I can't hear you, I can't hear you, la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Yesterday we brought you the odd story of the Disappearing John Kasich Video, in which we learned that the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s corporate overlords, Northeast Ohio Media Group, (call ’em “NEOMG,” because “Ni! OMG!” is fun to say) had removed a video of its editorial board meeting with Ohio gubernatorial candidates for an endorsement interview.

According to Ohio political blog Plunderbund, Kasich was quite the pissy little douchecanoe at the meeting, refusing to acknowledge the existence of Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald. Kasich slumped in his seat like a bored student and repeatedly talked around questions instead of answering them. And yet the Plain Dealer endorsed Kasich anyway, because he reminds them of Reagan or something.

After NEOMG pulled its video of the full meeting from the Plain Dealer website (leaving an audio-only version up), Plunderbund posted to YouTube a clip that it had captured from the longer video, showing Kasich pointedly ignoring Democratic candidate FitzGerald and refusing to answer a question about why he’d signed a bill preventing rape crisis counselors from telling rape victims that abortion might be one of their options. NEOMG immediately sent a very scary lawyerly takedown letter to Plunderbund, threatening all kinds of legal hell for infringing copyright of an intellectual property that it had chosen to hide itself. And we wondered just why it was so important to NEOMG to keep people from seeing video of its preferred candidate acting like a pissant.

Well, this being the internet, and digital files being endlessly reproducible, some smartass sent us a link to another copy of that clip. But you still can’t watch it because that’s already been taken down for “copyright infringement” as well. But would you believe that there are still other copies out there? We don’t expect that this one will stay up long, either, so we’ve transcribed much of it, just in case:

FitzGerald wants to know why Kasich signed a budget into law that included certain provisions regarding women’s health care that, FitzGerald says, “don’t belong there.” Then he gives a very specific example: Ohio’s gag rule on rape crisis counselors.

So for instance, one specific, really pernicious provision that was in there, that you signed into law, Governor, was that a rape crisis counselor is limited in terms of the advice and counsel that she can give the victim of rape or sexual assault. And you’ve never explained what problem you thought that was solving. And I hope you don’t just fall back on your usual kind of generic statements that you’re pro-life, or that you have sympathy for people that have gone through sexual assault.

Why was it important to have a piece of legislation that literally imposed a gag rule on rape crisis counselors?

Kasich says nothing. In fact, he acts as if nobody in the room had been speaking.

One of the editors prompts him: “Would you like to answer that, Governor?”

“Do you have a question?” Kasich responds. The editor then tries to explain the question FitzGerald just asked. As much as the editor understands the question, anyway.

“I assume that it had to do with, uh, there were limits on what they could say about having abortions,” the editor says.

Kasich still says nothing, possibly because the reporter made the mistake of mentioning FitzGerald’s name while summarizing the question. Once more, Kasich spreads his hands and asks, “I mean, did you have a…?” At which point FitzGerald jumps in and explains to the clueless reporter, “He’s trying to pretend he didn’t hear me say it, so you need to repeat it.” Kasich almost gives away the game by laughing at this remark from someone he very pointedly is pretending is not there.

The reporter gets through the question, as if it had not been asked several times by FitzGerald. Finally, there’s a response. Sort of:

KASICH: I think everybody here knows that I’m pro-life. We also know that we have Roe v. Wade. And we’ve been debating this. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican, a Democrat, liberal or conservative, or non-aligned. This debate has gone on for a very long time.

What we focus on — and what I’ve always focused on — is the issue of life. Prenatal. Postnatal. Early childhood. Sleep for babies. Trying to drive down infant mortality. Let’s focus on the life issue. I mean, focusing on abortion or you’re pro-life or whatever — again, this issue’s gone on forever. So I just, you know, there’s no hiding the fact that I have a pro-life position.

FITZGERALD: Why is it pro-life to have a gag rule for a rape crisis counselor? You didn’t answer their question.

EDITOR: I think he answered okay.

FITZGERALD: He has never — with all due respect — he has never once said why it was good public policy in the state of Ohio for a rape crisis counselor to be limited in what she can advise a victim of sexual assault. And he didn’t answer it then. He started talking about prenatal care and making sure that kids get enough sleep. He will not answer this question.

EDITOR: What I heard the governor say is that he’s pro-life.

Well, sure that’s what Kasich said. But that still didn’t answer the question, did it? FitzGerald points that out, then Green candidate Anita Rios explains why she supports abortion access for women, especially poor women, and finally another editor chimes in, a female editor, to try to get Kasich to answer the pending question:

EDITOR: Governor, let me push you on that a little bit more. Because if I’m a female voter, and I’ve been raped, and I go to a rape crisis counselor, I’m not going to be able to get the information I need to make a decision. What are you trying to tell that voter?

KASICH: I’m not trying to tell them anything. The voters in this state, I think by and large, know I’m pro-life. And let me just say that what Ms. Rios was just saying — I mean, this has been a debate that’s gone on since I’ve been around politics. We have Democratic women who are fervently pro-life. We have Republican women who are not. I mean, that’s just the way it is. And so what I choose to focus on is that we can debate this all day long. But at the end of the day, I respect people that have a different position beyond that. But they need to understand my position. It’s just that simple. I’m pro-life.

EDITOR: Yeah, but you did mention Roe v. Wade —

KASICH: And there’s restrictions — we know what the federal laws are, and we have to be in compliance with them. And it’s just the way it is.

EDITOR: And a gag rule, you think, on a rape crisis — giving a woman her entire panoply of decisions she can make —

KASICH: We certainly want to care. I actually believe in the exception of rape, incest, and life of the mother. Okay? But look, at the end of the day, I’m going to do what I think is a pro-life — you know, looking, being in a position of being pro-life. There’s nothing more I can say about it. I’ve said everything there is to say about it.

FitzGerald again points out that Kasich still hasn’t answered the question, nor has he explained how he could claim to support abortion in cases of rape, and yet still stand behind the gag rule preventing rape counselors from even discussing abortions with rape victims. But at this point, the male editor considers the subject covered and says, “Let’s move on.”

In the entire six-minute clip, Kasich has given a boilerplate speech about just how pro-life he is, but he never answers the question about the gag rule he signed into law. He doesn’t even acknowledge the question. It’s just not what he wants to focus on, and therefore it does not exist. Just like his Democratic opponent. And apparently, at least for one of the editors, that’s just fine. In fact, that’s such a just fine answer, the newspaper endorsed him for re-election!

We’d love to know why the editors were satisfied with Kasich’s non-answer. We’d also love to know more about the decision to remove the video from the website (whose logo looks disconcertingly like a “copyright” symbol), and whether the Plain Dealer agreed with its corporate overlords that it was a good idea to remove a pretty important tool for assessing the candidates. If anyone at the Plain Dealer wants to contact us, please send an email to doktorzoom at wonkette dot com; we promise to identify you only as “Reporter X” or “Anonymous Source Zero-Q” or maybe as “mediocre but inexplicably Pulitzer-nominated editorial cartoonist Jeff Darcy.” And yeah, we’re sure that this newest YouTube version isn’t long for the world, but we also bet that other copies will pop up. Fair Use has a posse.

[h/t Wonkette tipster “Mike”]

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  • And a douche. Don’t forget. And a Weasel. Why doesn’t he go back to Pennsylvania where he belongs?

  • life5678

    Send it to

  • JN West

    This goes to the heart of what the problem is with the GOP. They think they are holier than thou, god’s gift to the world. They don’t have to answer to people who are lesser than them. They don’t have to worry about consequences to lives of people who are also lesser than them. That is why every Republican voter, donor and elected politican are fundamentally dangerous.

  • Beaufighter

    EDITOR: I think he answered okay.

    (goes back to crossword)

  • Slack

    Not that I’m siding with Kasich – I know of other examples in the “not what he pretends to be” realm – but does the governor of Ohio have the ability to veto line items and other budget provisions that he or she may find objectionable?

    • Karen Marie

      Kasich has never said, including in this video, that he couldn’t line-item veto this gag rule, he was pretty clear that he is in favor of it.

      • Slack

        It’s a fairly important detail to know, regardless.

        • Karen Marie

          No, it’s not. It isn’t relevant. Kasisch is – again – very clear he is in favor of the gag rule. Thus, even if he could line-item veto, he would not have done so. He had option to veto the whole thing, which he didn’t. In this interview, he could have disowned the gag rule, which he didn’t. In fact, the opposite – he is supports it.

          • Slack

            As a student of politics and a former journalist, it’s relevant to me for a couple of reasons. While I am on your side on this matter, with all due respect, you can’t make that decision for me, just like he should ‘t be able to make decisions for you. It’s relevant to me because I want to know if it’s a state where unrelated riders can be placed in the budget and then the entire budget has to be vetoed in order to eliminate the unwanted items, which can have all kinds of fairly devastating unintended consequences. It’s relevant to me because if he could have vetoed it and did not, he’s a bigger jerk because he did not. Of course, if he could not have vetoed it he could have said so, but that does not mean he did not say so somewhere in this exchange, which is obviously just a portion of the entire interview. So that’s why it’s relevant, to me anyway.

  • blue haze

    I took a video of the video, maybe that can circumvent their DCMA reporting. :D

  • timpundit

    May this be the first step to a real vetting of the “moderate” one.

  • Marko Tesla

    Well now I like him more than I did before

    • CherMoe

      Let’s not pretend that he likes women or that anything he does is for the good of the PEOPLE of Ohio, women or otherwise. If you like him for being a creep and a control freak wanting to keep women in bondage under the guise of “religion” then all you males have a real mental problem.

      • Marko Tesla

        I have lots of mental problems, but I don’t use the stigma of mental illness to diminish people, and I don’t assume that people take positions that are contrary to my own because they are hateful. I hope you take good care of your high horse, you seem to take great pleasure in it

      • Marko Tesla

        “all you males have a real mental problem.” This is your problem in life, you magnify your worst fears onto half of humanity. Women in Ohio are not living in bondage, you really can’t possibly understand the rest of the world if you think it is particularly bad in Ohio. You have the rich white American illness of thinking you suffer like no one else. Abortion is freedom to you, but it is disproportionately death to minorities and the poor.

        • cat cafe

          Yeah, no. Not at all. She’s not “magnifying her worst fears,” she’s responding to you, after you posted that you like this misogynistic asshole, in a post where he’s being reprehensibly dickish. You have no idea what she understands, but it is pretty clear that you don’t understand. Abortion is a simple medical procedure that is vital, especially to minorities and the poor, and it is people like Kasich, and apparently, you, who want to deny it to them along with basic human services after a vicious assault. She has no problem. You are the one “magnifying your worst fears onto half of humanity” if you think it’s ok for poor and minority women to be lied to and denied basic human and medical services.

          • Marko Tesla

            you can put lipstick on it, call it a simple medical procedure and you can pretend it is good and vital that poor people and minorities have abortions but don’t talk to me about lying or mysogony. You are the one that wishes abortions on people. Think about that. It suits your idea of freedom and your personal desires that people should go out and have abortions,

            Vital for poor people and minorities you say. As if this somehow mitigates their poverty and somehow aids the struggle of minorities by allowing fewer of them to live.

            Let me be crystal clear. An abortion does not make an assault better or go away, and to pretend that abortion mitigates rape is they height of lying and mysogony. It is the worst political trick out there. No one ever talks about rape in politics unless there is an election coming or someone talks about abortion. Not one abortion made a rape any better. not one.

  • Boo Hoo

    Kasich is either a turd sandwich or a giant douche. Take your pick. Although, in my opinion, he’s both, because I have no choice at the moment but to live under his rule.

    There’s something seriously wrong with a system that lets people in power sneak their agendas into unrelated bills. This is standard operating procedure for Kasich.

    Compared to Trump the Rump, he seems reasonable. But, at least Trump with spit in your face and tell you that you deserved it. Kasich will spit in your food and then tell you that it’s good for you after you’ve already eaten it. I’m pretty sure I prefer the enemy in my face and not the one stabbing me in the back.

  • Whether they believe in what they say or not doesn’t matter. If they have been bought off by the religious right they say what their ‘owners’ tell them to say or vote the way they are told to or else any funding for re-election they might have been promised gets pulled.

  • Bill

    Seems like he’s on drugs.

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