Congressional candidate Mike Webb had an immediate explanation for the porn tabs in his browser: he was conducting his own malware experiment.
The Republican, who is vying for Virginia's 8th district, posted a screenshot of his computer to his Facebook page about a call he had received from a staffing agency, but failed to check what other browser tabs he had open.
Two of them caught potential voters eyes: "LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BOOTY" and "IVONE SEXY AMATEUR." As the phrases implied, Layla and Ivone were not concerned constituents or fellow policymakers.
As soon as people noticed Mr Webb's extra-curricular activities, he was quick to explain that he was in fact conducting an experiment for the benefit of all politicians.
He pulled the original post but then reposted the image with a lengthy explanation that can best be described as existing somewhere between panic and nonsense.
Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world, there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems.
An interesting experiment to be sure. Although quite why Mr Webb – who has no known experience in computer security – felt he was best placed to test out this hypotheses is left unexplained.
He does however put together lots of other words that we assume were intended as an explanation. Here are some:
But, now let me tell you the results of my empirical inquiry that introduced me to Layla and Ivone. Around Powerball lottery time, January 9, 2016, I calculated the odds that my friend Rev. Howard John Wesley and I working independently arrived at the same prayer plan, and I was able to determine that there was about a one in a billion chance that that could have occurred in the way that it did. Well, as much as folks like Duffy Taylor want to hope that the Devil is waiting for Christian candidates on a particular pornographic website to infect his or her FEC data file is even more improbable than my Paul and Silas story, and I know that Duffy Taylor is not a man of faith belief; so, I don't know how he empirically arrives at his conclusion. I couldn't see the probability or possibility without a RAND computer.
At least he admitted the screenshot was his. When German mayor Thomas Köppl did the exact same thing earlier this year, he at first claimed the screenshot had been taken by someone else. He finally admitted it was his and then claimed his repeated visits to porn site xHamster were just out of curiosity.
Mr Webb's response also has multiple parts. Shortly after people started commenting on his original, unusual explanation, he had a second revelation. He edited the post, removing the stream of consciousness and instead turned to Our Lord.
It now reads (at least at the time of writing):
THANKS FOR THE TAB CHECK, RANGER BUDDIES! "For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 100:5. I must have recited or heard that verse a million times in invocations in my youth, alone, in that Psalmist's praise to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. But until today, I never really knew the power of what that meant.
Being the good Christian porn-watching soul that he is, in times of trouble Mike Webb looked to the good book. "The truly amazing thing about today was that 'I saw also the Lord, high and lifted up,' and I was very much moved by the love and support of those who expressed their encouragement and support."
Ironically, he had also seen Layla and Ivone high and lifted up and they also appeared very much moved by the love they received.
But, ever the politician, Mike sees his opportunity: "Today, in just one day on Facebook, we grew in page likes by 25 per cent. Perhaps what does not kill you does make you stronger ... In 2016, it's about choice; it's about leadership; and it's about time. I am Mike Webb, and I am running for U.S. Congress. Honest."
So if you live in Virginia and you want to be represented by a porn-watching, amateur security consultant, Jesus-loving opportunist: you have found your man! ®