Rep. Mike Rogers Angrily Defends Bathroom Spycam

from the as-long-as-they-don't-know-about-it dept

Ken White blogs at Popehat. He's a litigator and criminal defense attorney at Brown White & Newhouse LLP in Los Angeles. His views are his alone, not those of his firm. This post is cross-posted from Popehat with permission.

And, because we here at Techdirt have had issues with Mike Rogers' office in the past, we hope that they have a dictionary and a copy of the Constitution -- though, given the comments that inspired this post, it seems like he might need a remedial refresher course.


Dateline: Washington, D.C.: Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) was defiant today in the face of accusations that he had installed a small digital camera in the women's bathroom in his office at the Capitol.

"This is just politics," said the ten-term Congressman. "I would argue the fact that we haven't had any women come forward with any specificity arguing that their privacy has been violated, clearly indicates, in ten years, clearly indicates that something must be doing right. Somebody must be doing something exactly right."

When reporters asked how women would know to complain — the spycam, funded by the government, was expertly hidden — Rogers asserted that was the point. "You can't have your privacy violated if you don't know your privacy is violated," said Rogers.

Rogers went on to explain that the nation's Capitol — which has housed figures like former Congressman Bob Filner and former Senator Bob Packwood — presents known dangers to women, and that the spycam is calculated to make certain they are protected from those dangers. "If the women knew exactly what that spycam was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It's a good thing. it keeps the women safe. It keeps the Capitol safe," Rogers asserted.

Rogers then abruptly concluded the interview, threatening to sue reporters if they wrote about it.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

    Here's the problem, Rogers. While this of course reads like a parody of what you've been saying...at this point in time, your actions and words make that judgement very hard to make. For someone to go on about how your privacy is not violated unless you know about it, it sounds extremely plausible that you would put a spycam in the women's bathroom. I literally would not feel the slightest bit surprised if one is found there one day.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Glen, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    I love how Popehat puts it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

    I guess Mike Rogers would also say bank robberies are perfectly acceptable, as long as no one notices the money is missing... ahhhem FED Reserve

     

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  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:26pm

    Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    Yes, that was sarcasm. It'll have exactly the same effect on White as his buffoonery will on Rogers.

    Techdirt! When tired of substance, get fluffed here!

    10:26:26[l-677-8]

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    Door’s to your left. Mind your tinfoil hat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    out_of_the_blue (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    Who doesn't love a little bit of toilet humor every now and again? Me, that's who! Instead of castigating (ooh big word!) the evil, sick, sinful government directly, I'm going to turn up here on this site that I LOATHE (in capitals just to make sure I get that point across) every day to scream and demand why everyone else isn't doing what I'm not doing.
    ____________________________________________________________
    Techdirt! Where people have freedom of speech and no matter how much I scream and shout about fraud, it doesn't make it true!

    10:28:39(ζ-451-β)

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Nigel (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    You like to fondle nuts. We get it.

    N.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Beech, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Yup. That about sums it up in a nutshell.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Sexual predator alert, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Mike Rogers - going on sexual predator list?

    Will the government now charge Congressman Mike Rogers with preying upon women? I'm all for him receiving chemical castration as punishment if a judge ends up convicting him. He's already lost his real balls when he decided to conspire to break the laws of the constitution of the United States of America with his NSA buddies.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    And everyone on Techdirt gets to laugh hysterically at you and of what you write without having to pay a cent being as the entertainment is FREE. lol

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    http://quotationsbook.com/quote/8017/

    Popehat left out that Rogers had met his obligation for oversight by informing himself of the uses to which the cam was to be put and swearing that the veiwing would only happen in a windowless room with the lights off.

     

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  12.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 2:59pm

    I wonder...if Rogers is so keen on what's going on in the bathroom, why doesn't everyone take a photo of their...leavings...and send the result to Rogers's email? Can't be too careful now can we? Got to make sure there's no terrorist stools floating around!

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Guy From V, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    This would be sort of amusing if...

    ...it wasn't massively Galactus size hilarious. This guy is in Congress AhAHAHahah. God, this stuff lately has been like long-term gamma ray exposure to the small amount of optimism and soul I had once.

     

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  14.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    Thanks! I aim to please!

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Baldaur Regis (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    One of the fun things about reading a post like this without glasses is coming across the line
    ...they would be applauding and pooping champagne corks
    and have it actually make sense.


    Also, Ken missed a great opportunity to dust off his old Henry II hand-puppet and picture Rogers holding it, sighing dramatically and declaiming "Will no one rid me of this troublesome privacy in yon privy?" to his adoring but churlish interns, thus distancing himself from some of the ickier consequences of bathroom camming.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    I hereby dub this epic merger of TechDirt and Popehat - Tech Pope Dirt Hat!

    Dirty Pope Tech Hat?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Looking for the money shot eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Re:

    "dirty hat poop tech" Er whoops "dirty hat pope tech"

    (too much champagne) :)

     

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  19.  
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    ambrellite (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Fortunately...

    We're fortunate that these over-the-top surveillance programs were exposed before the government deployed some kind of technology that can see our naked bodies through clothing.

    Oh wait, they did that already. I wonder if the NSA has access to those machines. It'd surely beat any bathroom spying program.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    arkiel (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    Mike Rogers: "If we don't have a spycam in there, how are we supposed to know when we know when those women are available to be sexually assaulted? What? So long as we're in there, they can't get screwed by anyone else. Wouldn't you rather they be fucked over by us than some hypothetical ethnic strawman rapist? This is the, the, the only way to protect our women!"

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    jingoi, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

    Ok, enough.
    Someone, anyone please arrest and/or kill this motherfucker.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    When there is this kind of difficulty in determining if something is fact or fiction, the only exact approach is to take the authors points to the limit and turn them into reality. Only then will you know for sure how wrong reality is and how right the author is!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    sorrykb (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    At this point, Poe's Law applies to just about anything related to the NSA and its cheerleaders. Unfortuantely, the NSA's documented actions really are that bad and their defenders' statements are so outrageous that something like this seems entirely plausible (as evidenced by several of the article's comments here and over at Popehat).

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    10:28:39(ζ-451-β)

    Does that say zeta-451-beta, whats up with the Greek letters?

    Is that some kind of secret troll code or something?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    Re:

    Rogers wouldn't know what to do with that. He apparently doesn't use the restroom which is of course why he's so full of shit.

     

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  26.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 4:56pm

    Re:

    Mike will be getting another call from the Secret Service shortly. :0)

     

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  27.  
    icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Somebody needs to explain to Rep. Mike Rogers that it is illegal in this country to place any kind of audio or video recording equipment in ANY public restroom in ANY city, state township, village, district or province.

    You can make all of the excuses you can think of, it is still ILLEGAL to install any kind of recording equipment in ANY bathroom. It's a violation of an individuals privacy to do this and NO court in this country will decide in your favor if you do this.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    Now please aim. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Kaemaril (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

    Re:

    The FISA court would. All you need do is have an NSA representative swear an affadavit confirming that they had firm intelligence that, somewhere in Washington DC, an agent of a foreign power was conducting clandestine meetings with another agent of another foreign power in a woman's restroom, although the exact one was currently unknown.

    The NSA would then request a warrant to conduct surveillance on all women's restrooms.

    The FISA court would then authorize it, on the STRICT UNDERSTANDING that ONLY foreign persons would be recorded, to which the NSA would agree.

    The NSA would then come to the conclusion that, sure, they may be meant to be monitoring only foreign persons, but actually it was impractical to attempt to identify foreigners based on the shapes of their bottoms, and besides there's nothing to stop them using information on Americans they 'inadvertently' record.

    And besides, it's not really spying until somebody actually watches the footage.

    Boom. Job done. All legal and above board, for the NSA says it is so. And if the NSA says it's conducting all its operations perfectly legally and above board well then ... who are we to question the NSA? There's bound to be a US senator they can get to tell the press it's all legal.

    Provided, of course, that leader of a foreign country isn't snapped in a restroom. That's when it all will hit the fan.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 5:20pm

    Re:

    I have this vision of Mr. (Fred) Rogers explaining to Mike Rogers the law. "Sure, can you say that? Illegal. Sure, I knew you could..."

     

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  31.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Oct 30th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    Is that some kind of secret troll code or something?


    Yes. There's a decoder ring in every box of "Trollios", The Breakfast of Ex-champions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 6:08pm

    Re:

    Pics of the leavings ..nah give it to him raw and wriggling

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Mike Rogers - going on sexual predator list?

    Zero tolerance is one of the GOP's favorite talking points, as is tough on crime. To the sex offender list he goes. He could be the next guest on To Catch a Predator

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re:

    it's not really spying until somebody actually watches the footage
    And it's not really invasion of privacy until someone finds out about it.

    Mike Rogers, Quantum Politician.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Is that a foreign object ...hmm ..looks like corn to me..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 6:14pm

    In Mr Rodger's Neighborhood,
    restroom uses you.

    Can you spell lawsuit? Yes you can!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re:

    No they wouldn't. They would just do it because they wanted to and then make up the justifications for it if and when the got their hands caught in the cookie jar. That's how they've always operated. Why would they do it any other way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Your leavings wriggle? I don't think they are meant to do that, maybe you should see a doctor...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 31st, 2013 @ 3:06am

    Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    We are waiting your solutions, oh wise one, master of the masters!

    Be careful not to contradict yourself in the process ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 31st, 2013 @ 3:07am

    Re:

    Sounds like a twitter campaign. What hashtag should we use?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Votre (profile), Oct 31st, 2013 @ 4:03am

    So tell me Clarice...have the champagne corks stopped popping?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re:

    He apparently doesn't use the restroom

    I would guess this is the only reason he still has a complete copy of the constitution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 31st, 2013 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re:

    This was funny, but I voted it insightful because Rogers really is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 7:04am

    Re:

    I'd have accepted that as satire from The Daily Currant. From Popehat, I thought it was fact. Daaaayyyyum! But it wouldn't surprise me in the least, given what Republicans are doing to women's rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    I wonder what Lady Aberlin and Lady Elaine would say about this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re:

    No someone needs to do a satire video of "Rep. Rogers Neighborhood" where he is a creepy Peeping Tom explaining to kids how it's only wrong if the person finds out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Nathan, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Ah, toilet humor for 13-year-olds. That'll make NSA change.

    When you can't actually find any flaw in the reasoning, it is always easier to pretend it was just toilet humor. Tell me how this does not show the extreme fault with Rogers's argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Douglas, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Mike Rogers' quote

    Quote attributed to Rogers in this article:

    "If the women knew exactly what that spycam was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It's a good thing. it keeps the women safe. It keeps the Capitol safe," Rogers asserted.

    Actual Rogers quote:

    "If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It's a good thing. It keeps the French safe. It keeps the U.S. safe. It keeps our European allies safe," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.

    Why the mis-quote, Techdirt? You are damaging your credibility.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    hopponit (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:51pm

    rodgers

    Okay, I gotta ask. Is this a spoof? If not I am flabbergasted by the statement that nobody has come forward in 10yrs! Heck if Chuck Berry can get busted for this, so can he.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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