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    August 30, 2007

    Newsweek debate with Mike Signorile

    Posted by: Chris

    070830_craigoutingqa_widehlarge As promised, Newsweek has posted my debate with Michelangelo Signorile about the ethics and effectiveness of outing, in the light of the Larry Craig scandal.  They headlined it "Legitimate Journalism or Witch Hunt?" I'll let you guess who took what side…

    Take a look and let me know what you think…

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    Comments

    1. Double T on Aug 31, 2007 1:00:50 AM:

      If we want to be accepted, we are going to have to stop "hiding" and playing games. It's a brave new world, the idea of "secrets" is going out of fashion.
      You want to see the future, it called FULL DISCLOSURE.

    1. Kevin on Aug 31, 2007 8:07:08 AM:

      Chris - As always I like the forcefulness of your views, and the fact that you are REALLY swimming against the popular tide, as everyone is gleeful about this episode it seems except for Craig and his family. I'm not sure I agree about whether the media should ignore something like a right-wing politician's profile on Manhunt, for example. That said, Larry Flynt and Mike Rogers sleazing around looking to destroy people for political reasons is no better than Peter LaBarbera's trolling around leather S/M events with a video camera to scare middle America about "The Gay Agenda". There's a middle ground in there somewhere. I do like, though, that your basis is to defend our privacy, the right to struggle along in our lives as best we can without being harassed. I guess, at the same time, we'll have to be ready to own up to everything we do in life, even the things we regret. That isn't a bad thing to strive for.

      Double T: Speaking of full disclosure, how about telling us who you are? Fucking hypocrite.

    1. Sean on Aug 31, 2007 12:28:41 PM:

      You picked witch hunt. How did I know? LOL. Just kidding.

      I actually agree with what you said. Michael is relooking at how this situation was handled.

      http://signorile2003.blogspot.com/

      The media look to him like they look to Al Sharpton in the black community. Michael has given them his blessing to go all out on this story. They have run with it and have portrayed gay men as lurking in bathrooms.

      These stings are just another way to criminalized gay people. You don't hear police departments cracking down on public sex by opposite-sex couples even though it's rampant.

      Have you been working out? You look more muscular than a few years ago.

    1. ? on Aug 31, 2007 1:06:12 PM:

      Chris Crain can not see the importance of outing a man who demonizes homosexuals and has a zero HRC rating ... meaning he has backed everything to a Constitutional Amendment making gays second class citizent to Dont Ask Dont Tell. It is very sad that someone like Chris Crain could use his obvious financial blessing to work against the gay community ... but standing against outing again and again he does just that. A very spoiled rich white Republican. Craig did what he did for power and prestige and money. Crain has the same goals. (Of course he whines he could have be sooo much more successful if he had worked in the gay press field.) As always a sad pathetic man.

    1. RJP3 on Aug 31, 2007 1:08:17 PM:

      THE BOTTOM line when reading Mr Crain's BS - is that people should be able to hide who they - so they can PROFIT from hypocrisy.

      After all ... he is a Gay Republican.

    1. Scott on Aug 31, 2007 4:48:40 PM:

      Is it "Journalism or a Witchhunt?"

      Yes.

      I think both Signorile and Crain are describing journalism. One is akin to muckraking and the other to a more traditional/responsible form of journalism.

      Both are needed and the tension between them is good to keep either extreme from going too far/not far enough.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Aug 31, 2007 5:23:06 PM:

      The thing that was best in it, in my opinion, was your pointing out the enormous amount of time that the Idaho Statesman basically wasted, including sinking so low into the journalistic pit that they had to interview an anonymous source from fourteen years ago.

      And to reiterate Kevin's point, don't you love the people who demand that everyone be "outed", but who post under anonymous names? I guess they're not ready to own up to what they do in private......

    1. adamblast on Aug 31, 2007 5:36:33 PM:

      I was impressed that you and Mike focused on your common ground as much as your disagreements. A pleasure to read, and a thoughtful analysis. I think I land more on Mike's side than yours; I"m not going to help anyone with their closets, glass or otherwise.

    1. Kevin on Aug 31, 2007 7:08:15 PM:

      NDT: Yes, and all the Double T's, ?'s and RJP3s tend do be the same a-h. God bored posting "bump" on datalounge all day and decided to piss over here instead.

      The day SOMEONE, anyone, who comes on here to assail Chris in that manner has the manhood to identify himself (or herself), is the day any of us should give a shit what they think.

    1. Kevin on Aug 31, 2007 7:09:20 PM:

      (One of these days I will learn to type)

    1. Terrance on Sep 1, 2007 9:50:31 AM:

      On the outing debate, I'm somewhat torn. But when it comes to someone like Craig, who never met a piece of anti-gay legislation he didn't like, I'm less conflicted.

    1. Double T on Sep 1, 2007 2:01:20 PM:

      Kev-
      1)I don't think I have ever "attack" Crain on this post(or elsewhere ) as person. I may disagree with this opinion.
      2)I have sent Crain emails on the side. He should know who I am.
      3)It alarms me at the level of rage/hate some people post.
      4)If I were a staffer at the White House would you forgive me? How about at HRC?

    1. DrBehavior on Sep 2, 2007 6:19:55 AM:

      I'm not sure why some contributors seems so insistent on choosing to discuss only the most extreme components of any of the commentaries posted here and doing so with a tone of either condescension or sarcasm. Insofar as I'm concerned, often it's the tone and tenor of the discussion - as sometimes evidenced here - that, in and of itself, has curtailed the social progress for all Gay people, left- and/or right-leaning politically and in and out of the proverbial closet. When (or should I say 'if') the time arrives that we can all avail ourselves of civil public discourse, devoid of rudeness and devoid of the need to be heard as being infallibly correct or 'superior' to others, that will be the first day of the rest of our lives. That is, we will all feel that we are putting forth our thoughts in a reasonable and safe forum - with a sincere desire to persuade others - without fear of becoming involved in some sort of acrimonious verbal combat. We’ll then be assured that the tactics once used to malign and destroy us are not being resurrected and rendered acceptable to use against others (even Gay People amongst us) that don’t concur precisely with our point of view. All I know, in retrospect, is that the whole ’Senator Craig’ fiasco sickens me period. I wished that if he were going to be ’destroyed’ as viciously as he has been - that there had been considerably more evidence against him. I suppose I also wish that if Mr. Craig’s to be so thoroughly maligned that his entire career had been one that might be held up to public ridicule. That’s not the case and we truly don’t know the whole entire story - what I do know is that I don’t agree that public figures ought to remain in office when they espouse a wholly disparate point of view from the life they choose to live while simultaneously acknowledging that in this case, like so many others, as I said, I’d feel a whole lot better if there were more convincing evidence and more reliable sources.
      With regard to Mr. Vitter and the Mr. Vitters of the world, well he and they truly are the personification of the very duplicitous nature of our society as a whole. It serves to remind us in resounding fashion that we have a longer climb ahead of us than most would care to admit and that for all the progress we’ve made the Straights are still winning the race at our expense.

    1. Amicus on Sep 3, 2007 11:26:23 AM:

      Two thoughts:

      1. To do "journalism" ignoring the social context in which it is occuring is probably just irresponsible.

      You could call it "journalism", say, to write a note that Anne Frank is living in the upstairs attic, but would it be responsible?


      2. What passes as "just reporting" on most non-gay sexuality "issues" that make it into the press is lurid overlook, yes?

      Is it at all admirable to merely mimic a standard so questionable?

      Even if you agree with a higher standard (or *any* standard, really), such as socially harmful hypocrisy, then who decides? The reason it might be a "witch hunt" isn't that the inquiry may not have merit, but that people are inherently uncomfortable with other people conducting 'kiss and tell', who are accountable in no way to "The People", such as a magistrate might be.

      Last, just how 'effective' is 'outing'/'reporting', in terms of gay rights or the civil rights movement in general? Can we ask this, in addition to whether it is the right thing to do? How much is it really making a difference and how much is it just a feel good factor?

      It seems to me that one could debate ad nauseum whether the expectation of privacy involved in public - yes, public - sexual conduct is trumped by some broader notion. However one ends up slicing that apple (and there do seem to be legitimate, competing objectives), it is not clear that big, gleeful, exposes are the only or right approach. Often, one can get a lot done simply by presenting an individual with information that has been found out and asking them to please cease or desist whatever it is that you'd like to have stop.

    1. Spike on Sep 3, 2007 3:34:00 PM:

      It's the hipocrisy that's the issue at hand. Do I care if Merv Griffin got a bj? NO. David Vitter? YES. If someone is being two-faced about a bj or a toilet encounter, what else are they being two-face about? Go after me and I'll go after you.

    1. Maureen on Sep 9, 2007 8:34:44 PM:

      I'm late to the party, but I thought I'd tell you how good I thought the debate was. Somewhere in the middle, but leaning toward Signorile's side because I hate hypocrisy (unless I'm the one committing it), you won me over with the following:

      But the end doesn't justify the means.

      It so often comes down to that.

      Nice job, Chris.

    1. Kevin on Sep 9, 2007 8:47:29 PM:

      TT - shall I remind you of one of your many posts on here:

      "Kevin, what's a matter? Did I get some dirt on your little picture of Hitler, hangning next to your little picture of Reagan?"

      That was just one little ditty.

      Like I said before: hypocrite.

      And it doesn't matter if Chris "should" know who you are. As long as you continue lurking anonymously on here attacking and baiting people in the comments section (not to mention your attacks on Chris personally), then all your holier-than-thou hot air about "full disclosure" rings hollow. I also have no clue what your question to me means. If you think being cryptic equals being clever, you're wrong.

    1. Double T on Sep 10, 2007 1:46:14 PM:

      Kev,
      This blog is not about ME.
      If I offended you. Sorry.

      If I've offended Mr.Crain, I apoligize.

      I'll try harder to take the high road.

      Making All the Difference
      Craig would be replaced with a Rep. Gov.
      Vitter would be replaced
      with a Dem Gov.


    1. Kevin on Sep 11, 2007 3:36:15 PM:

      No, it isn't about you. But your views, your attacks and your statements are yours. And when they are used to bait people who post on here, and to call out public figures for the fact that they conceal or lie about who they are...well, the rest is obvious.

      And no need to tell us what you think is most important in all of this. It was obvious from the beginning that's all you care about.

    1. Double T on Sep 11, 2007 6:44:14 PM:

      Kev, when I used the words FULL DISCLOSURE, I was, of course, talking about people who hold public office. I’m still a private citizen. Why you obsess over who everyone is amazes me. Could I not just lie to you? Give you some fake name from Cedar Rapids, IA or Sarasota, FL. What would be the point?

      In an earlier blog, I mentioned the Holocaust, perhaps the worst crime the 20th century has seen. You came back with a bitchy comment that I interpreted as thinly veiled anti-Semitism. Millions of people lost their lives and to you it’s one more trivial thing to roll your eyes at. Shame on you; and shame on me for apologizing to your bigotry. My mistake. And please, the only one doing the baiting here is you, Kev.

      Chris Crain. I do respect the guy. I don’t always agree with him. I reserve the right to challenge his thoughts. Chris has caused me to double check some of my beliefs. Have I attacked Mr. Crain? I don’t think so. And, well hell, he’s big boy and more than capable of defending himself.

      Next, do I belong to any national organizations that promote the GLBT community? Yes, I do. Am I authorized to speak for them? No. Hence I did not include the name. These are solely my opinions. Am I a democrat? Yes. But it should also be noted that I am pushing for this organization to do a better job of reaching out to gay conservatives. Didn’t see that one coming did you?

      I did ask this blog, if Hillary Clinton were involved in a same sex scandal. And you had all the proof, would you out her? Or stick to your principals? ( I’m speaking to all those opposed to the act of “outing”).

      If Sen. Craig were about to pass a bill that would financial ruin Mr. Crain. And Mr. Crain’s only avenue of salvation would be to out Sen. Craig, would the blog have read “No Joy in Mudville”.

      Mr. Crain is this a fair question or am I being unreasonable?

      And yes, I think I do understand that using someone’s orientation as a “weapon” to destroy them is something you find offensive. And destroying someone’s career/life/family is not a trivial affair.

    1. Kevin on Sep 11, 2007 8:10:09 PM:

      Kinda slack jawed reading that nonsense. I'm done with this person until he identifies himself.

    1. Double T on Sep 12, 2007 3:26:06 AM:

      Kev,
      Thank you

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