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    October 11, 2006

    'Ass of the Year'

    Posted by: Chris

    Elephantass When Mark Foley entered politics, he probably dreamed that one day he might make the cover of Time magazine.  Maybe he didn't expect "Man of the Year" honors, but I guarantee he never imagined a story on him would make the cover, illustrated with a photo of an elephant's ass.

    Time's report on the scandal confirmed that the mainstream media are beginning to probe the role gay Republians played when they learned about the Foley's inappropriate contact with male pages:

    A whisper campaign has been launched in Washington to blame an internal culprit [for the Foley scandal]: a "velvet mafia" at the upper levels of GOP leadership on Capitol Hill.  Foley, that line of argument went, had been protected by gay staff members like [Kirk] Fordham, [Jeff] Trandahl and others whose names were being widely circulated.  Says a top aide: "It looks like they may have tried to handle this among themselves because they were similarly situated."

    Note that Time doesn't identify the names of the other top gay GOP aides, even though their "names were widely circulated."  If there's to be a silver lining to the whole Foley mess, hopefully it will rewrite the rules about when to report on a gay person's sexual orientation.  (There is, of course, no restriction on when the press reports someone's heterosexual orientation, whether they are a public official or even a public figure.)

    If there are senior Republican aides who were aware of Foley's "page problem" and didn't act on it because, at least in part, they are gay also, then their sexual orientation is front-and-center newsworthy and reporting the mere fact of their homosexuality does not violate their privacy.

    It's long past time the media applied the same rules to deciding when a gay person's sexual orientation is relevant as they do a straight person's. If they did, we woudn't learn so often that a public figure is gay when they are mired in a seedy sex scandal, and using their sexual orientation to explain away their marital infidelity (James McGreevey) or to blunt suggestions they are a pedophile (Mark Foley).



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    1. Nursing gowns on Jun 30, 2010 1:21:11 AM:

      Hmm Time is a great book! Hmm is it a book or a magazine?
      Like it!

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