The Denial Files: When Life Imitates Art

January 11, 2022

Above, one of my more popular videos followed the career of “Smoky Joe” Barton – deplorable before deplorable was cool.

While taking money from tobacco companies to defend tobacco and attack the FDA, he swore on a Bible (above) that he was doing no such thing. Moved on to climate denial, and famously apologized to BP executives for congress’ rudeness in holding them accountable for the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. Some readers will know the rest of the tawdry story.
It’s become cliche that if the last 5 years had been written as a movie script a decade ago, it would have been shelved for being too far fetched. Life doesn’t always wrap things up with a perfect bow, but sometimes they do work out like a sad, convoluted, Quentin Tarantino movie.

NBC 5 Dallas/Ft Worth:

A North Texas woman says Rep. Joe Barton sent her inappropriate Facebook messages, including at least one exchange in which the congressman asked things like if she was wearing panties.

The revelation comes a week after Barton apologized for a nude photo of him that circulated on social media.  

Kelly Canon, an Arlington tea party organizer, said the photo made her remember some inapproriate texts from Barton.

“It triggered them, because I really had forgotten about them,” Canon said.

Canon says she never completely shut down the communication, because she is politically active and wanted an open line of communication with her congressman.

“He is my congressman,” she added.

But she joined a group of other women at a meeting this week to encourage Barton not to run again after the nude photo that he sent to a woman appeared online.

Canon said she felt Barton’s apology for the photo didn’t go far enough, and she decided to make her own messages public.

“This is an effort not only to get him not to run again, but to get other people — but to get other women — to come forward, too,” Canon said.


2 Responses to “The Denial Files: When Life Imitates Art”

  1. jimbills Says:

    Related, this is a long read, but goes into how screwed West Virginia (and the rest of the world) is because of politicians like Manchin:

  2. mboli Says:

    Gripping and brilliant video! Thank you. It is clear a LOT of work went into finding all the historical parallel bits of video and audio.

    Is anybody reading this an experienced Wikipedia editor? Tobacco and FDA are, oddly, lacunae in Joe Barton’s Wikipedia article.

    It is a moderately long article, with a good number of issues that Barton was involved with. But NOTHING that I could see about tobacco, smoking, FDA, etc. The article ascribes “Smokey Joe” to his support of environmental pollution.

    On the talk page, one unnamed IP editor questioned this gap, in 2018. But no updates to the article followed.

    So if there are Wikipedia editors here, this might be an article which benefits from attention.

    And thanks to Greenman for re-posting his classic video!

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