By Rosie Dimanno
The Honorable Member from Parry Sound-Muskoka (Ontario) has done the honourable thing and fallen on his member.
Otherwise known as slipping a rubber on a scandal.
Citizen porn has brought Conservative MP Tony Clement to his knees, you should forgive the expression.
Dick pix, apparently, and a video to boot shared with a person the married father of three believed to be a “consenting female recipient” over the past few weeks. Hoisted on his own sexting petard when that individual then tried to shake him down for 50,000 Euros, as reported by Global News. Guess Canadian dollars were not acceptable as coin of the extortion realm.
Sexting for Dummies: A How-Not-To.
Banishment from the party, as announced by Tory leader Andrew Scheer, with Clement, while retaining his seat as an independent, also losing his spot on a clutch of House of Commons committees, most notably – most sensitive to blackmail – Canada’s year-old National Security and Intelligence Committee.
In days of yore, this type of hanky-panky squeeze was called a honeypot trap. (See John Profumo and
19-year-old model Christine Keeler.)
A taste of forbidden honey for Clement.
“Clement made it sound like he’s suffering from some kind of mental disorder when really he’s just a dope.”
— Rosie Dimanno
What in the effing world is wrong with people who have a reputation to protect? Even those of us who
trend toward the disreputable know stranger sexting is a mug’s game. It’s whistling by the graveyard, hanging your junk out there.
“I am committed to seeking the help and treatment I need in my personal life to make sure this will not
happen again while also continuing to discharge my duties as a Member of Parliament,” the veteran pol
said in a statement released last week.
Clement made it sound like he’s suffering from some kind of mental disorder when really he’s just a
dope. It’s the default mea culpa: I am a man with weakness of the flesh and I got my sexual jollies by
tagging “explicit” images with a complete stranger who may not even have been a real person, more a
trolling snatch bot. But compulsion to sext is not recognized as a mental condition. It isn’t to be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There is no “treatment” except taking a guy’s idiot phone away.
OK, seems like everybody is doing it in this modern era of reckless sharing, exhibitionism and voyeurism. An online poll by the American Psychological Association a couple of years ago found that more than 80 per cent of respondents had sext indulged.
Sometimes the content is meant for a specific significant other and social media accounts get hacked because there’s no shortage of gotcha outlets that will pay for the goods. Celebrities are all the time getting caught with their pants down, literally. Some hardly seem to mind, even derive their fame factor from lewd sex tapes – la Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. When you’ve got no other talents, flash your booty, grunt ‘n’ moan.
Political careers have gone up in smoke over sexts. Former New York congressman Andrew Weiner, a
serial offender, was sentenced to two years over X-rated communications with a 15-year-old girl. He
even dispatched raunch whilst lying in bed alongside his young son.
Has Clement, shadow justice minister, one-time leadership contender, not been paying attention? Et
YouToo? Or did he believe, oh, it will never happen to me and pushed the send button. Such hubris,
such shaky judgment. Such humiliation for spouse and spawn.
Not, I hasten to add, that there’s anything inherently base about sexting between like-titillating adults or, maybe even more frequently, among teenagers, until an ex or merely a rotten person makes what’s private online public out of sheer intent to torment. On occasion it ends far more badly than political flame-out and an RCMP investigation.
Privacy has become a quaint concept, invasion-of a chronic blight. There are cameras everywhere, even
an Uber transporting indiscrete hockey players. But turning the camera on yourself, getting down to the
nitty-gritty bone of your prurient desires, is a colossal risk-tempting stupidity.
With extortion the end-game, Clement had no choice but to out himself to the party, a further Tory shame piled atop revelation earlier this week of sexual misconduct allegations against Ontario Housing Minister Jim Wilson – the resignation at first explained away as Wilson requiring treatment for an undisclosed addiction issue. A fib by a premier who’s cloaked himself in moral high dudgeon and family values.
Since the Clement thunderclap, other women have purportedly come forward to journalists on Twitter,
claiming the MP had direct messaged them repeatedly. But that’s pitchforking from the shadows and can’t be afforded any credence without evidence.
I have empathy for human frailties. Sex – the pursuit of it – makes fools of us all. Urges aren’t wrong.
They just are.
But a politician flexing texting with his dangles is a dick-brain.
Torstar Syndication Services