There was a rap song entitled, “Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury” and there’s few worse examples of gross hypocrisy that the number of closeted conservative politicians who privately enjoy the gay lifestyle, but publicly vote against any legislation that is remotely gay-friendly.
Filmmaker Kirby Dick debuted his film Outrage this week at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival which name checks several current and former political figures whom have actively worked against gay rights. Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angles Times writes, “I know what you’re thinking. If you’ve seen the film, spill it already. So who does he out? Dick’s targets include Florida’s current governor, Charlie Crist, who was viewed for a time as a front-runner to be John McCain’s vice-presidential pick; David Dreier (R-San Dimas), who was once a leading candidate for the House majority leader post when the Republicans still controlled Congress; Ken Mehlman, George Bush’s campaign manager during the 2004 election and former Republican National Committee chairman; former New York City mayor Ed Koch; the now-retired Idaho Sen. Larry Craig; Jim McCrery (R-La.), a ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee who retired last year; Ed Schrock (R-Va.), who retired in 2004; and — gasp — the prominent Fox News anchor Shepard Smith. “
The unfortunately named Dick doesn’t name any down low lesbians (Senator Barbara Mikulski?) at all and only goes hunting for closeted conservative gay men whom he considers traitors for working against other gays.
Outing someone who hasn’t come out voluntarily is a morally debatable decision. Nobody should be forced to join another’s crusade, but activists such as Larry Kramer and Michelangelo Signorile defend the practice. Both men are interviewed in Outrage along with former New Jersey governor Jim McGreeveyand two openly gay members of Congress, Democrats Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin.
It’s safe to guess Charlie Crist and the other Republicans named by Dick will dismiss him as a left-wing hitman grinding his axe, but the film also attacks the news media for their own “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and how it protects politicians who legislate against a lifestyle they privately participate in.
Strictly speaking, as a practice, outing makes me uncomfortable. As a journalist it would be completely unethical to reveal the details of someones private life unless it is somehow relevant to the story. When someone like Senator Larry Craig gets caught in a compromising position and goes to extraordinary lengths to deny his homosexuality he makes it relevant. But it’s not the job of reporters to serve as a crusading force against hypocritical politicians indulging in the pleasures privately they rail against publicly.
Still as a firm believer in “speaking truth to power” there’s few things as satisfying in catching a politician in a lie and closeted conservatives who wage war against others who share their sexual orientation are big liars.
I’m repulsed by self-hating Negroes such as Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, or Ward Connerly who casually throw African-Americans under the bus if it pleases the White conservatives who pay their speaking fees, buy their books and underwrite their political ambitions. I do get it that Dick thinks closeted conservatives are enemies of gay rights too and deserve to be pitched under a rolling bus.
Outragegoes into wider distribution after it premiere at Tribeca. It doesn’t sound like the type of film that is designed to draw in big crowds looking for a little escapist entertainment. It does sound like the type of movie that could make all the right people extremely uncomfortable.
You don’t have to be gay to enjoy the thought of right-wing hypocrites squirming like a kid with a weak bladder.
Bill Hicks, the late comedian once mused, “Speaking of Satan, I was watching Rush Limbaugh the other day. Doesn’t Rush Limbaugh remind you of one of those gay guys who likes to lay in a tub while other men pee on him?”
Gee, he does like sucking on big brown cigars and while sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, sometimes it’s not…