Here’s What’s in All Those Porngate Emails Kathleen Kane Keeps Talking About
Here’s the bottom line: A binder full of porn — about 400 of pages of it, several inches thick in total — is anything but erotic. It’s gross and sexist and occasionally racist and definitely misogynistic and homophobic now and again, but if you are forced to page through such a binder, you might just find your libido dying from an odd mix of disgust and anger.
But here’s the knowledge to be gained from paging through such a binder after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court took the wraps off the “Porngate” emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said are crucial to her defense against charges she leaked secret grand jury information as part of a political vendetta against Frank Fina, a former member of the attorney general’s office who now works for Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams:
• Fina is far from alone in this. Yes, he forwarded several of the emails released Wednesday to the public, but in a number of other cases, he was merely a recipient. Some he neither sent nor received. Remember: Dozens of employees in Kane’s office were disciplined for their involvement in trading the explicit emails.
• “Porngate” was aptly named. Again, there are hundreds of pages of email correspondence on display in the binder, which is said to be a sampling of the messages in the “Porngate” scandal — the vast majority contain depictions of women in various states of undress and committing various sex acts. There is no “eye of the beholder” argument to be made here: It’s porn.
The very first image in the binder — part of an email from Fina to two colleagues — depicts a topless woman on her back, giving oral sex to a man in a dress shirt. It is captioned in the style of a motivational poster: “WILLINGNESS: Bend over backwards to do an exceptional job.”
The next image? Another woman. Also giving oral sex. “DEVOTION: Making your boss happy is your only job.”
It’s not all blowjobs. The next image in the set featured anal sex.
• The stuff that wasn’t pornographic was still demeaning to women and minorities. Fina’s group of faux motivational posters included an image of a white man, carrying a bucket of fried chicken, being accosted by two deranged-looking black men. The caption? “Bravery at its finest.”
One of the few pictures of a clothed female showed a woman wearing a T-shirt emblazoned: “WIFE: Washing, Ironing, F**ing, Etc.” (The letters in the explicit word were blurred in the photo) That caption? “PLACE: Know it!”
And that’s not even mentioning another email — this one not to or from Fina — that carries the subject line, “Hot Ghetto Mess.” Or another email that featured a number of men engaged in a group sex act.
“How friggin gay are you?” Fina wrote in the last email.
• There’s such a thing as Sarah Palin Photoshop porn. But you probably knew that.
• Even as they traded porny emails, colleagues continued to do business. One email thread that featured a joke about a tennis player opting for breast reduction surgery found Fina negotiating time to consult with another attorney. “Yes, call my bberry,” he instructed the colleague. “I will be with the PSP on a murder case.”
• It’s not immediately clear how this helps Kane, at least legally. No, this is not a good day for Frank Fina. But as explicit and, yes, icky as many of the emails attributed to him are, they don’t do much to prove that he conjured up the grand jury investigation that resulted in her indictment. They may, however, help her in the court of public opinion; they certainly seem to bolster he claim that she’s been brought down by the “good ol’ boys club.” Kane has promised that the release of these emails would let her give a full defense of herself in public; now we’ll see if she can make good on that promise.
Seth Williams said in a statement that his office has “clear human relations policies” and will review the emails. “We will conclude this review as soon as possible,” he said.
A request for comment from Fina was not immediately answered.
The public in Philadelphia can inspect the binder at Supreme Court Office of Prothonotary, Room 468 at City Hall.
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