Fresh from announcing his candidacy this week GOP Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and his
first second third wife Callista found themselves showered in fabulous rainbow glitter as 24-year-old gay pranktivist Nick Espinosa (aka Robert Erickson) poured a cracker box full of colorful confetti on the pair and said, “Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!” Funny? Yes. Helpful. Mmmm… not so much.
Erickson later told ABC News:
“Today, I invited Newt to feel the rainbow because he decided to bring his anti-gay politics to my state. Newt has a long history of anti-gay politics and has chosen to focus on divisive social issues instead of working to fix our economy. I don’t think a free will adulterer like Newt has any ground to stand up while telling others who they can and can’t love… Since Newt is hanging with the Family Council, I figured he needed a shiny dose of Minnesota Nice to counteract the hate embraced by those who are pushing this divisive bill… I think glitter’s fun… it was a nice makeover for his campaign. And in fact if he needs anymore glitter, I have some left over.”
Espinosa, who also pranked Minneosta gubernatorial Republican candidates last year by dumping a bag full of pennies in their laps to protest their anti-immigration stances said, “[Pranks are] one of many tactics that can be used to create social change. You’ve seen examples of pranks having a lot of success recently. Adding this bit of humor into the political debate and I think it’s a really good way to get people’s attention when they might not otherwise pay attention.” We’re not sure what pranks Epinosa means, but glitter as a tactic to create social change? Not so much.
Don’t get us wrong. That evening Gingrich and his wife were signing autographs as part of “The Minnesota Family Council & Institute Annual Dinner 2011 celebration” (the MFC of course being a huge proponent of the state’s ballot banning same-sex marriage, a ban that most Minnesotans reportedly don’t support in fear it will hurt the state’s economy). Also, Newt secretly helped secure more than $350,000 to help remove the Iowa justices who had ruled against marriage discrimination and has openly expressed anti-gay views.
But while we can all experience a bit of schadenfreude as we think of Newt and his wifey picking raver scabies out of their hair for the rest of election season, Espinosa’s “YouTube activism” won’t serve any purpose other than allowing Gingrich to cast himself as the brave victim of a public sneak assault. Espinosa had the smarts not to deposit glitter into Gingrich’s eyes, something that could have gotten him arrested. But looking at the video, it seems Espinosa had little to say beyond his initial prank and preset line. He didn’t engage Gingrich at all—he just glittered and left.
Personally, we’re bigger fans of asking pointed embarrassing questions to anti-gay folks, just like University of Pennsylvania student did to Newt this February.