Is a man who believes that gays should "apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done" the kind of person the media should go to for comment on gay-related issues? The Washington Post and The New York Times apparently think so.
In their stories on the manufactured controversy over a piece of art in an exhibit about "sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture" and "the fluidity of sexuality and gender" held at the Smithsonian-operated National Portrait Gallery, both the Post and the Times turned to the Catholic League's Bill Donohue for his views. And, to no one's surprise, Donohue spewed even more anti-gay rhetoric.
From the Post:
The Catholic League's Donohue continued to express his outrage despite the work's removal. In an interview, he recalled how he first heard of the exhibit when a New York Post reporter called him Monday night for comment. He then reviewed an article posted online by the Christian News Service, watched Wojnarowicz's video on YouTube for himself on Tuesday, and decided immediately to issue a statement deeming the work "hate speech." He also sent letters to the House and Senate, asking the appropriations committees to reconsider public funding of the Smithsonian Institution. He has not viewed the other works in "Hide/Seek."
"I am so tired of dealing with the artistic community and their hate speech against Christians, because every time this happens I'm told [the art] is complex and a matter of interpretation," says Donohue, who emphasized that he never asked for the video to be removed. "Look, if someone puts a swastika on a synaogue, that's not complex and not open to interpretation. . . . When the Smithsonian - with this prestige and federal funding - offends Catholics, I can't pretend it hasn't happened. The more established the source of the offense, the more likely it is we have to respond."
From the Times:
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, an advocacy group, said "A Fire in My Belly" was a form of hate speech.
"It would jump out at people if they had ants crawling all over the body of Muhammad," said Mr. Donohue, who has criticized the Smithsonian for displaying works by other artists he considers anti-Catholic, "except that they wouldn't do it, of course, for obvious reasons."
He added: "I'm not going to buy the argument that this is some statement about some poor guy dying of AIDS. Was this supposed to be a Christmas present to Catholics?"
Mr. Donohue said it would be appropriate for the federal government to cut its financing of the Smithsonian and other art institutions in these circumstances.
Donohue is nothing if not a raging homophobe, and he has said enough on the subject that the Times and the Post are certainly aware of, in addition to the quote cited above:
- "Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style. There are certain things that the left won't tolerate." [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 2/27/04]
- "Well, first they said it [The Passion of the Christ] was anti-Semitic. That didn't work. Then they said it was too violent. That didn't work. Then they said it was S & M. That didn't work. Then they said it was pornography. That didn't work. Now they're saying it's fascistic queer-bashing. That kind of language would ordinarily get somebody taken away in a straitjacket and -- put you in the asylum. I don't know what about -- the queer-bashing is all about. I'm pretty good about picking out who queers are and I didn't see any in the movie. I'm usually pretty good at that." [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 3/12/04]
- "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, okay? And I'm not afraid to say it. ... Hollywood likes anal sex." [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 12/8/04]
- "[Gays are] trying to say in Massachusetts and California that the Catholic Church has to be required, in order to get any kind of federal money when it comes to adopting children, to allow gays to adopt children. We're not going to allow gay people to adopt children. That's against nature. It's against nature's God. But they won't stop." [CBN, The 700 Club, 10/15/09]
- "Sexual libertines, from the Marquis de Sade to radical gay activists, have sought to pervert society by acting out on their own perversions. What motivates them most of all is a pathological hatred of Christianity. They know, deep down, that what they are doing is wrong, and they shudder at the dreaded words, 'Thou Shalt Not.' But they continue with their death-style anyway." [The Washington Post, 10/19/09]
- "Yes, there's a connection between the Irish and alcoholism, and yes, there's a connection between homosexuality and sexual abuse of minors. ... They can't keep their hands off the boys. Don't you get it?" [CNN, Rick's List, 3/31/10]
- "We know what's going on at The New York Times. They hate the Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality. It's a gay-friendly newspaper." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/25/10]
Yet the Times and the Post keep going back to Donohue for comment. The Post has even given Donohue space on its "On Faith" blog to rant about "America's secular saboteurs."
How hateful does Donohue have to be before the Times and the Post stop treating him as a legitimate source of comment?
P.S. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center -- which is the source of the manufactured outrage over the Smithsonian art exhibit -- is on the board of advisors for Catholic League. Shouldn't the Times and Post have asked Donohue about that link?