The fallout from Ted Cruz’s personal Twitter account “liking” a hardcore porn video (of the “stepmom” genre, nonetheless) continued Wednesday, with the Republican senator from the great state of Texas appealing to CNN to insist the person caught with their pants down (so to speak) “was not me.”
"It was not me," Cruz told Dana Bash, insisting the incident was "an honest mistake.”
"I promise you, the staffer feels terrible," Cruz said of the person who allegedly “liked” the video under his name.
Internet users on Wednesday noticed a similarity between Cruz’s excuse and the 2000 pop single “It Wasn’t Me,” by the reggae artist Orville Richard Burrell, more commonly known as Shaggy. In that hit, the Jamaican-American denies—despite all evidence to the contrary—that he cheated on his girlfriend with another woman.
The "Shaggy defense" was coined in 2008 by Slate's Josh Levin, who at the time was reporting on R&B singer R. Kelly's child pornography trial.
"I predict that in the decades to come, law schools will teach this as the 'Shaggy defense,'" Levin wrote. "You allege that I was caught on camera, butt naked, banging on the log cabin floor? It wasn't me."
In posts, Twitter users were quick to relate Cruz’s denial with the early aughts classic, with one even asking,” please mash this up w shaggy. now, internet. now.”
Thankfully for us, the Internet listened:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 13, 2017
Read some more replies, below:
If Ted Cruz is Shaggy in this analogy, who is Rikrok? https://t.co/8SxegQ9xJj— Ben Jacobs (@Ben Jacobs) 1505335330.0
He went the Shaggy route. That's the only play, I guess. https://t.co/9MyINYinNQ— Rae Sanni (@Rae Sanni) 1505335257.0
In Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me," the protagonist is caught cheating on his girlfriend and his friend tells him to tell h… https://t.co/QhNR405Ar6— Paul Blumenthal (@Paul Blumenthal) 1505335243.0
Senator Cruz quoting Shaggy in his first clear denial https://t.co/aix1aEvHUD— Michael Del Moro (@Michael Del Moro) 1505335156.0
Bless you, Internet.