The Mirror

The Mirror Questionnaire With The Blogger Gov. Jindal’s Top Aide Accused Of ‘Race-Baiting’

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Discussing a painting that makes an Indian-American lawmaker look white is just “silly.” So silly that it wasn’t even worth giving a straight answer to a reporter when asked about it at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington last week.

But this is politics and it’s Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who may want to occupy the White House someday.

So praising Kyle Plotkin, his chief of staff, who accused lefty Louisiana blogger Frederick Lamar White, Jr. of “race-baiting” for tweeting a Caucasian portrait of Jindal, wasn’t in the cards.

What would be the good in that?

“I didn’t read the tweets,” Jindal told me at breakfast, explaining that racial divisions are just about the dumbest way for people to relate to one another. And then, fully dismissing my question: “I have a day job.”

(True, but he’s also had a portrait hanging in his office that clearly makes him several shades whiter than his real skin color. His official portrait isn’t too much better — it gives him a pink hue.)

Well, here’s the tweet the governor supposedly missed.



White fired back.


We caught up with White to ask about the incident and a whole range of other unrelated crap.

Let’s get the whole race-baiting accusation out of the way. What do you think of Jindal’s COS Kyle Plotkin? Do you have a history with him? Also: What do you think of his racism charges leveled against you?  Kyle has a tough job, and in person, he is really nice guy. But the notion that a picture of a portrait that hangs in the State Capitol is “race-baiting” is loathsome and pathetic. For years, Kyle has been defending a man who has destroyed Louisiana’s charity health care system, denied health insurance for more than 250,000 families, propped up failing private schools through a sham voucher program instead of investing in public institutions, and cut more from higher education than any other governor in the country. That’s Kyle’s job, and I don’t envy him for it. Bobby Jindal is impossible to defend, so perhaps it’s not surprising that his chief of staff would pretend as if I am just a racist. It’s despicable, lazy, and amateurish of him, but given Jindal’s track record, it’s nothing new.

Bona Fides

Hometown: Alexandria, Louisiana

Age: 32

Named for: My father

First job ever: Building a website for my uncle’s software company

Current employment: Student at SMU Law, write a blog called CenMar, contributing writer at The Independent Monthly, Acadiana Business and Salon.

Claims to fame: He broke the story of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) attending a white supremacy conference in 2002. He says he was the last person to talk to Andrew Breitbart before he died.


If someone wants to get on your good side, what candy or liquor should they ply you with? Makers Mark

Most exotic place you’ve ever visited: The Blue Lagoon in Fiji.

Why do you think Washington is so polarized? And please consider your answer in terms of boring us. Because the media is lazy; the public doesn’t do its homework, and phony scandals sell more than substantive reporting. Also, “The West Wing” is no longer on TV.

Who is your celebrity crush? Natalie Portman.

Least favorite word: Crippled

A thought that makes you want to cry: The other day, there was a story out of Austin about a small group of protestors shouting hateful, bigoted things at children during Muslim Day at the Capitol. That made me want to cry: Bigotry toward kids.

Weirdest habit you’ve observed in a newsroom (workplace) setting? I once worked with a guy who would whisper when he got angry. Sort of like Milton from the movie “Office Space.”

Time you spend on Twitter each day (be honest): An hour or two, at the most.

If you had to kiss a politician who would it be? Wendy Davis. Or remember the Kissing Congressman, Vance McAllister? That’d be hilarious.

Queen Latifah or Dr. Oz? Queen Latifah

Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer? Diane Sawyer

What’s next for you? What would you do with your life if absolutely nothing could stop you? Next up: I’m graduating law school. If I could do anything, I’d wrest control of News Corp from Rupert Murdoch.

If you could encapsulate your predominant life philosophy in a phrase or a mantra, what would it be? Wherever you go, there you are.

Do you believe in 5-year plans? If so, where do you hope to be in 5 years? No. But in 5 years, I hope to be on a book tour.

Stolen from Inside the Actors studio: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “George Carlin has been waiting for you.”

Pick one: Homeland, Veep, House of Cards or Scandal: Homeland

Pick one: CNN’s New Day, MSNBC’s Morning Joe or Fox & Friends: New Day

ABC’s GMA or NBC’s TODAY Show? Today Show

If you had to have a U.S. senator or congressman as your father who would it be? Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Since this is The Mirror Questionnaire, what would you change about yourself physically if you could? I can almost grow a full beard, except for two little bald patches. It’s annoying.

And your personality? I’d be funnier.

Preferred beach anywhere in the world: Cinque Terre, Italy or Destin, Florida. Viva la Redneck Riviera.

Guilty pleasure TV show: “Dallas”

The snack you eat most: Haribo Gummi Bears

On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-obsessed are you? (10 being you can’t tear yourself away from your own daily Google search and 1 meaning you often spend time in the country away from your computer and don’t give a crap about your Klout score.) 6.398293

Workout regimen: Nonexistent.

Pick one – flabby thighs, cankles or love handles? Love handles.

Choose: Beautiful eyes, best personality or perfect legs? Best personality. Seriously.

A thought that brings you great joy: My three nieces.

A regret (of any kind): Not being nice to a girl in high school.

Mika and Joe or Oprah and Steadman? Oprah and Steadman

Any brushes with death? If so, please describe. I had a bunch of surgeries as a kid and spent some time in the ICU after losing a few buckets of blood. Not sure how close I was to death though; I was too drugged to know the difference.

Just a preference Q: Bo or Sunny? Bo. The original gangsta.

Most annoying thing your editor (boss) does: Smokes indoors.

Rank how hairy your butt is: 1 to 10? There’s a hairy butt Richter scale?

Go for a stroll in the park with one of the following and explain the reason for your choice. 1. Rosie O’Donnell, The View. 2. CNN’s Chris Cuomo. 3. FNC’s Megyn Kelly. Or 4. Bo Obama. Bo Obama, because he seems like he would be most fun. And unlike the others, he’s hypoallergenic.

When was the last time you were, if ever, naked outside? Three or four years ago. But I was taking a shower at a private hotel room, so I’m not sure if it counts.

From The Sunday Times’ Toby Harnden: If you could tell one person to their face that they’re full of shit, with no consequences, who would it be? Dick Cheney.

From Al Jazeera’s David Shuster: If you had to watch or read a news report in a language you didn’t understand, what language would it be and why? Dutch, because I think it sometimes sounds hilarious.

From lefty radio host Bill Press: Where’s the one place in Washington you’d love to have sex, but can’t? Aaron Schock’s new office at the Capitol looks really fancy.

From former Rep. Weiner’s ex-phone sex partner Sydney Elaine Leathers: Who is the worst journalist on your favorite news channel? Don Lemon.

From Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay: Which universally acclaimed piece of literature, art, film, or music can you simply not stand? Lord of the Rings

From SiriusXM’s Julie Mason: What is the lie you always tell about yourself? That I don’t care what critics say about me.

From freelancer and journalism prof Steve Friess: If you were the opposite of your sexual orientation, name three people you’d sleep with. David Shuster, Bill Press, and Steve Friess. They ask good questions.

From Stateless Media’s Peter Savodnik: Why do you matter? Because I defy all of the stereotypes about people who live with cerebral palsy.

From motivational author and blogger Sophia Nelson: What do you want people to say about you – not when you die, but as you live? “He’s a rockstar.”

From New York Post’s Tara Palmeri: If you could give one politician or talking head a makeover, who would it be and what would you do? Louis Gohmert. I’d recommend the best hair transplant surgeon in the world and ask his colleague Aaron Schock to be his personal shopper.

From Mediaite’s Editor-in-Chief Andrew Kirell: Which book would you bring to a book burning? [Don’t say you’re against book burning. We all are.] “Fahrenheit 451,” just to prove the whole thesis is wrong.

Please provide a question for the next lucky victim of The Mirror Questionnaire. Make it good. It may live on indefinitely. What is the worst thing that anyone has ever said about you?