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Calling someone a bad liar is actually a pretty nice compliment -- it means they haven't gotten much practice. Well, if that's the case, we're about to compliment the shit out of the people on this list; when they got caught in a scandal, their attempts at spin and cover-up were pure comedy gold.

6
Todd Courser Fabricated An Email Claiming He's A Bisexual Porn Addict To Cover Up An Affair

Nancy Derringer/Bridge Magazine

The Damage:

The story of Michigan state reps Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat is like something out of a Tea Party version of Romeo And Juliet. After falling madly in love (presumably over their shared love of tricorne hats), their star-crossed relationship was threatened by the lamestream media, which threatened to expose the fact that the two were banging each other while technically married to other people. Deciding that he couldn't blame the whole thing on Obama, Courser did the next-best thing.

The "Control":

Courser's plan was to paint himself as a Tea Party martyr by making it look like he was the target of a smear campaign, with the "rumors" of his affair being just the first salvo in the attack on his good name. Courser took aside one of his aides and told him to concoct an email that accused Courser of "male-on-male sex" and other unseemly acts.

Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal
"Hot dudes only. No ugmos."

When the aide (who began recording the bizarre conversation) refused to play Courser's game, the state representative got angry and sent the email himself from an anonymous address.

The email was received by several GOP operatives who read all about how Courser was both a "gun-toting, Bible-thumping, cock-sucking freak" and a "bisexual porn-addicted sex deviant." His logic was flawless: If he wasn't in fact "fucking and screwing man-on-man" like the emails claimed, then surely his alleged trysts with Gamrat were equally a bunch of made-up nonsense.

Todd Courser
"To prove I'm not bisexual, I will now not have sex with a man! ... There!"

For a while, things seemed to have actually worked out for Courser ... until he fired the aide who had proof that the emails were phony. Of course, the aide went straight to the newspapers and offered up the recording, sending reporters and late-night comics into a state of utter euphoria. Courser resigned in shame, while Gamrat was expelled, which we suppose beats a double suicide by poison and dagger.

5
Paul Reubens Said He Couldn't Have Been Masturbating In Public Because He's Strictly Right-Handed

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Damage:

Paul Reubens hit pay dirt in 1986 when CBS picked up Pee-wee's Playhouse, a television show aimed at entertaining children and scaring the ever-loving piss out of potheads unlucky enough to accidentally tune into this madness. Five years later, Reubens decided to celebrate the success of his show by masturbating in an adult theater in Florida. That's when the cops suddenly raided the place and arrested Reubens for indecent exposure.

Warner Bros.
Can't hop on your bike to escape when your pants are around your ankles.

The "Control":

Pee-wee's first idea to keep this pee-wee out of the headlines was to bribe the arresting officers, not with straight-up cash or lavish gifts but with ... umm, a children's benefit for the local sheriff's department. We hope he realized how this sounded the second he said it out loud.

His efforts at burying the story became futile, so Reubens' legal team thought about arguing that their client wasn't really masturbating. It only seemed that way because at the time of the arrest he totally looked like a guy who masturbates in cinemas.

Sarasota County Sheriff's Department
A lot.

Their "proof" was that the detectives claimed that Reubens was masturbating with his left hand, which he apparently would never do because he is strictly right-handed. The whole case was dependent on the testimony of scientific experts from the Masters And Johnson (*snigger*) Institute who posited that in their 30 years of research, they had never found an instance in which someone masturbated with their non-dominant hand.

We're not sure what kind of boring-ass vanilla jerk-off artists the Masters And Johnson Institute interviewed, but every guy ever knows how stupid that idea is. If people are willing to sit on their hand until it's numb and give themselves The Stranger just for the sake of variety, then merely changing hands cannot be that much of a stretch. Someone must have thankfully pointed that out to Reubens, because he ended up pleading no contest and instead opted to wait until the world just sort of forgot about his little indiscretion.

That ... seems to have worked.

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4
New Zealand's Prime Minister Thinks Tantalizing Ponytails Are Meant To Be Pulled

Stacy Squires/The Press

The Damage:

In 2015, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key made international news after a waitress called him out for pulling her ponytail every time he visited her cafe. The first question on everybody's mind was, of course, "Why?" Followed by, "Is it a sex thing? It's a sex thing, isn't it."

The "Control":

Unfortunately for Key, he was seen by scores of people tugging the waitress' hair many times over the course of seven months, so he couldn't exactly deny the whole thing. Instead, he went the other way and didn't stop until he reached Cuckooville. For one, Key didn't seem to comprehend that what he had done was wrong at all. He even said the whole thing was "a lot of fun and games."

US Embassy New Zealand
Caution: If John Key asks if you want to play a game, run and find the nearest police officer.

Key also allegedly told the waitress things like, "That's a very tantalizing ponytail," and hummed the theme from Jaws before coming up behind her and pulling on her hair. And if that's not creepy enough, New Zealand reporters later dug through their archives to look at old news footage and found other cases of Key pulling on young girls' hair:

TV3
Like trying to stay out of frame is gonna hide you.

Eventually, Key did try apologizing to the woman by bringing her a gift, namely two bottles of wine with his initials on them, which just happened to come from his very own winery. We can only assume that the bottles came with a super creepy note, probably something like: "This way I can finally be inside you."

3
Mark Bosnich Said He Was Only Doing Tons Of Coke To Scare His Girlfriend Into Getting Clean

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

The Damage:

Mark Bosnich was a successful Australian goalkeeper who's played for Manchester United and Chelsea, making over 42,000 pounds a week. Here's an American translation of that sentence: Mark Bosnich was a successful [cornerback] who's played for [the Cowboys] and [the Seahawks], making over [a buttload of money] a week. Unfortunately, he was also a coke addict. After failing a random drug test in 2002, he was sacked by his club and banned from professional sports for nine months.

The "Control":

Mark initially claimed that someone must have spiked his drink with coke at the club before the drug test, because that's a thing that happens. Bosnich then proceeded to hammer in that, for a goalkeeper, defense wasn't really his strong suit.

He claimed he started using drugs only after the test because he was being demonized by the media falsely accusing him of being a coke fiend. You know how it is: Someone lies about you having done something so to get back at them you go out and do that thing. But for some bizarre reason, people weren't buying any of this.

Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
"How dare you?! For all you know, that could all be the truth!"

That's when Bosnich decided to change tactics and blamed his addiction on his girlfriend. It was widely known that Mark's supermodel girlfriend, Sophie Anderton, had substance-abuse problems, so in 2003 he started telling various media outlets that his cocaine use was so serious because he really wanted to help his girlfriend quit:

"I told her that for every line of cocaine she would take, I would take two. And that's exactly what I did." His generosity seemed short-lived, however, as he was later arrested for assaulting Anderton and had also sold pictures of her to the press, presumably to help her quit smoking or something. This, naturally, didn't help his case in any way, and Bosnich never played in the Premier League [the NFL] ever again.

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2
Gary Hart Openly Challenged Reporters To Prove That He Was Having An Affair (They Succeeded)

Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Damage:

Gary Hart, a Democratic senator from Colorado, had a real chance of being the next president of the United States. He was young, charismatic, and often compared to Kennedy. Unfortunately, the resemblance between Hart and JFK was so spot-on that in 1987 rumors surfaced about the senator's love for women who weren't his wife, potentially threatening his presidential nomination.

The "Control":

Hart's response to the infidelity allegations was to challenge the journalists to literally follow him around to see that he wasn't having an affair. The first time he regretted those words was immediately after saying them and remembering that, oh yeah, he was having an affair.

Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wiki Commons
"Backsies?"

The second time came a few weeks later. On that day, after receiving an anonymous tip that Hart was with his mistress right then, reporters from the Miami Herald hid outside the senator's Washington home and caught him emerging from it with a blonde bombshell. However, Hart suddenly realized that he was being watched and ran back inside. The girl, Donna Rice, escaped through a back entrance, while Hart himself did something much, much stupider.

He put on a white hoodie, ran to his car, and proceeded to take the reporters on a chase straight out of ... Driving Miss Daisy. For a while, Hart just seemed to drive around for a bit, knowing he was being followed, and then he pulled over. He got out, walked into an alley, and waited for the reporters to come to him. That's about when Hart, out of options that would preserve his dignity at all, just ... gave them an interview. Correction: a spectacular disaster of an interview.

Brian Smith/Miami Herald
As seen by the reporter's "Really?" face.

When asked about Donna Rice, Hart's stance was basically "I don't have to explain myself to you people." And yes, this did instantly kill his chances of becoming president, but it also gave him a permanent place in history as the first presidential contender to be brought down by a sex scandal. Yay?

1
SeaWorld's Attempts To Refute Blackfish Were A Beautiful Spectacle Of Failure

Magnolia Pictures

The Damage:

Blackfish is a 2013 documentary that explains exactly why it was so important that we freed Willy. One of the film's claims is that killer whales don't handle captivity all that well, which causes them to live up to the first part of their name on other orcas and their trainers. The documentary did a lot of damage to SeaWorld's business model, and the company went absolutely bonkers in its attempt to regain public trust.

The "Control":

Shortly after the release of the documentary, the Orlando Business Journal posted an unscientific poll on its website to see if Blackfish had changed its readers' perceptions about SeaWorld. The Journal ended up reporting that a staggering 99 percent of voters had said no, it hadn't. But when the journal went to check the IP addresses of those who voted in their poll, 54 percent of the votes had come from SeaWorld's computer network. That's right: This multi-million-dollar corporation employed the same tactics 4chan used to make their admin Time Magazine's most influential person of 2009.

Magnolia Pictures
"If you could see my eyes, I'd be rolling that shit so hard right now."

Not yet content that they showed off their full range of internet illiteracy, in 2015 SeaWorld decided to host a Twitter AMA (ask me anything). But when the internet started asking really uncomfortable questions about the company's treatment of orcas, SeaWorld caused one of the greatest cringes in American history by accusing its detractors of being trolls and posting this image:

SeaWorld/Twitter
"Come on dudes, try being more on fleek!"

Their Twitter troubles didn't end there, as they didn't think about people having access to Google and the ability to fact-check whatever lie the company posted online. So when SeaWorld tweeted this cute picture ...

SeaWorld/Twitter

... readers quickly found out that the mother was residing at SeaWorld San Antonio and the calf had been shipped off to Spain. In the end, though, SeaWorld finally learned from its mistakes and announced in March 2016 that it would no longer breed orcas in captivity. See? Sometimes it's OK to just take the loss and move on.

For more people who could use a little help in the PR department, check out 5 Corporate Promotions That Ended In (Predictable) Disaster and 4 Tiny Mistakes That Turned Into Corporate PR Disasters.

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