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I've been reporting from inside the belly of the beast since the beginning of the convention here in New York.

I've been doing three hours on Sirius Satellite Radio's OutQ - the nation's only LGBT Nationwide 24/7 Radio Station.

We've been cornering folks and going after them on LGBT Issues.

Today, we got David Dreier to come on one of the shows and asked him what he thought about Ed Schrock and why he voted for the Marriage Protection Act.  We ended it by asking him why there were so many rumors about him being gay.  He pretended like it wasn't asked, so we said - Mr. Dreier, are you gay?  Still refused - are you heterosexual?  Finally he says, I'm not going to get into those types of things.

So, we're on the trail of more closet cases that are anti-gay.

Read the story about Alan Keyes going after Mary Cheney.  Michaelangelo Signorile and me have been tracking these nutcases down and going after them.  

I was able to pitch this and feed it to the Chicago Tribune.

You can listen to us live from the convention at - just click on the big orange button that says LISTEN TO SIRIUS OUTQ LIVE.

Apologies for this diary being so long, I usually just read on this site and don't really post much.  So if I didn't use the proper protocol, forgive me.

Corey Johnson

Keyes defends comments about Cheney's gay daughter

By Jennifer Skalka and Ofelia Casillas
Tribune staff reporters
Published August 31, 2004, 10:40 PM CDT

NEW YORK -- Madison Square Garden, home of many prizefights and hockey brawls, seems a fitting venue for Alan Keyes to be meeting his fellow Republicans.

The candidate for U.S. Senate has miffed many members of the Illinois delegation by spending more time on national talk shows than schmoozing with them.

He has been prickly with the media, chastising reporters for asking "inappropriate" questions.

As the Republican National Convention focused on unity Tuesday, Keyes lashed out at the vice president's gay daughter.

And it was only the second day of the convention.

Keyes' first comments about Mary Cheney came during an interview Monday night on Sirius OutQ, a New York-based satellite station that provides 24-hour gay and lesbian programming.

After Keyes told the hosts that homosexuality is "selfish hedonism," he was asked whether Mary Cheney is a "selfish hedonist."

"Of course she is," Keyes replied. "That goes by definition. Of course she is."

On Tuesday, Keyes defended his remarks, adding that if his daughter were a lesbian, he would tell her she was committing a sin and should pray about it.

Thus far, Keyes' week has been defined by friction with his state party chairwoman and the Illinois delegation, who feel they're playing second fiddle to Keyes' media campaign. Some have also expressed concerns about Keyes' beliefs, calling them too far right for Illinois.

Keyes is challenging Democrat Barack Obama, who wowed his party's national convention with his keynote address.

Illinois Republican Party Chairwoman Judy Baar Topinka said Keyes' remarks about Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter shouldn't distract from key election issues.

"It's a pity that we have gotten away from the substance of the campaign and instead have gotten into personalities and things that are personal and name-calling," Topinka said. "Since this is amongst Republicans, it really needs to stop and get on course."

When informed of Keyes' comments about Mary Cheney, Bush/Cheney campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt offered a terse reply Tuesday.

"It was inappropriate," he said.

Campaigning in North Middleton Township, Pa., with President Bush, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spoke to reporters about Republican chances to hold the Senate and said, "I think it's clear we lose Illinois."

Informed about Keyes' comments about Mary Cheney, McCain said, "I don't think that's appropriate, but it's not the first inappropriate remark Mr. Keyes has made. He made a remark the other day that people who perform abortions are the same as terrorists. That's a very unique take on that issue and one that's very seldom espoused."

For the last two days, Keyes has frequented Radio Row, a hallway in the Garden occupied by talk show hosts. Keyes, who had his own radio show in the 1990s, appeared comfortable there, stopping for interviews when asked.

Two hosts with Sirius OutQ spoke with Keyes for four minutes Monday night in a nearby hallway. Their conversation centered on Keyes' opposition to gay marriage. Keyes said family is defined by having children.

"If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it's possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism," Keyes told hosts Michelangelo Signorile and Corey Johnson.

It was at this point that the hosts asked Keyes their question about Mary Cheney, which Keyes answered.

An interviewer then said: "I don't think Dick Cheney would like to hear that about his daughter."

Replied Keyes: "Dick Cheney may or many not like to hear the truth, but it can be spoken."

When asked Tuesday evening to explain his statements about Mary Cheney, Keyes did not back down.

"I have said that if you are actively engaging in homosexual relations, those relations are about selfish hedonism," Keyes said. "If my daughter were a lesbian, I'd look at her and say, `That is a relationship that is based on selfish hedonism.' I would also tell my daughter that it's a sin, and she needs to pray to the Lord God to help her to deal with that sin."

Rick Garcia, director of Equality Illinois, a non-partisan gay rights group, said Keyes' views are not representative of the state's Republicans nor Democrats.

"Selfish hedonism? Has anyone seen Dr. Keyes look at a microphone or a television camera? That's hedonism," Garcia said. "The mainstream of the Illinois Republican Party is not behind Dr. Keyes."

Keyes attempted to build bridges Tuesday with the Illinois delegation. But a breakfast gathering ended messily for Keyes as he chastised reporters for not giving his candidacy a fair shake and left early.

Topinka had welcomed Keyes to a Times Square hotel for his first delegate breakfast. She said there was room under the Republican Party's tent for different beliefs, but added that a far-right candidate would not win in Illinois.

"Without social moderates this party cannot win," Topinka told a few reporters before she and Keyes shook hands for the cameras. "It has to be center-right, it can't be right-right."

When Topinka and Keyes greeted each other, the exchange was brief and awkward. It ended strangely, as Topinka ducked out, dashing behind a ficus plant.

"There you go," she said to Keyes. "You're on."

Reporters surrounded Keyes on his way out. When asked why he had not addressed the delegates, he promised it wouldn't be the last time he'd see them this week but had to tend to a schedule packed with media interviews. Pressed for a reason why he had not spent more time with his state party, Keyes responded angrily.

"The proper question would be: `What are you doing at this convention?' And that is a fact," he said. "

'What are your plans at this convention? ...What are your priorities as you deal with these matters? What do you think is your proper role?' All of these are right questions."

Though her views differ with Keyes' on several social issues, Topinka said Tuesday morning she would support him.

"The ticket is Republican. I am the Republican chairman," she said. "He is on the ticket. We will support the ticket."

Originally posted to cojo63 on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 09:46 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •   I posted this story before you from drudge but (none)
    your diary is better so i'm going to delete mine.


    by ctkeith on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 09:54:21 PM PDT

  •  That's awesome. (4.00)
    Man, it's like they released the conservative Tasmanian Devil.  
    •  LoL (none)
      Ya, Tavis Smiley had this raving lunatic on today. Keyes sounds as if he's on speed. And I notice that he's dropped 4 points in the polls since he's been campaigning which is pretty hard to do seeing as he started at 28% what, two weeks ago.

      I particularly liked this part:

      Thus far, Keyes' week has been defined by friction with his state party chairwoman and the Illinois delegation, who feel they're playing second fiddle to Keyes' media campaign. Some have also expressed concerns about Keyes' beliefs, calling them too far right for Illinois.

      Now they figure that out?

      "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

      by colleen on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 10:52:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What was beyond belief (none)
      was him hectoring the Fox News anchor - a man older than he, or at least looking rather venerable and grey haird - not just interrupting him, but asking him in retorical little-kid huh? huh? tones, if he was not a shill for the democrats.

      You could tell the Fox guy thought he was bugfuck crazy, and was barely managing to be civil to him, becuase he was crazy. (He offered to talk with him again to try to help Keyes resolve some of his issues with the media - really, he sounded like a psychotherapist dealing with someone high on something.)

      "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" - T. Pratchett (change @ for AT to email)

      by bellatrys on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 12:34:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What this the guy (none)
        he accused of doing the work of his opponent?
        •  Oh yeah, he was all over him (none)
          He asked him why he was distorting what he, Keyes, said  and then when the Fox guy tried to clarify what he'd said, pulled an O'Reily on him, wouldn't let him speak, and asked him over and over again in the snottiest way if he was working for the Demcratic party, and if not, why he was helping them in their "corrupt maneuvers"TM by putting words into his mouth that he hadn't said.

          (Which, as it turned out, was false. Keyes had advocated, by any normal english usage of the word, machine guns in Illinois, and they're not curently legal the way he was saying they were.)

          "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" - T. Pratchett (change @ for AT to email)

          by bellatrys on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 03:08:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So then (none)
            the person who said that he had never seen a politician make as many errors in one sitting as Keyes made there was definitely right.
            •  Errors...doesn't quite cover it (none)
              Errors implies that both people are operating on the same plane, just one of them isn't doing it right.

              Watching the video, it's like - if you've read Terry Pratchett - it's like being a bystander where someone sane is trying to ahve a conversation with with Foul Ole Ron. You realy wouldn't be surprised to hear him come out with "Millennium hand and shrimp, buggrit!"

              Or in a different paradigm, this is like one person playing tennis, and Keyes is playing Calvinball.

              He really is a headcase who inhabits his own little world, of which he is the center that all revolves around. He's not just a charlatan, like (I think) the Limbutt - he's built himself an alternate universe in which he is the persecuted star, and everyone else is evil and stupid.

              You know what I'd like to do - just to mess with him - is have all the security guards at the studio carrying Uzis. He strikes me as your typical weapons-wuss, someone who loves to talk the talk but would have less idea of how to break down and clean a gun than me - and I doubt he'd cope well with an Italian-style cavalierness towards such "carabinieri," even if he is advocating it. I'd bet it would distract the hell out of him and make him, if possible, less coherent than normal.

              "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" - T. Pratchett (change @ for AT to email)

              by bellatrys on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 07:11:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Alan Keyes (none)
    in addition to sounding like Marvin the Martian with a stick in his ass, is insane.  Truly insane.  Plus, he's a hypocrite.  And when Barak Obama beats the crap out of him in November, that will be a tiny glimmer of goodness, even if GWB wins back the presidency.  

    "The quality of mercy is not strained. It driveth as the gentle rain on the place beneath."- Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice"

    by tubalefty on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 10:03:28 PM PDT

  •  recomend this diary (none)
    And call Al Frankin and get Keyes on as much media we can.This guy is the only honest republican at the convention.


    by ctkeith on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 10:05:18 PM PDT

  •  Keyes' position on abortion is no different than (none)
    Karen Hughes' position. Is McCain going to condemn her?

    They wanted this guy because they knew he could slander Democrats and get away with it. They shouldn't be upset when he does the same to them.

    Didn't Drier supposedly say he wouldn't vote for the FMA, hoping that would get people off his back? I hope that Signorile keeps pushing him. It's time to out this bastard. He's in CA, he can serve as openly gay.

    •  Not as a GOP -- (none)
      the CA GOP is as rightwing and homophobic as they come.  Why do you think DEMs who are not all that impressive get elected out here?  Hint - the GOP's that get nominated are only slightly to the left of Alan Keyes.
      •  If Republicans want to keep the district, (none)
        they'll probably stay with him. It's a mixed district, right?
        •  The CA GOP prizes winning (none)
          but they were not behind ARhnold.  A gay representative would likely lose those votes too, but would be even more likely to lose the primary.  (Don't know the specifics about his district.  Perhaps somebody else could fill us in on that.)
          •  I guess this is moot (none)
            Mark Foley showed how to get away with being outed. Say - "that's DISGUSTING!!!" and then the media will sit on their hands and the matter dies. If you're a Republican, and there's no hard evidence, then you're in the clear.
  •  Like I said before, (none)
    this has to be an indication he realizes that he has no chance to win. No serious politician would say that about the daughter of such a powerful man in his party.

    Actually, come to think of it, Keyes just might be that nuts.

  •  We need a contest... (4.00)
    Best metaphor for the Illinois GOP running Keyes.  

    My first entry:

    "It's sort of like hiring a schizophrenic crackhead to kill your wife. Sure, he MIGHT kill your wife, but he's probably equally likely to smear himself in shit and chain himself to your mailbox."

  •  Very interesting Drier (none)
    transcript.  Hard to imagine that coming from a heterosexual or even a closeted gay man who was confident that he'd left no tracks on "The Wild Side."
  •  Spot poops in Keyes' lap, (none)
    or doesn't, but might if given half the chance.

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -W

    by spot on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 10:42:50 PM PDT

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