aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Log Cabin skullduggery
A lot of people thought that Log Cabin’s refusal to endorse George W. Bush during the election campaign was some sort of turning point for the group...I rolled my eyes, knowing that any spine on the part of Log Cabin was a mere aberration. And here we are, just few months after Rove and Bush used the federal marriage amendment to gay-bash their way to re-election, and the Log Cabinites have announced they’re offering to help Bush push through his draconian social security privatization plan - perhaps because they’re quietly on the dole from the multinational corporations that would benefit under the plan. The Bushies are so desperate to light a fire under their dud of a “reform” plan - with Bush on a 60-day, 60-stop tour - you’d think they’d take all the help they can get. But so far, the only use they’ve had for gays in this effort has been to once again make them into Willie Hortons, using images of gay men to smear groups that oppose Bush. And that underscores how absolutely devoid of integrity and starved for validation the Log Cabinites really are.
And that’s just the beginning.
John and Arnold talk gay marriage
Fox’s John Gibson says gays and lesbians can’t get married because they can’t have kids and answers those who wonder then, what of those heterosexual couples who have paassed the age of procreation?
Gays can’t have kids...so by definition they’re out of the marriage game. In theory, so would couples who get married in their eighties. Chances are good that no kids come out of that holy union. But it is at least theoretically possible. Not so with gays.
Let’s all take a deep breath and change the channel. Earlier this week over on MSNBC Arnold Schwarzenegger said:
MATTHEWS: Are you happy with it if they decide to say it’s OK to have gay marriage in the state?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Absolutely. If the people decide-I’m the people’s representative. I am perfectly fine with that. The important thing that’s it’s the people that vote on it. The people have spoken before.
SCHWARZENEGGER: If they speak again and if they have changed their mind, because, remember, things change all the time. I think that as we go on, I think people will be feeling more comfortable with the idea of domestic partnership and also marriage.
I bet that didn’t make the Fox News crowd happy.
I rail against anonymous sources because they tend to degrade the information content of news stories in which they’re quoted. Most anonymice spin and leak selectively for political, personal, or institutional gain, and all the “balancing quotations” from other sources can never erase their taint. Nowhere is this more evident than in “official background briefings,” where government spokesmen put a flattering gloss on events for the captive press corps.
But he’s “not a fundamentalist about the issue” and points to criteria:
1) the reporting is so detailed as to be undeniable; 2) the public’s urgent need for the information trumps the petty objections of anonymice-haters such as me; and 3) the account exposes official wrongdoing.
Then applauds USA Today:
The idea that the enthusiastic slaughter of anonymice-especially the swill-serving ones who give official briefings-will somehow bring quality journalism to a standstill is disproved five days a week by USA Today, which operates under some of the toughest anonymous-source guidelines in the business. (See below for the paper’s guidelines.)
The newspaper doesn’t ban unnamed sources from its pages, but it does require the rigorous scrutiny of top editors whenever reporters include them in stories. The managing editor must know the identity of the source. He must believe the information provided by the source and have faith that it is authoritative and first-hand. Only rarely does an anonymous source clear those high bars at USA Today.
RELATED UPDATE From Romenesko:
A panel at the National Press Club discussed ways to deal with White House demands that background briefers not be identified by name...Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie says his paper won’t play along.
Michael Powell’s replacement
Although a Republican, [new FCC chair Kevin] Martin has also been described as a “swing vote” on the current FCC which is divided between both Democrats and Republicans.
Martin had been rummored to be at odds with outgoing Chair Michael Powell and had indeed defected on some key votes joining the two current Democratic members on the influential committee.
That’s hopeful. This, less so:
Broadcasting & Cable says new FCC chairboy Kevin Martin “does not believe that last year’s record-setting indecency fines did enough to discourage stations from airing shows inappropriate for kids.” He also wants to “use the agency’s pulpit to persuade broadcasters to voluntarily dedicate an hour of prime time each night to family-friendly programming.”