I’m not one to attack mainstream media journalists for sport. And I’ve defended Politico’s Mike Allen to my readers, just recently in fact, as a “real” journalist we could trust. But I have to say, I’m troubled that Allen didn’t do his due diligence before falsely accusing an Obama administration official of a crime. And I have to wonder if he jumped to his conclusion because the administration official is gay.
Allen went on a right-wing TV show this morning and falsely accused Department of Education official Kevin Jennings of a crime. He said – falsely – that Jennings failed to report “an assault” on a young man, twenty years ago, which would be a crime under Massachusetts law at the time. In fact, Jennings was never informed of an assault on anyone. He spoke to a student, of the legal age of consent, who had sex with a man. Ta ta ta dum.
Yes, you guessed – they were g-a-y. And one was older than the other. Ergo, it must have been one of those gay pedophile predator types who always go after young boys, because those gays are such perverts – right?
I’m not surprised that FOX News and the far right hate groups are going after a gay appointee in the Obama administration. Anti-gay bigotry is ripe at FOX, in the religious right, and in the GOP base that now controls the Republican party. So none of this should surprise us. What does surprise me is when real journalists, real reporters, like Mike Allen, swallow the bait from the ilk of Sean Hannity and the Family Research Council, and report their sludge as fact, when it’s an outright lie. It really makes you wonder why the media smells a story here. I doubt they’d be as interested if the two legal adults, and the Obama official, were straight.
And another thing. Would Mike Allen, and any other media outlet covering this story, prefer if the kid had killed himself? From the REST of the story, if you bother reading it, the kid didn’t exactly sound long for this world. Can you imagine, in the 1980s mind you (which is when this happened), had Jennings outed the kid as gay, not just to his parents, but to the entire state (which would include his school), which is what Allen is proposing? Assuming the kid didn’t kill himself, would his parents have kicked him out of their house (which happened, and still happens, to a lot of gay kids)? Gee, I’ll bet the media covering this fake story didn’t think of that one. No, they had a “sex” story involving a gay guy – three gay guys in fact – and well, how you can top that?
Finally, Where’s Rick Warren? I thought the Obama administration had bought him off. After all, that is why he was invited to do the invocation at Obama’s swearing in, right? So where is he? We also told the Obama administration during the campaign to cut off FOX News, and instead Barack Obama went and gave O’Reilly – one of the worst over there – an interview. How’s that FOX News connection working for you now? And then there’s the rest of the religious right. The Obama administration has even invited the top religious right hate groups to the White House for official meetings. Great. What did they get out of it?
I’m all for President Obama reaching out in a bipartisan kind of way to Republicans, to FOX News, even to the religious right hate groups. But at some point, the Obama administration needs to show some benefit from this “bipartisanship” song and dance they keep trying to sell us. Because at this point, everyone they’ve reached out to, and caved to, seems back to take yet another swipe at the president.