With the U.S. Midterms now less than 90 days away, one unlikely subject is dominating headlines in America: Bigfoot erotica.
On Tuesday night's edition of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," the host highlighted the clash in Virginia's Fifth Congressional District between Democratic candidate ("and Stevie Nicks' accountant") Leslie Cockburn, and Republican candidate Denver Riggleman.
It has not made the news because of the Democrat's views on Israel (as expressed in her 1991 book, “Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship”) or Riggleman's alleged links with white supremacists. No, this revolves around the erotic adventures of a Sasquatch. Yes, you read that right.
Cockburn tweeted Sunday, "My opponent Denver Riggleman, running mate of Corey Stewart, was caught on camera campaigning with a white supremacist. Now he has been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica. This is not what we need on Capitol Hill." He tweet is accompanied by an illustration of a naked Bigfoot (because a clothed Bigfoot would just be plain weird) with his genitalia censored.
Unsurprisingly, the story proved catnip for reporters, and Riggleman has found himself at the center of a media storm ever since.
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Headlines have varied from "Bigfoot porn shakes up Virginia congressional race" (New York Post) and "Virginia House candidate says there’s nothing sexual about his interest in Bigfoot" (Vox) to "What’s Bigfoot’s dick like? And other questions inspired by Denver Riggleman" (HuffPost) and "All those Bigfoot erotica jokes are helping normalize white supremacy" (The Verge).
Now Colbert has weighed in, taking the story into millions of home around the world. "Bigfoot porn! It's the most scandalous campaign story since LBJ was caught in bed with the Chupacabra," he begins, clearly intending to treat this story with the merit it deserves.
Viewers are then shown the cover art for an alleged book by Riggleman called "Mating Habits of Bigfoot." "Check out the Sas-crotch!" Colbert jokes as the image of the censored Bigfoot is shown onscreen. "He is hung like a Yeti! Now we know why all the photos of Bigfoot are blurred."
Colbert then mocks Riggleman's explanation for the images: That they were meant as a joke by his military buddies (Riggleman served in the U.S. Air Force for many years). He then points out that the Republican candidate recently deleted a Facebook author page in which he was promoting his "self-published" book, "The Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him."
"'Self-publishing?'" a clearly amused Colbert asks. "Is that what the kids call it now? 'Don't come in, Mom, I'm self-publishing.'"
The late night host finishes on a serious note, though. Well, he tries. "I don't want people to think that just because we're laughing, we're kink-shaming people who are into this. I believe love is love – and I love how hilarious this is."
Twitter users, of course, considered the whole subject beneath them. Oh, hang on, this just in...
Riggleman has published a video on his official Denver Riggleman for Congress website in an effort to clear his name. In an interview with far-right channel CRTV, he explains how he spent 10 years doing research on "Bigfoot believers," and that his interest in the subject does not extend to Sasquatch porn.
Watch the video and see if you think it will make Virginians more likely to vote for him in November.