Susanna Gibson, the nurse turned camgirl turned defeated Democratic candidate for Virginia State Assembly, has scores to settle. In an interview with Politico magazine’s Alexander Burns, she reveals all about what it was like to deal with the blowback from the national media discovering her side hustle, saying the ordeal “fundamentally changed” her “as a human.”
“My entire life was rocked on September 11, when the article ran,” Gibson says. Cockburn can’t imagine — truly the worst thing to happen on that date.
Burns characterizes Gibson as being “captured in a recorded video performing sex acts online with her husband” and says that an “opponent exposed her private digital life to the public.” Burns neglects to mention that the person who recorded and published the video to the public originally was… Gibson herself. She regularly streamed her and her husband to anyone who chose to watch on the porn site Chaturbate — even after she had announced her run for office.
You might think that Burns, or another respected journalist, might ask Gibson the question, “Why did you do that?” or “What happened?” or “Why did you do that and run for office?” He does not. Cockburn is by no means a Pulitzer-worthy journalist, despite his regular claims to the contrary — but he is bemused that this didn’t come up in the course of the conversation between the pair. Instead Burns asks things like, “How much do you feel like people in general should be free to live really separate lives online?” and “Did you observe any variation, based on generation or based on gender, in how voters responded to the story?”
Gibson’s defense of her choices is equally astonishing: “Choosing to share content, online or in whatever medium, with select people with the understanding that it will disappear and can only be seen by those present at the time — when we’re talking livestreaming, webcamming and Skype — that is a far cry from consenting for that content to be recorded and then broadly disseminated.” Cockburn was not aware of this, but is pleased to have been educated by someone who knows better.
Regarding nude images, Gibson tells Burns, “the moment that an image like that or a video like that gets put on the internet, it’s like lighting a fire in a dry forest. It spreads rapidly and extensively until it causes irreversible damage.” Cockburn agrees — and is not in the habit of taking nude photographs of his miserable soma. He might not therefore be the best person to ask, “is it different when you are the person posting said image on the internet? Deliberately? For profit? Rather than having a private image posted by accident, or hacked and posted without consent like Jennifer Lawrence, or stolen from a safe in your house like Pamela Anderson?” Someone should though!
Gibson is considering legal action against whoever made a copy of her livestreamed sex acts and posted them elsewhere on the internet. “I want the person who found and then disseminated illegal pornographic images of me — again, violating federal and state laws — they need to be held accountable,” she says.
Cockburn wishes Gibson luck in her search for the person responsible for her political downfall. Has she checked the mirror?