Rather's Discrimination; Banned in Boston by Liberal Intolerance?
1) Dan Rather
characterized quotas and preferences as "programs designed to
fight discrimination;" not its definition.
2) The Boston
Globe's only local conservative columnist condemned for daring to
cross the PC gay rights line by questioning their tolerance for
3) Fox makes an
"improvement" to Tuesday's choice of specials.
>>> This Just
In: Connie ("Just between you and me") Chung is back with a
network: ABC News has hired her to work on Prime Time Live and 20/20.
The Washington Post's John Carmody reports in the November 4 paper:
"Network sources say Chung is ticketed for an anchor position
eventually and her starting salary, believed to be in the $2 million
range, would be high for a correspondent." <<<
Monday night, of the broadcast networks, only the CBS Evening News let
viewers know of the Supreme Court decision letting stand California's
proposition banning racial preferences in state programs. But Dan
Rather delivered the news wrapped in the language of liberals opposed
to the anti-discrimination law.
Noting that the Supreme Court announced rulings Monday on both lie
detector tests and the California law, Rather declared:
"First, about the big setback for
affirmative action. The high court today upheld California's ban on
programs designed to fight discrimination against women and minorities
on the job and in school admissions..."
in Boston" used to refer to conservative intolerance. Now liberal
tolerance is in short supply.
couple of weeks ago Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's only conservative
columnist, wrote a piece on how liberals at Harvard have little
tolerance for those who believe someone can leave the gay lifestyle.
Jacoby had disagreed with the contention that those saying you can
leave the gay lifestyle are no different than Nazis advocating the
elimination of Jews. "Diversity," he suggested,
"includes ex-gays, too."
Condemnation came Monday with a very harsh attack on Jacoby from the
Globe's Ombudsman, who concluded his criticism of Jacoby: "Was
his column on Oct. 23 offensive? Yes. Should it have been published?
Yes. But it's a high price to pay for freedom of the press."
Crossing the politically correct line on gay rights is a sure way to
be ostracized at a major media outlet like the Globe, which is owned
by the New York Times Company. (The New York Times syndicate
distributes Jacoby's columns, so even of you are outside of Boston you
may be familiar with his work.)
Jacoby's column delivered a plea for tolerance, but it outraged a
couple of left-wing gay thought police on the Globe staff. One of
those upset, copy editor Bob Hardman, I understand, owns all or part
of Out magazine. Jacoby told me that he fears that what is being set
in motion is an attempt to stifle him for good: "Other newspapers
may be able to tolerate a multiplicity of views, but at the Boston
Globe, the PC radicals are so strong that they will not permit even a
single conservative. Having succeeded in triggering an ombudsman
attack on me this time, I can only imagine what they will try the next
time I offend them."
Judge for yourself the appropriateness of the reaction to the original
column. Instead of offering an edited version, I think it's best to
let you read the whole thing. Whether you approach the issue from a
socially conservative view that it's a matter of choice and
environment or from a more libertarian view, as I do, with sympathy
for the position that being gay is usually an orientation beyond one's
control, I'm confident you'll find nothing offensive about what Jacoby
wrote in his October 23 column. Copyright 1997 by the Globe Newspaper
Company. (* = italics)
Where's the Tolerance Now?
By Jeff Jacoby
There still are Christians at
Harvard, and some of them thought that National Coming Out Day, when
homosexuality is celebrated and "closeted" gays are urged to
reveal themselves, might be a good moment to communicate a contrary
message. So the Society for Law, Life & Religion at Harvard Law
School scheduled a panel discussion to mark "National Coming Out
of Homosexuality Day" -- to offer, in its words, "a message
of compassion and hope for those homosexuals who desperately seek a
way to leave the lifestyle of self-destruction behind."
The Society for Law, Life
& Religion comprises traditional Christians who hold the
traditional Judeo-Christian view that homosexual behavior is sinful
and unhealthy. They also maintain the traditional Judeo-Christian
distinction -- recently underscored in a pastoral letter from the
National Conference of Catholic Bishops -- between having a
homosexual *orientation,* which is usually not freely chosen and
therefore not sinful, and engaging in homosexual *activity,* which is
a matter of free will. Young people who feel the orientation are often
deeply conflicted about engaging in the activity; it was to them that
the Society for Law, Life & Religion directed its message.
"For those struggling
with homosexuality, there is hope in the truth," it announced in
posters tacked up all over campus. "You *can* walk away."
The posters gave the time and place of the National Coming Out of
Homosexuality presentation, noted that it was "sponsored by the
HLS Society for Law, Life & Religion," and added: "Open
to the entire Harvard community. (Harvard ID will be required for
Within 24 hours, most of the
SLLR posters were torn down or mutilated. In their place appeared new
posters, identically laid out but bearing a different message.
"For those struggling
with Judaism, there is hope in the truth. You *can* walk away. (To the
gas chambers.) The National Coming Out of Diversity Day. Sponsored by
the HLS Society for Law, Loathing & Hate."
There was more. "Open to
the entire Harvard community," the forged posters read.
"Except you. Yes, the Jewish-looking kid. Or you Black and Asian
guys. Or you, wearing the pink triangle. No, on second thought, keep
wearing the pink triangle. (American Nazi Party ID will be required
for admission. Non-Aryans will be required to present proof of
non-mongrel ancestry for at least four generations.) Bring your own
It would be soothing to think
that this vicious mockery was an aberration. But in bastions of the
Left from Harvard to Hollywood, it is routine. Dare to suggest that
homosexuality may not be something to celebrate, and instantly you are
a Nazi, a hatemonger, a gas-chamber operator. Offer to share the
teachings of Christianity or Judaism with students "struggling
with homosexuality," and you become as vile as a Ku Kluxer, as
despicable as David Duke. Decline to esteem homosexuality as a key
aspect of human "diversity," and you become the object of
vitriolic name-calling and fury.
When the Harvard "Coming
Out of Homosexuality" event took place, gay activists thronged
the entrance, many wearing t-shirts or holding signs demanding,
"Stop the hate!" But why is it hate to propose that people
"struggling with homosexuality" may be able, with the help
of friends and religious faith, to live a non-homosexual life?
"Because it isn't possible!" shout the activists.
It *is* possible.
One of the speakers at the
Harvard roundtable was Michael Johnston, president of Kerusso
Ministries in Newport News, Va. Much of his story sounds like a
typical coming-out experience. Growing up in Alaska, he was very shy
and a late bloomer. He went through adolescence never quite feeling
that he fit in with other boys, yearning to get his confused emotions
sorted out. In college, he was drawn to a group of theater students,
in whose company he felt comfortable enough to experiment with sex.
"A friend introduced me to homosexuality," he says.
Attracted by the pleasure of the experience, he spent 11 years as an
out and active gay man.
If Johnston's tale ended
there, gay activists would embrace him today as one more stripe in the
rainbow of human sexual diversity. But it continues. In 1986, he
learned he was HIV-positive. "That really caused me to stop and
reevaluate my life. I kept thinking about the Christianity of my
childhood. Eventually I decided I could not live as a Christian and be
an active homosexual." In 1988, Johnston rejected the sexual
identity he had previously embraced. "Today, I can tell you I am
not the man I was in 1986."
There is no hate in
Johnston's story. He doesn't berate gays, or mock them, or demand that
they renounce homosexuality. He knows that many gays are content and
happy with their lives. He also knows that many are not.
"All I say is: 'Here's
my story. This is what happened to me. It may be something you'd like
" Some questions: How
was inviting this man to speak at Harvard analogous to sending Jews to
gas chambers? Isn't his experience also an element of human
"diversity?" And what does it say about gay advocates, who
so loudly champion tolerance and freedom of sexual choice, that they
are so poisonously intolerant of people who make a choice different
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist
for the Boston Globe. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org).
Now, here's the response, bannered across the
top of the November 3 op-ed page, from newly ensconced Globe ombudsman
Jack Thomas who is supposed to be a reader advocate independent of the
paper's staff. Again, copyright 1997 by the Globe Newspaper Company.
Should a Column that Targeted
Homosexuals Have Been Published?
By Jack Thomas
To anyone who reads letters
to the editor, it is no secret that Boston's gay community loathes the
work of Jeff Jacoby, who from time to time has used his column on the
op-ed page to deride gay men and lesbians in language that is often
intolerant, frequently overbearing, and sometimes downright insulting.
From the time Jacoby was
hired in 1994 to provide a conservative balance to the Globe's
notoriously left-leaning stable of columnists, his relationship with
gay members of the staff has been fractious. The gods must have a
sense of humor, though, for both of Jacoby's copy editors are gay
The feud simmered to a boil
in 1994 after two homophobic columns by Jacoby, one of which argued
that gays are united by nothing more than sexual desire -- as if gay
relationships are not emotional, heterosexual relationships not
In response, 15 members of
the staff petitioned the editor of the page, David Greenway:
"Free speech," they said, "is not a license for the
Globe to purvey bigotry or hatred."
After hearing them, Greenway
told Jacoby it was appropriate to criticize gays for actions, but not
merely for being gay.
The uneasy truce that ensued
was broken Oct. 23 when Jacoby wrote a column that chastised gays for
attempting to thwart a panel discussion by a Christian group at
Harvard that wanted to lure gays to the heterosexual life.
Posters promoting the event
had been torn down and replaced by hate signs, but the discussion
itself was not interrupted by gays or anyone else.
The column Jacoby submitted
made op-ed page editor Marjorie Pritchard uncomfortable, and she
referred it to Greenway. Jacoby's copy editors, Peter Accardi and
Robert Hardman, were incensed. They argued that the column was
insulting, that it violated the rule imposed by Greenway.
Hardman wrote to Greenway:
"Can you think of any other article we've printed that's based on
a negative judgment about a group of people because of a
characteristic that is either inborn or formed very early in
Judging the column to be
within bounds, Greenway refused to kill it, and it was published under
a headline: "Where's the tolerance now?"
"I would hope our
editorial position always argues for the rights of gays and
others," he says. "But I think the op-ed page should be just
that, opposite, and that it ought to have a broader range of opinions
than our editorial position.
"We lean over backwards
not to interfere with columnists. In this case, for better or worse,
what he's saying is mainstream, similar to the position of the
Catholic Church. It's not some wacko neo-Nazi position. The thrust of
the column was to attack those at Harvard who would not let others
speak. If the facts are accurate, the column is within bounds."
Alas, however, the facts are
not so clear. In the column, Jacoby merges the defacement of posters,
which is intolerant behavior, with the panel discussion, which was
peaceful. Jacoby did not attend the meeting, but by means of
rhetorical devices -- "gay activists thronged the entrance"
Jacoby left some readers with an impression the meeting had been
Globe correspondent Mac Davis
recalls that it was peaceful. "I never witnessed any protest or
anything less than civility." Ariel R. Frank, a
reporter for the Harvard Crimson says the debate was noisy, but that
nobody interfered with anybody's right to speak.
Jacoby, meanwhile, bristles
at complaints by gay colleagues. "A lot of gay activists think
that any point of view different from theirs is not only wrong, but so
illegitimate and beneath contempt that it doesn't even deserve to be
considered. I know up front that if I want to write about this topic,
I have to be prepared to run a gauntlet and to jump a lot of hurdles
-- not among the readers, who I think mostly agree with me, but right
here inside the Globe.
"I don't want to pick a
fight with these guys. They're my copy editors -- I need their good
will and they need my trust. But I do feel a chilling effect, and I'm
afraid that's exactly what they want me to feel.
"I can assure you that
on no topic -- not race, not the death penalty, not multiculturalism,
not welfare -- are you made to endure as much fury as you have to
endure if you say anything on this topic that is considered
For now, Jacoby's columns
about homosexuality will be judged case by case.
Was his column on Oct. 23
Should it have been
But it's a high price to pay
for freedom of the press.
Allowing conservative views on an op-ed page.
Imagine that. Quite a "price to pay for freedom of the
Globe Web site only allows free access to two day's worth of papers,
which is why I ran these columns in full here since one is not on the
site and the other will soon be gone, but I'll give it a plug anyway
for those who might want to see if any follow-up letters or articles
Even Fox has standards, sort of. Check TV Guide or the TV listing
magazine carried in your Sunday newspaper and it won't match what is
really on Fox Tuesday night at 9pm ET. MRC entertainment analyst Tom
Johnson alerted me to this item in the just-published November 3
Broadcasting & Cable magazine:
"Fox opted to pull one of its infamous
specials off the schedule before it even aired. 'Prisoners Caught on
Tape' -- originally scheduled for Nov. 4 -- was yanked from the sweeps
lineup after the higher-ups got a load of its content. One high-level
executive called it the worst television he's ever seen, an insider
says. Fox will replace it with the not-so-gritty 'World's Deadliest
Much better. Only on Fox
could something called the World's Deadliest Swarms ("Birds, bees
and more" is how the November 4 Washington Post describes it) be
considered a programming upgrade.
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