      What if he was reading his email?

      Don't tell me you've never gotten silly emails like that from friends or family?

    • So his ears don't work because he's looking at something else for mere seconds? Please. I do all sorts of little non-work things between work things in order to maintain focus. If I did nothing but work at all times I would literally fall asleep.

      This is nothing but manufactured outrage to make political hay. If I were in Florida I'd be more likely to vote for the guy now than before, since it seems to me Republican-or-no he's probably not some too-tightly-wound moralist of which there too many on both sid
    • This was a *Florida* Senate session, not the USA.

      About the most important thing they could discuss right now is that fucking sea-floor oil geyser.

      They're pitching an abortion bill around - have been for twenty years. Bo-ring.. Bring on the state of emergency and the hardcore discussions about what resources to deploy to LA.

      Also, I don't know about you, but I happen to find appropriately aged girls in bikinis extremely inspiring and rejuvenating, especially when they arrive unexpectedly during an 82-degree

  • Doggie porn? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BrokenHalo (565198)
    Looks innocent enough to me. If I were an American (or even a human being), I would be inclined to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, whatever else I might think of him. He's obviously not spending time trawling through hardcore sites - his friend just needs a NSFW tag.
  • Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:09PM (#32086466)

    The saddest part is that the repercussions of these actions wouldn't be the same if he was browsing any other, not job related, content.

  • ...this is clearly a janitorial problem.
  • Its that he was doing personal activities while 'on the job'. He wants to watch porn, fine, but do it while on his own time.

  • What I find most interesting is that Florida State Senator Mike Bennett represents District 21. That district, encompassing zip code 342xx, still has laws that ban pornography.

  • ...as a future SEC employee!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  • Not Porn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Byron II (671689) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:22PM (#32086760)

    It doesn't look like porn to me. It looks like art. I know it's hard to believe, but pictures with nudity are not necessary pornographic!

  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:24PM (#32086792) Homepage
    . . . but it looks like he might be telling the truth. The video doesn't let us see how long it was up or how he opened the picture, but when he closes the browser, you can clearly see Firefox's download window open. It certainly looks like he had opened the photo as an email attachment.

    Plus, he's using Firefox. Are you guys really going to pick on him after realizing that?
  • by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:31PM (#32086938)

    "Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"

    She sent it in response to his "tits or GTFO" text message.

  • Lowering standards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:44PM (#32087142)

    Do you call that porn?

    Come on, folks. We've got bukakke, DP, water sports and more. That photo isn't more than R-rated.

  • PORN ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dindi (78034) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:48PM (#32087204) Homepage

    I am sorry, I know I am from Europe, where being topless is just the norm sometimes even in a park, but calling a picture of 5 topless women PORN is a little bit of an overreaction.

    I am not saying, that everyone viewing your private crap behind you in congress, and watching this kind of crap on any meeting is right, but it is not PORN.

    Besides, he is at work. How many of us looked at this article/video at work? Well, then I guess we cannot throw the 1st stone at him.

  • by MarcQuadra (129430) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:51PM (#32087268)

    It looks like he opened up the mail and then closed it right away. That stuff happens, even at work. People have sent me NSFW things before without warning that I've opened up and -quickly- closed.

    Also, since when is a row of girls wearing swimsuits (maybe a few are topless) 'porn'?

    Give the dude a break.

  • Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mseeger (40923) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:41PM (#32088090)

    Hi,

    It goes against any emotional bone in my body, but i have to vigorously defend a politician.

    • First: He has not been caught watching any porn. What he watches does not even approach event the most bigoted defintion of porn. If that should be porn, than i would have spent several vacations in a porn camp without noticing.
    • Second: For doing something else during a boring speech, he has my complete understanding. This makes him do his job neither better nor worse. The speeches are no longer part of the political process. It is more important for a politician (in order to get elected) to kiss some babys or his contributors asses than to give eloquent speeches in parliament. The voters are even more desinterested in those speeches than the politicians.

    By borrowing the headline unchallenged, /. is participating in a witch hunt. Even on this site i suspect several readers not to look at the material and to remember just the headlines. I hereby petition Slashdot to change the headline to "State Senator falsely accused of Looking At Porn On Senate Floor".

    CU, Martin

  • Pure Fud (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JM78 (1042206) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:03PM (#32088414) Journal
    Point #1: There is no porn here. The women depicted, even with a blackout bar, are obviously wearing bikini tops. The blackout bar is an obvious attempt at misleading.

    Point #2: The senator obviously opened something which he immediately closed. This has happened to everyone who has ever used a computer. You are sent something, you open it, and it turns out to be something not-safe-for-work.

    Point #3: For those saying he should be doing his job, you are all guilty. Everyone, admittedly or not, has read email on their mobile device in a meeting or has, at one time or another, thought about something other than work while on the clock. To suggest that because this guy is a senator that he should be super-human to something of which we are all guilty is complete flamebait.

    Good grief, cut the guy some slack.

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