This shouldn't take long. But straight male pundits don't get it. They obviously think that the problem with political gay bashing is that it isn't "authentic" enough. The story line told by straight males in the media is that Rick Santorum may be a homophobe, but he's so refreshingly authentic and honest about it that it's not really a problem.
On Hardball yesterday Chris Matthews had a panel discussion about the Santorum "surge." And an all straight male panel agreed: Rick Santorum was just so darned authentic in his gay bashing that it somehow made him a better candidate than say Mitt Romney and his inauthentic political gay bashing. So, this was a plus for Santorum. Howard Fineman practically had Chris Matthews' tingle go up his leg over Santorum's refreshingly honest gay bashing. He was lauding Santorum for honestly he shook his head no when asked about gay rights.
The problem with political gay bashing isn't that it isn't authentic enough --- it's that it exists in the first place. It isn't that political gay bashers are "spinning" as Matthews says, it's that politicians give voice to dangerous anti-gay rhetoric and policy efforts. Period. Mitt Romney may be insincere in his gay bashing, but the fact is, he gives voice to violent homophobic extremists who will stop at nothing to demean the the dignity of LGBT people.
It doesn't get better because Rick Santorum wholeheartedly believes such rhetoric. No, it gets more dangerous because of that fact. An authentic gay basher who truly believes his rhetoric has the potential to permanently destroy the lives and liberty of LGBT people.
The funny thing about the all-heterosexual male panel discussing Rick Santorum's rise to the top of the GOP circus is that Chris Matthews scheduled a guest who was gay when he brought in Andrew Sullivan to talk about the birth control issue. This is a bit extra strange because the birth control debate, ultimately, will have no impact on the lives of gay men. And that panel didn't have a single woman on it.
2:32 PM PT: Thanks to Milk Men and Women, and Angry Gays for the republish!
4:25 PM PT: Thanks to LGBT Kos Community for the republish.