There’s a phenomenon on the world wide web (AKA the information super-highway) known as the Streisand effect.
The effect is named after singer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress the California Coastal Records Project’s photograph of her cliff-top residence in Malibu failed miserably. Instead, her vehement effort to censor the image, taken to measure beach erosion, actually drew far greater attention. People looked at her house just to see what she didn’t want them to see.
Enter Afroman. He had a hit song nearly two and a half decades ago with “Because I Got High.” A sample of the lyrics:
I was gonna clean my room until I got high
I was gonna get up and find the broom but then I got high
My room is still messed up and I know why (why man?)
‘Cause I got high
Because I got high
Because I got high
On August 22, 2022, Afroman, 48, (real name Joseph Edgar Foreman) took to social media to post videos and photos of his home in Adams County, Ohio, being raided by the sheriff’s department, TMZ reported.
So far, there have been no formal charges filed against Foreman, but a court did grant a search warrant claiming suspicion of drug trafficking and kidnapping. Foreman has accused the sheriff’s department of traumatizing his children and destroying property. A short time later, the Adams County Prosecutor’s Office said the sheriff’s department never submitted evidence of criminal activity to press charges against the singer (who, by the way, is also running for president in 2024).
Then, Afroman recorded two songs criticizing the raid, titled, “Will You Help Me Repair My Door” and “Lemon Pound Cake.” In December 2022, he posted the two music videos composed exclusively of security camera recordings of the raid on his YouTube account.
Oh, the Adams County Sheriff’s office did not like that one bit and last week sued Foreman, claiming that his use of the security footage of the raid was an invasion of the officers’ privacy.
The plaintiffs say in their lawsuit that their faces were used “without the authorization of any of the plaintiffs to do so” and the seven sheriff’s department officials “suffered humiliation, ridicule, mental distress, embarrassment and loss of reputation” because of the videos.
“In some instances, it has made it more difficult and even more dangerous for Plaintiffs to carry out their official duties because of comments made and attitude expressed toward them by members of the public,” the lawsuit reads, adding authorities have received death threats “by anonymous members of the public who have seen some of Defendant’s above-described postings.”
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The plaintiffs also claim they should get all profits from Foreman’s songs, music videos and live appearances — including anything deemed to be promoting Foreman’s “Afroman” brand.
Well, you can imagine what THAT did. Thanks to the Streisand effect, the story blew up across the internet, especially on reddit.com, where users posted dozens of memes, as well as links to the videos. His video “Will You Help Me Repair My Door” now has 4.4 million views, while “Lemon Pound Cake” is closing in on a million views.
In another TMZ piece, Foreman ripped Adams County authorities.
“After the Adams County Sheriff burglarized, vandalized, and destroyed my property — they became thieves and stole my money,” Foreman said. “After they stole my money, they became criminals. After they became criminals, they lost their right to privacy.”
“Essentially, a racist judge signed a fictitious false warrant lying on the warrant accusing me of kidnapping, drug trafficking. The warrant put the Adams County sheriff in a position to attempt to kill me. After the Adams County Sheriff burglarized, vandalized and destroyed my property, they became thieves and stole my money. After they stole my money, they became criminals. After they became criminals, they lost their right of privacy,” Forman said.
So the sheriff’s department officials “suffered humiliation, ridicule, mental distress, embarrassment and loss of reputation,” they say. But suing a singer few people have heard about backfired — whose last hit song was nearly 25 years ago — and now they are suffering even more humiliation.
If only they’d known about the Streisand effect before they filed their lawsuit against Afroman. And now, all their whining and complaining just might put Afroman in the White House.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.