Today, public-workers union AFSCME launched a massive advertising campaign targeting neo-Hooverite conservatives who are trying to block President Obama’s recovery and reinvestment plan. One target is Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), whom the union faults for declaring he was proud that his party was “just saying no” to Obama. A Cantor spokesman responded by sending around a profanity-laced video portraying AFSCME as mob goons. The video uses the F-word six times in one minute and ends with the tagline: “AFSCME: We’re the f*cking union that works for you.” Watch it:
Cantor claimed the video was a “joke,” though AFSCME didn’t think it was very funny.
Yet it’s not just unions who could be offended by the video; Cantor himself has railed against obscenity, voting for the Broadcast Deceny Enforcement Act that allowed fines of up to $500,000 on broadcasters for airing any “obscene, indecent, or profane” material. Speaking on the House floor in support of the bill, Cantor condemned “offensive television” that will “damage our society” and “cannot be tolerated“:
CANTOR: The use of obscenity…should not and cannot be tolerated. As a parent, I share the concerns of many regarding the level of offensive television and radio programs that are transmitted into our homes. The recent violations that have occurred disgusted not only me, but damage our society.
He added that “we will not be satisfied until those responsible” for disseminating obscenity “have been reprimanded.” The heads of Americans United for Change, the AFL-CIO, and AFSCME have already reprimanded Cantor. You can tell Cantor what you think about his obscenity-laced video by leaving a message for him on his Facebook wall or on Twitter.
Cantor’s spokesperson, Brad Dayspring, released a statement taking responsibility for the video and apologizing on behalf of Cantor:
I would like to apologize for a joke that was in no way an official response from Congressman Cantor, but instead an inappropriate email. I apologize to AFSCME for my inappropriate email containing an old video. Let me be clear, we know people are hurting in these trying times and House Republicans completely agree that we must pass an economic recovery bill that preserves, protects and create jobs for Americans facing these economic challenges.