Friday, August 31, 2007

Larry Craig outing legitimate?

Newsweek has a point-counterpoint interview with two gay journalists on whether Larry Craig should have been "outed". I'm not impressed with the idea of trotting out two gay journalists, as if only like can report on like. But Chris Crain does make a good point about the sanctimonious viciousness of some gay activists:

I'm no defender of public sex, but "outing" activists don't limit their call for such media probes to cases like Craig's. [...] Closeted gay men aren't the only targets of these outing activists. They will go after anyone whose private sex life is, according to them, inconsistent with their public views. In some cases, "outing" activists [...] have gone after nonpoliticians and even openly gay and pro-gay public figures if their private sex lives are deemed inconsistent with their public views. Anonymous ads on online sex sites have been exposed, and the claims of alleged past sex partners have been sought and published. These activists have no boundaries when it comes to the private sex lives of public figures, and they would drag the media into the bedrooms, toilets and phone-sex chat lines with them. It's not legitimate journalism, it invades the privacy of public figures, and (whether they realize it or not) it smears gay people generally by reinforcing the idea that we're all out there furtively looking for anonymous sex.

Of course, there's no reason to be scared of "outing activists", so long as you have nothing to hide. They would surely never lie about anyone, would they? Especially not in these high-speed media days, where an accusation made is an accusation proved? Sure sounds like it's not the inmates, but the brownshirts, who are sporting the pink triangles here.

As for Craig himself, my sympathies and best of luck to him, if he's innocent. If he's really been involved in the "tea room scene", then..."When a man is down, 'down with him!'" Guess we'll see soon enough.

Your First Things tie-in: Richard John Neuhaus and Jody Bottum and crew have been writing about homosexuality rather extensively in recent years, in part because of their election-year run-ins with Andrew Sullivan. But, here's some linky goodness that will get you into plenty of thought-provoking older articles, too.

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