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Continuing the media bias discussion Hugh Hewitt’s Two incidents highlight the mainstream media’s defects and biases is a good read.
Must be the Liberal media persecuting decent Americans again: “Bush press pal quits over gay prostie link”
WASHINGTON – A conservative ringer who was given a press pass to the White House and lobbed softball questions at President Bush quit yesterday after left-leaning Internet bloggers discovered possible ties to gay prostitution.
… Gannon began covering the White House two years ago for an obscure Republican Web site (Talon-News.com). He was known for his friendly questions, including asking Bush at last month’s news conference how he could work with Democrats “who seem to have divorced themselves from reality.”
Gannon was also given a classified CIA memo that named agent Valerie Plame, leading to his grilling by the grand jury investigating her outing.
He came under lefty scrutiny after revelations that the administration was paying conservative pundits to talk up Bush’s proposals. By examining Internet records, online sleuths at DailyKos.com figured out that his real name was Jim Guckert and he owned various Web sites, including HotMilitaryStud.com, MilitaryEscorts.com and MilitaryEscortsM4M.com.
“The issue here is whether someone with connections to male prostitution was given unfettered access to the White House and copies of internal CIA documents. For a family values administration, that’s pretty creepy,” said John Aravosis, one of the bloggers chasing the story.
The White House didn’t return a call asking how someone using an alias was given daily clearance to enter the White House.
Where are the Sodomite Military Defenders Now?
The question is what is the standard of admission to the White House press conference? Certainly people should pass a security check to protect the occupants of the White House, but, beyond that what is the criteria? This guy sounds very sleazy to me, but, is PERSONAL RECTITUDE a prerequisite to appearing at a press conference? I think not. Dean, do you want the White House to screen adulterers out of the Press Conferences. Should Helen Thomas, a virtual socialist, be investigated to see if she gambles too much on the weekends? The guy apparently wrote for a publication or a blog that had a large audience. Why should he have been kept out?
I thought all the liberals on this page where defending the humanity and “rights” of people define themselves through their habit of engaging in anal sex? Where are their defenders now? Did he offend you because he admired the MILITARY? That must be it!!!! It is O.K. to define your humanity by your habit of engaging in anal sex, but, you must not pine to engage in anal sex with men in uniform.!!! What I am confused I thought the Left wanted GAYS IN THE MILITARY?
What does the Left object to this guy again? He doesn’t hate Bush, I think that is it.
This brings us back to the question of whether journalism is a profession. The state sanctions the existence of a profession if it is necessary to provide important services to the general public AND it involves technical knowledge beyond the knowledge of ordinary persons. Law, engineering and medicine come to mind. Journalism doesn’t.
The Left in this country wants to “professionalize” journalism. They want to claim that a true journalist can only be produced by a limited number of approved Universities. Then editors of newspapers and producers of TV news programs are all chosen from this group. However, the fact is that anyone who can think and and express themselves reasonably well can “do journalism.” The fact is THERE IS NO SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THE ORDINARY PERSON. A journalism degree, is in fact, one of the least rigorous degrees offered by any college or university. Journalims courses are child’s play compared to the natural sciences, or accounting or law. Journalists are among the least well educated people coming out of America’s universities.
Missourian: You are just mad because the Bush administration was once again caught red-handed trying to manipulate, distort and stifle the flow of information to the American people.
The fact is Gannon/Guckert isn’t a journalist at all. He is a political operative whose salary was paid for by an organization affiliated with the Republican party. He who was deliberately invited to the White House Press Room to ask easy questions and provide Press Secretary McClennan with someone friendly to turn to when the questioning from other reporters turned too hot. The fact that he was given a daily press pass by the White House, even though he not unqualified to get one from the House or Senate, and that he was handed secret information about covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, indicates a disturbing pattern of collusion between Bush administration officials and Gannon/Guckert.
Gannon/Guckert’s past as a male prostitute is not the main issue, but only icing on the cake – that Bush administration allies hired a former gay prostitute to write “gay-bashing” articles smearing John Kerry as “the first gay President” further serves to demonstate the malignant hypocrisy of this administration.
Missourian writes: “This brings us back to the question of whether journalism is a profession. The state sanctions the existence of a profession if it is necessary to provide important services to the general public AND it involves technical knowledge beyond the knowledge of ordinary persons. Law, engineering and medicine come to mind. Journalism doesn’t.”
The Bill of Rights specifically mentions freedom of the press, thus acknowledging the importance of the this activity to a democracy. Journalism is not a profession in the sense of involving a mastery of technical detail. It is a profession in the sense of adherance to certain standards related to truth, accuracy, and objectivity.
People object to the word “objectivity” when used in connection with journalism. Whether or not pure objectivity is possible, it is a goal to which actual journalists are supposed to aspire. The reason why Dan Rather can be criticized is precisely because there ARE journalistic standards.
Once you lose the concept of a “journalist,” you lose the distinction between a journalist, pundit, political operative, or anyone with an opinion. A journalist becomes anyone who climbs up on the soap box.
If anyone is a journalist, and the expression of any opinion is journalism, then on what basis can one criticize anything that passes through the media? If anyone is a journalist, how do you decide who should attend presidential press conferences? Why not let anyone in?
Missourian: “The Left in this country wants to ‘professionalize’ journalism.”
It has long been considered a profession. Some on the right object to the concept of journalism as a profession not because they are concerned with the concept of a “profession,” but because they want to eliminate the distinction between journalists, pundits, and political operatives.
Missourian: “However, the fact is that anyone who can think and express themselves reasonably well can ‘do journalism.’”
Journalistic professionalism lies not in the mastery of a body of knowledge, but in how the activity is conducted and the goals of the activity. You mistake the absense of a particular body of knowledge with the absense of any and all standards and goals. In your view it seems to me that there would be no difference between the evening news with Walter Cronkite, or the evening news with Karl Rove, or perhaps the evening news with Noam Chomsky.
Really, is allowing Jim Guckert (who owns several sites dedicated to the objectification of men in tight uniforms) to quiz the President any different than allowing in some bigwig from AOL/Time Warner (who’s ownership of multiple pornography outlets is well-documented)? Perhaps the level of direct involvement varies … but not by much.
In regards to journalism, there are two or three subjects which can reliably be trusted as “un-biased” (if not always accurate): the weather, sports and the reporting of lotto numbers. “Respectable” journalists will at least strive for the appearance of impartiality on political issues through their use of tone and style: if a television journalist, attention will be paid to the use of vocal inflections and the choice selection of descriptive words about a subject. In fact, subjective descriptions (such as “controversial”, “abhorrent”, or “wimpish”) will be avoided.
In addition, they will make an effort to provide “equal time” to opposing views where appropriate.
Nevertheless, the slant to a story can still be slipped in, though it’s simply more subtle. This is done on both the right and the left. For example: a simple report about a gay rights march on Washington by the CBN crew will contain the phrase “hordes of homosexuals”. Now I don’t know about you, but the word “hordes” brings to mind Mongolian barbarians marching into a city with torches and swords. While amusing, I don’t think such turns of phrase are unintentional.
I don’t know: perhaps we should dispense with the illusion that a story about which a point of view can be held can even be reported in an unbiased manner.
Note 4 Journalism as a Profession: An Insufferable Conceit
The fact that freedom of the press is protected by the Constitution does not make journalism a profession. The Constitutional concept of freedom of the press in no way presupposes a professional journalistic elite, far from it. The Founding Fathers would have abhored creating a professional journalistic priesthood. The “press” is anyone who can write something that someone else wants to read. Elevating a journalistic priesthoos necessarily devalues the opinions of the non-journalist citizen. The entire idea is an insufferable conceit by a small class of nobodies desperately wanting a monopoly on certain types of status and power in society.
The Founding Fathers fully intended freedom of the press to apply to everybody who wants to write or publish anything, anywhere.
Anyone with a little common sense could derive reasonable journalistic standards in about 30 minutes. It doesn’t take four years of advanced study to appreciate the essential journalistic standards of conduct. People who fail to follow those standards of conduct, will eventually be found out, they will lose their credibility and no one will pay attention to them. See Dan Rather. Loss of influence is the biggest penalty anyone in the public arena can suffer.
Dean, in order to be consistent with your reasoning, the White House would have to investigate the personal background of all persons attending a press conference for moral rectitude, not just security issues. Then the White House would have to create a journalistic priesthood of persons “worthy” of asking a question of the President. The fact is that any American citizen should have the right to ask a question of the President. The journalists don’t have any special rights here. Journalists were not elected by the people. Journalists are not professionals. Journalists do not possess any special skills or knowledge not shared by the general public. Not only are they not professionals they are badly educated, very badly educated. High ranking members of the American journalist elite are corrupt, Dan Rather and CNN’s Eason come to mind. Eason sold his soul to Saddam Hussein so that CNN could report from Baghdad. Dan Rather foisted a forgery off on the public after his own experts warned him not to. Danno just couldn’t pass up the hope that he could influence an election. Walter Duranty suppressed the truth about the Urkrainian genocide.
Journalists are nothing special. Given that I don’t see how this joker was all that much worse than the rest. After all, he was just acting on his genetically pre-determined attraction to his own sex. He was exercising his right of pornographic privacy. Give the guy a break.
Tell me again, how is this guy worse than the rest of them. I would prefer a soddomite with the good sense to hide his activities to a lying perpetrator of a forgery. Wouldn’t you?
The problem isn’t that the individual here was at White House press conferences. The issue is that there appears to be a close operational link between the White House and this journalist that has been used to disseminate partisan political spin as ‘news.’
Simply because Dan Rather is a corrupt liar doesn’t make corrupt liars okay. If this shoe were on the other foot, and such a thing was published about a Democratic Administration using a journalist with gay-prostitution ties, then I think you would seize on it as evidence of moral degeneracy. It is evidence of moral degeneracy, whether the plant was used by a Dem or a Repub.
Note 8 Logical and Factual Errors
You are laboring under one factual error and one logical error. The factual error is that you give undeserved importance to the appearance of a journalist at a Press Secretary briefing. The logical error is that you grant “legotimacy” to “journalists” who are openly hostile to the President, but attack the “legitimacy” of journalists who may be sympathetic to the President. Your premise is that no legitimate journalist could be sympathetic to the President.
I)Overestimating the signficance of appearing at a Press Conference
The logical error in your approach is overestimating the significance of a journalist participating asking questions of a Presidential Press Secretary. We do not, thank goodness, have a journalistic priesthood. There is no legal limitation on who may comment on public affairs. There is no legal limitation on who may publish a newsletter, a newspaper or post on a website. We all may do so.
Your logical error is assuming that mere admittance to a White House Press conference conveys membership in some kind of journalistic priesthood. Those “special people” allowed to approach the President’s Press Secretary. The White House says that the only criteria they use is whether the journalist writes for a publication with a “wide readership.” They do not attempt to assess philosophical stances, political stances, religious stances, or personal rectitude.
By the way, I agree that the guy in question is rather sleazy.
II) Journalists who are antagonistic towards the President are legitimate, those who are sympathetic to the President are not legitimate.
Consider the fact that a “journalist” associated with a publication financed by Ralph Nader called “Corporate Crime” has been admitted to White House Press Secretary briefings. It is considered acceptable for a propagandist….oops… journalist with an intensely antagonistic attitude towards the President to be admitted and allowed to ask questions of the Press Secretary. On one occaision he asked whether President Bush considered the Sixth Commandment applicable to Iraq. Everybody is hunky-dory with that. Liberalism (used in the sloppy modern sense) and antagonism—-GOOD–BUT any journalist with a sympathetic attitude towards a President who won 61 million votes is BAD.
Missourian writes: “The factual error is that you give undeserved importance to the appearance of a journalist at a Press Secretary briefing.”
It’s not just the Press Secretary. The president also shows up at press conferences, occasionally anyway. What kind of credentials do you think should be required to be one of a few journalists who have a chance to ask a direct question of the president of the United States? There are thousands of journalists who would like to be there, but only a few can be. This is why Time Magazine is in attendance, and the Moose Jaw Weekly Gazette is not.
Missourian: “Journalists who are antagonistic towards the President are legitimate, those who are sympathetic to the President are not legitimate.”
Not the case at all. The issue is not sympathy but whether the individual functions as a political operative. In this case we’re talking about a guy who is affiliated with a news service that functions as an arm of the Republican party. He is allowed in and given opportunities to ask questions because it is known beforehand that he’ll pitch easy questions. Frankly, they’re not even questions.
I have to say that your positions on issues related to the press and journalism baffle me. You say that journalism isn’t a profession and that anyone could be a journalist. But that’s just the intro to the apparent meat of your argument that there’s nothing wrong with people who are in fact political operatives, or who function as political operatives appearing in the guise of journalists. Under that scenario the concept of a press independent of the government is dead. “Freedom of the press” becomes irrelevant when the press in effect functions an arm of government. I would say that when we cannot distinguish between a journalist, a political operative, and a government spokesperson, at that point we’re not really a democracy any more. We may have the trappings of democracy, but we’re no longer an actual democracy.
To some extent we’re already moving in that direction. When you have right-wing foundations, think tanks, journals, publishing houses, talk show hosts, and TV news networks working with selected individuals in the Republican party, staying on-message and coordinating with each other, and with wealthy financiers and media moguls serving on each other’s boards, information because less diverse and more monolithic, and the entire enterprise becomes a servant to those in power. As a single viewpoint becomes dominant people become less informed. Thus someone like Glen actually has to point out that — gasp! — there are conservatives who opposed the war in Iraq. You don’t hear that very often because it’s not “on-message”; it’s literally not the party line.
Jim Holman types:
I have to say that your positions on issues related to the press and journalism baffle me. You say that journalism isn?t a profession and that anyone could be a journalist. But that?s just the intro to the apparent meat of your argument that there?s nothing wrong with people who are in fact political operatives, or who function as political operatives appearing in the guise of journalists. Under that scenario the concept of a press independent of the government is dead. ?Freedom of the press? becomes irrelevant when the press in effect functions an arm of government. I would say that when we cannot distinguish between a journalist, a political operative, and a government spokesperson, at that point we?re not really a democracy any more. We may have the trappings of democracy, but we?re no longer an actual democracy.
What we have is two different approaches to public debate. My approach is based on 200 years of United States Constitutional jurisprudence. Your approach is based on the false concept of journalistic professionalism and a intellectual paternalism which would in practice lead to totalitarianism.
American Constitutional jurisprudence on based on the concept that NO ONE has the right to PRE-SELECT OR SCREEN what the adult public hears. NO ONE. This means that the public, by virtue of the First Amendment, will be exposed to a great deal of nonsense, even intentional falsehood. But, the premise of our First Amendment is that the public should be treated as an adult, not a child. Adults do not need to be shielded from certain ideas or concepts. As adults, we should investigate what we read and analyze it critically and come to our own conclusions. Rational adults do this by reading a wide range of political opinion. I an not worried that a writer has a clearly defined political philosophy or that a writer wants to see a certain political idea be adopted. I can still evaluate his facts and his arguments to see if they stand up.
A person gains credibility with others by presenting well-reasoned and well-supported arguments. Ultimately, we have the credibility we earn. If someone does not use well-reasoned arguments OR if they are exposed as distorting or omitting important facts, they lose their credibility. Dan Rather has lost his credibility, hence, much of his influecne, by his own actions. So should it be. Dan Rather should not be censored, he should be exposed.
Your approach of defining journalism as a profession is just another way to PRE-SELECT OR SCREEN what the adult public hears. You are doing it by attempting to establish a journalistic priesthood with exclusive access to the President. HUMBUG. This is just another form of SCREENING what the public gets to hear. If we PRE-SELECT the “journalists” then we are PRE-SELECTING for the point of view of the Columbia School of Journalism. The Columbia School of Journalism has an agenda, a leftist agenda, they are just not honest about it. I don’t want all of my news filtered through the questions of “journalists” approved by the Columbia School of Journalism.
Jim’s point stands. The number of journalists permitted into a presidential press conference is by definition limited. It is not a first-come-first-serve situation. (May be it should be? I think that would be a superior system, but that isn’t what we have.)
By deciding whom to let in, and whom to exclude, the White House has made value judgments on which points of view are going to be represented among questioners. Yes, much of the media has a left-wing bias. This is obvious. At the same time, however, I agree with you that the antidote to this is the truth. Reagen took hard questions from hostile journalists and came out on top all the time. I just don’t see how planting an operative with a seedy background in a press conference is an upstanding move that should be applauded, regardless of who did it.
We need an American equivalent of “Question Time in Parliament” (which American viewers can see on C-SPAN every Sunday night). The British Prime Minister must stand and answer any question any other member of Parliament, friend or foe, chooses to ask. Often the questions are savage, such as “Will the right honorable gentleman admit that this unfortunate incident once again demonstrates the completely misguided nature of the present government’s policies as well as the thorougly inept manner in which it executes them?”
While I didn’t care for the politics of Margeret Thatcher (at one time she wanted to privatize water) I did greatly admire the wit and skill with which she parried question posed by her fierce Laborite opponents. It would be interesting to see the American President going down to the House of Representatives several times a year and taking questions from Congressmen from the opposing party.
The Bush administration’s latest creation: Potemkin Journalism:
“Rather, they contend that Gannon is symptomatic of a broader White House strategy to undermine the traditional media by disseminating the Bush message in creative new ways.
Every president has sought to manipulate the media. But historians say that Bush, unhappy with what he calls “the filter,” is courting controversy in his quest for innovative formats. Several conservative commentators have been paid to trumpet Bush policies in their work; one recipient, Armstrong Williams, is being investigated by the Federal Communications Commission. And two agencies have disseminated pro-Bush videos that look like TV newscasts, without disclosing the Bush sponsorship – a breach of federal law, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The White House has stated that these media decisions were made independently by the agencies. Nevertheless, former Republican strategist Jim Pinkerton, who later worked in the senior George Bush’s administration, says: “It’s quite clear this White House is exploring radical alternative ways to getting its message out – through the aggressive hiring of flacks like Williams, and the presence, or even planting, of friendly so-called journalists like Gannon.
“The Bush people are challenging all the old assumptions about how to work the press. They are ambitious – visionary, if you will – in ways that Washington has yet to fathom.”
Larry Gross, who runs the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, says: “Richard Nixon hated the press, Bill Clinton hated the press – but they accepted the basic rules of the game. Bush has a strategy of discrediting, end-running, and even faking the news. Those prepackaged videos sent to local TV stations `looked’ like news, much the way Gannon `looked’ like a reporter. We’re seeing something new: Potemkin-village journalism.”
“White House press corps flap is far from over”, By DICK POLMAN Philadelphia Inquirer, Posted on Mon, Feb. 28, 2005
“Potemkin journalism?” Nothing like the ring of objectivity.
I doubt if Pinkerton’s quote, while probably factually accurate, was delivered in the context that Polman paints here.
Further, planting questions is nothing new. I don’t recall exactly but didn’t CNN (MSNBC maybe?) just do it to Rumsfield during his visit to Iraq?
Again, the best antidote to journalistic malfeasance is a free press. It allows for morally responsible journalists.
Concerning Gannon/Guckert however, I have much bigger concerns. As a Republican, I want to know why a homosexual prostitute was on the payroll of Talon News, which is a front for GOPNews. I further want to know why the White House gave this guy a pass, when the House refuesed him one, and why they seem to be familiar with him. What is going on here? What is a Republican group doing employing this guy?
Now we have Gannon/Guckert. He shows up in addition to four out-of-the-closet homosexuals with positions in the White House. This is in addition to the only openly homosexual ambassador ever appointed and confirmed. This is in addition to continuing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as a military policy. This is in addition to backing a Federal Marriage Amendment that has no chance to pass, while ignoring sensible legislation that would protect states from having homosexual unions crammed down their throats.
Then there is the fact that new RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is rumored to be homosexual, and refuses to discuss the issue. He is, after all, a 37 year old bachelor without even the hint of a girlfriend who refuses to even ANSWER questions about his sexuality. The CFO for the Republican Pary, Jay Banning, and the National Field Director, Dan Gurley, are both subjects of homosexuality rumors.
What in the world is going on with this? And, why aren’t rank and file Republicans foaming at the mouth? If the men previously mentioned were married with kids, then these rumors would have a tougher time being taken seriously. Why are so many top Republicans single, childless, and possibly homosexual?
I think that we deserve a whole, whole lot better out of a party of ‘family values.’ Are we simply being used? Are these foreign policy hawks who are simply playing the ‘gay card’ for votes in order to gain traction for some other agenda?
This is a real concern for me, because what I see at the top of my party makes me seriously question whether or not, as an Orthodox Christian, I am not being sold a bill of goods.
Note 16. One reason for no outcry is that no one knows about this, or at least it is not being reported (if true).
Glen’s Note 16
Again, I think most Americans are happy with a “live and let live” approach to homosexual conduct as it applies to ADULTS and the PRIVATE LIVES. I don’t think the average American or average Republican wants to start a witch-hunt for gays. I don’t think that the average American or average Republican approves of adultery either, but, we don’t want to start a witch-hunt for adulterers (that would shut down the government after all). I don’t understand why this concept is so difficult to grasp.
What we do want is for real marriage to remain the honored and legally favored relationship between adults. We want our laws to reflect our morals and our culture. This can be done without making life miserable for people who engage in homosexual conduct. Christians would preach at a person who engages in homosexual conduct, it is the Muslims that want to behead them. Important distinction.
Note 16: Regarding Ken Mehlman, I would think you would appreciate the fact that he is neither “advertising” nor “promoting” his sexuality, that’s even assuming he’s gay (there are many heterosexual bachelors, believe it or not!!). Do we really wish to make all job applicants take a lie detector test and ask them if they “like girls”?
It does not seem all that scandalous that there may be two or three gays in the Bush administration any more than the party of “family values” is absolutely riddled with people who are on their second, third or fourth marriages.
Missourian said, “I donÂt think the average American or average Republican wants to start a witch-hunt for gays.”
These aren’t private people. They set and implement policy for the Republican Party. A large number of people voted in 2004 for Republican candidates because of the homosexual marriage issue, in addition to other ‘cultural issues.’ Many voters felt that George Bush and the Republican Party share their values and concerns, and trusted them to govern accordingly.
Now, what if that isn’t the case? Can we trust a party with high-ranking gay leaders to really stand up against same-sex marriage, gay adoption, etc.? In other words, are we being conned?
This isn’t about going cubicle to cubicle in an office trying to be the sex police and ferret out homosexuals. This is about the potential that the Republican Party may be cynically manipulating values-voters into handing it power when it has no intention of standing strong on values issues.
This is the same issue I had with Dick Cheney during the campaign. I don’t blame him for having a lesbian daughter. I blamed him for giving her a paid high-ranking campaign position, allowing her lesbian partner to sit on stage at the Republican Convention in the presidential box, and for his breaking with the president over the question of homosexual marriage. What politicians do in their private lives does matter if it will impact either their willingness or their ability to live up to their promises.
James, I know that there are 37 year old bachelors who are not homosexual. In fact, in today’s marriage averse world, there are more and more of them. However, as I said before, if it is true that he is gay – can I trust him on issues such as gay marriage and others? It is admirable from one aspect that he is not pushing his sexuality, but on the other hand, shouldn’t I have a right to know if the head of my party has a potential personal conflict with one of its major platform planks? I believe that I do, and that I have a right to be upset if these allegations are true.
Also, as for the number of Republicans on their third or fourth marriage – that is also a scandal and should be addressed. Newt Gingrich, for example, divorced his second wife while she was hospitalized recovering from cancer, in order to marry his assistant with whom he was having an affair. Newt could describe the sky as blue and I would verify this for myself. I don’t trust him, or Rudy Giuliani, or any other other philandering Republicans anymore than I would a giggalo like John Kerry. If these men can’t be trusted to make good on the most basic commitment before God – exactly what can I trust them to make good on?
Have we gotten so jaded and our standards so low, that we don’t even expect the bare minimum of moral decency out of those that would lead us? I don’t ask for sainthood, from a politician such things are impossibile, but I do expect that they keep at least some covenants prior to getting my vote for high office.
By the way, Missiourian, would you feel the same way if these policies and personnel were Democratic instead of Republican? One standard needs to be applied to all. Clinton was slimy, in part, because of his philandering. If Republicans are guilty of similar indiscretions and lies, then they need to be held accountable as well.
Note 20: Policy Not Personal LIves as Important to Me
Glen I was responding to what I considered to be evil minded gossip about a man who is single and who works for the RNC. I don’t know about his private life but I don’t want to belong to a party that puts all single people over 21 under suspicion. I married for the first time at fairly late in life. (Took me a while to meet someone who could put up with me on a regular basis!!) I would have been furious if I had to defend myself against suspicions of sexual irregularity up to the day I got married.
As to public figures, I am interested in the policies that they promote and stand for, not their personal lives. I would expect a gay legislator to support the gay marriage movement, I would disagree with that legislator and wouldn’t vote for him. Similary with judges or members of the executive branch. I am interested in their conduct in office and I am willing to grant them privacy. I am similarly not interested in hunting down adulterers.
Vote for whom you choose. I think people should leave Mehlman alone.
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