Mike Rogers

My bullshit detector hits the red zone...

Filed By Mike Rogers | November 28, 2007 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Benjamin Nicholas, Big Head DC, gay escorts, hookers, prostitutes, Rob Capriccioso, scandal, Trent Lott

So, Rob at BigHeadDC posted the emails which he wrote about earlier. A careful read of the emails makes it appear as if BigHead was played... Here are the emails... and my notes:

MESSAGE ONE:

from Rob Capriccioso
to escort@benjaminnicholas.com,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:08 PM
subject From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

Hi Benjamin,

I’m an editor with Big Head DC in Washington. A commenter on the site recently said that you and Sen. Trent Lott happened to be vacationing together at the same place on a couple of separate occasions. Could you clarify whether you know Sen. Lott in any way?

I appreciate your help.

All the best,
Rob
Rob Capriccioso | Publisher & Founding Editor | Big Head DC

Hmmm someone wants to move a story: Write comments which may or may not be factually correct. What, I wonder, is the IP address of that comment? Did Mr Nicholas himself write it? Someone he knows?

MESSAGE ONE RESPONSE:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:18 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

No comment
—–
http://www.BenjaminNicholas.com
http://www.15MinutesMore.com

Classic. People think that "no comment" means more than "no comment." Bottom line is "no comment" means just that, nothing more.

MESSAGE TWO:

from Rob Capriccioso
to Benjamin Nicholas ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:21 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

Totally off the record, can you explain why you have no comment?

Rob

MESSAGE TWO RESPONSE:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:23 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

I’m a blogger as well, so I’m well aware that nothing in this world is ever truly ‘off-record.’

Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it. All I can say at this point is no comment. It’s the professional thing for me to do.

This is also a classic. Never claim to know the person, but mention them on a first name basis give the impression that the person knows the subject of the inquiry. As a prostitute, Benjamin gets it right, it is "the professional thing" to not comment on clients, whether actual or perceived.

MESSAGE THREE:

from Rob Capriccioso
to Benjamin Nicholas ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:29 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

I definitely understand what you’re saying about commenting into the blogosphere, Benjamin, and have had it happen to me before. I’m just trying to establish whether you personally know Sen. Lott. A couple of people tipping Big Head DC suggested I contact you, so I thought I’d take a shot. I’m definitely not asking whether you were ever in a relationship with him. Have you been contacted by others about knowing him?

Rob

MESSAGE THREE RESPONSE:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:37 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

Yes. I was contacted by Gawker this morning ([Nick] Denton is a friend of mine). He’s hot to get an exclusive interview about the possible relationship between the two of us, but I politely declined. As I said before, Lott has quite a bit on his plate right now and I don’t really want to add fuel to the embers.

BN
—–
http://www.BenjaminNicholas.com
http://www.15MinutesMore.com

Well, we all know Lott has a lot on his plate, he's a US Senator. That does not mean that he ever met this guy. The whole fuel on the embers line? Brilliant... keep 'em wondering.

MESSAGE FOUR:

from Rob Capriccioso
to Benjamin Nicholas ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:42 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

How did anyone get it in their heads that you even knew Lott?

NO RESPONSE FROM NICHOLAS

Hours later, after we did much more investigating and our piece ultimately went live, Nicholas sent a final message:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 5:32 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

Off-the-record, eh? Sheesh.

Here’s my public comment, on-the-record: Sen. Lott and I have no current affiliation with one another. I’m sure he would appreciate no further scrutiny.

There’s no story here Rob.

BN
—–
http://www.BenjaminNicholas.com
http://www.15MinutesMore.com

So, not only does the guy flatly tell the blogger at BigHeadDC that there is no story. He says they have no "current" affiliation. Great use of language to throw people off. When someone says "have no current affiliation with one another" it does not mean that they once had an affiliation.

From what I've seen so far, it appears as if it was BigHeadDC that has been hustled, not Trent.

(Cross-posted from BlogACTIVE)


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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | November 28, 2007 1:21 PM

Right on, Mike! Maybe there will be some new turn of events in this saga, but my sense seems to be that although I'll admit I was salivating when I first heard Monday on NPR that Lott would be making an announcement, this is not likely to become Minneapolis Airport II.

There is a place in this world for both bullshit detectors and gaydars, with the former serving as a healthy check on the latter. (Maybe there are instances where the converse is true, but none come to mind right now). It is still possible that there are politicians and other public figures who are sanctimonius and who use religion and gay-bashing for the real purpose of.....being sanctimonius and religiously gay-bashing. Straight as an arrow nonetheless.

I guess I'm a bit sensitive to this because I have an acquaintence who can easily stereotyped as homosexual, and who undoubtedly would overload even the most sophisticated gaydar that's designed to eliminate false positives. We've had enough conversations when alcohol looseth the tongue for me to be convinced that his five offspring aren't the products of faking it when he talks about still being turned on by his wife's boobs. He'd be one that ought to be protected by an ENDA provision talking about "being perceived as" gay, and I regret that he's been unnecessarily the butt of some pretty nasty comments. We need to be careful not to confuse our "wishful thinking" with the whole (and justifiable) area of ferreting out real (yet well documented) cases of hypocrisy.

The DA currently does not have sufficient evidence to prosecute Rob for the assassination of JFK. Rob has however not denied his involvement.

Yes, this kind of stuff is easy to do. Both of the above statements are factually correct - at least, as far as I know... but utterly misleading.

Zoe's right - you can easily mislead and still be factually correct. I know a few people who use that technique often, "No what I really said was, XYZ. You just assumed that to mean..."

I think Mike's right too - that's exactly what's going on in this case too.

All various permutations of the classic prosecuting attorney tactic, asking the stammering defendant on the witness stand: "Answer this simply YES or NO, is it true that you have finally quit beating on your wife?"