Here’s a story that's burning up media tubes in D.C.
On Monday, GQ published a report about Republican Rand Paul, who is running for Kentucky's open U.S. Senate seat. In it, GQ claims that, in 1983, Paul – then a student at Baylor University – and a classmate once kidnapped a woman and tried to force her to take bong hits.
According to this woman, who requested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, "He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot." After the woman refused to smoke with them, Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman recalls. "They blindfolded me and made me bow down to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.' At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no."
The campaign is now considering legal action against GQ, according to the Plum Line blog. "We are investigating all our options -- including legal ones,” a spokesperson for the campaign said later Monday. “We will not tolerate drive by Journalism by a writer with a leftist agenda."
For its part, GQ is standing by the joint. "We've vetted, researched, and exhaustively fact-checked Jason Zengerle's reporting on Rand Paul's college days,” GQ editor Jim Nelson said in a statement. “We stand by the story, and we gave the Paul campaign every opportunity to refute it. We notice that they have not, in fact, refuted it."
Worth noting that the woman thought what Rand and his friend did was sadistic, but not illegal. "They never hurt me, they never did anything wrong, but the whole thing was kind of sadistic,” she told Zengerle. “They were messing with my mind. It was some kind of joke."
[Photo illustration: TheWrap]