I'm beginning to think I should start writing for whatever blog it is that holds the feet of the New York Times to the fire when it promotes bigotry in the name of "balanced reporting." Today, it's Sheryl Gay Stolberg, with an article, Fighting Same-Sex Marriage With Zeal and Strategy, that's not quite a hagiography but an oh-so-fair treatment of Brian Brown that appears to be an attempt to raise him out of the obscurity in which the Times thinks he languishes. No contrarian opinions except for the Southern Poverty Law Center and Chad Griffin of the Human Rights campaign (the article does use the phrase "hate group"), and they're buried in the middle of the piece. Instead, we hear from, mostly, Maggie Gallagher, gleefully passing the torch.
Below the great orange antimacassar, please, since we're being so #$%^ genteel.
Yes, Brian Brown. No, I'm not posting his picture. Characterized thus in the lede:
As gay couples fight for the right to wed, a little-known but determined force is working to stop them:Little-known among whom, I wonder. Puff piece alert. She gives him credit for the passage of Prop 8 and observes that his mission is to defeat gay-friendly candidates, both here and in France.
Like the people Ashley Parker introduced us to on Wednesday, Brown is convinced the march toward progress is illusory:
“The notion that somehow we are on a one-way elevator to gay marriage, and that no matter what anyone does that it’s going to happen, is false,” he said in a recent interview, in his sparsely decorated suite on K Street, the capital’s lobbying corridor. “That is the myth of inevitability.”We learn that Brown was brought up as a Quaker but converted to Roman Catholicism as an adult. We also learn that Brown was responsible for trooping out the black minsters when the discourse on marriage equality started to use the phrase "civil rights," but look at how Stolberg describes this:
Mr. Brown also has a keen sense of strategy and a polished speaking style, traits that unnerve his opponents. When gay rights advocates began calling same-sex marriage a “civil rights issue,” Mr. Brown, determined to keep the racial analogy from seeping into popular culture, enlisted black pastors to his cause. In public appearances and on television, he rarely comes across as a renegade, although his tone can grow strident when the audience is familiar. “When you knock over a core pillar of society like marriage, and then try to redefine biblical views of marriage as bigotry, there will be consequences,” Mr. Brown warned last August in a fund-raising letter on his blog. “Will one of the consequences be a serious push to normalize pedophilia?”Ah, the discredited slippery slope argument. And, of COURSE, we overreact, and we are demonized for doing so.
But gay rights advocates see Mr. Brown as the personification of evil, a man who traffics in distortions and smears with a smile.This is where we hear from the SPLC and Griffin, who observes that even George Wallace came around.
Then, the biography. Grew up in Whittier, California, where Richard Nixon went to college. Parents divorced when he was 13. Cue La Gallagher:
Maggie Gallagher, his predecessor as the marriage organization’s president and the author of a book about the dangers of divorce, said that Mr. Brown “shares a lot of characteristics of children of divorce” who as adults make “a really firm commitment to do something different for their children.”AARGH!! Graduated from Whittier College (like Nixon), degree (we don't know in what from this piece) from Oxford, maybe ABD, maybe less, from UCLA when he was offered a job at the Family Institute of Connecticut. You remember what they tried to do, right? They failed to stop Connecticut from allowing same-sex couples to marry.
So, with Robert P. George from Princeton and Ms. Gallagher, in fear that traditional marriage would be
outmatched by organized gay rights supporters,Brown founded the National Organization for Marriage. Because why?
If same-sex marriage becomes a cultural norm, Mr. Brown says, heterosexual couples will no longer have preference over gay men and lesbians in adoptions, schoolchildren will be taught that same-sex parenting is normal, and those who oppose it will be labeled bigots. Already he worries about his safety and that of his handful of employees, which is why there is a security lock on his office door.In order: Why should they? It is. Fearmongering. Fearmongering. Scaring themselves!
And now the Court. He characterizes the DOMA cases as akin to Roe v Wade and says he doesn't care what the Court decides, if it decides against him, he won't stop fighting. Just like the South refused to do anything about segregation, I suppose. Never going away, he says. Well, maybe that's not an entirely bad thing -- better the bigot you know than the bigot you don't know.
Thanks so much for getting us ready for next week, Times. I'll apologize for these if on Monday we have a big article on Edie Windsor and another on the plaintiffs in the Pro 8 case. You know, the people whose lives will actually be affected by what the court decides. If that's what you're doing, Times, maybe it's not as bad as I think.