Michael: Barton the FinkIn what has to be the oddest twist on an already weird story, one of the self-styled 'leaders' of the 'Minuteman Project', 25 year old Bryan Barton, ridiculed an illegal immigrant by taking video of him holding a tee shirt, which read "Bryan Barton captured an illegal immigrant and all I got was this lousy shirt", for a reality show he is producing around his unlikely run for Congress in California's 53rd District. Bryan was subsequently, and laudably, expelled from the 'Minutemen' for his stunt. How much lower can you get when even the 'Minuteman Project' doesn't want you? As it turns out, a bit.
Young Master Barton came to the border for the first installment on his reality series, about which he is "in discussions with larger networks for exclusive television rights." Tasteless? You bet. Master Barton likes it that way apparently. While editor at The Koala, a student 'newspaper' at UCSD, he did an issue titled “Jizzlam, An Entertainment Magazine for the Islamic Man,” (PDF) that featured illustrated articles such as “The Jizzlam guide to sexual positions during prayer” and “The Miss World Jizzlam burkini contest,” which got him in a bit of dutch for insensitivity to the Muslim community. Master Barton said at the time, "People need to let loose. I hurt people’s feelings, but that is the price you have to pay for free speech.” Apparently, Master Barton cannot be free unless he's belittling and humiliating others. There is also one issue devoted entirely to Barton's apparently rather commodious ego. (PDF)
But Master Barton moved on from such childish amusements to head his own media empire in San Diego, including the City Beat and the Student Job Guide among other properties and projects, one of which is apparently to finance a campaign for Congress as a Republican using the same inimitable humor and eye for publicity that inspired "Jizzlam" and countless other jokes more tastless than humourous. Thus are we are all treated to the humiliation of another human being as part of the 'Minuteman Project' to amuse Master Barton's constituents, whomever they might be, and to sell his reality program to the networks.
This is exactly the sort of crass self-promotion and exploitive behavior of which the 'Minuteman Project' was designed to take advantage. These people are not interested in finding solutions to difficult problems, or even discussing issues, per se. Just like the whole Schiavo fiasco, their antics are the media equivalent of baring your ass in public to humiliate and shame some, while egging on and encouraging the worst proclivities of others. Seems Master Barton is just the ass for the job. Unfortunately, I cannot endorse Master Barton for public office; there is no office of class clown in America. It's unfortunate, really, maybe such an office would give people like Master Barton a useful place in government.