New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino recently said he didn't want children "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option" as "getting married and raising a family." Right-wing pundits have since defended his remarks, calling his comments "dead on the money," "defensible," and "[not] bad at all."
Paladino says kids shouldn't be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option"
While speaking to a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn on October 10, Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for New York governor, criticized his opponent for marching in New York City's gay pride parade with his two teenage daughters. He went on to say that "my children, and your children, will be much better off...getting married and raising a family," and that children shouldn't be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option." From the speech:
PALADINO: We must stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts, who seek to target our children and destroy their lives. I didn't march in the gay parade this year -- the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did. And that's not the example that we should be showing our children, certainly not in our schools. And don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie. My approach is live and let live. I just think my children, and your children, will be much better off, and much more successful, getting married and raising a family. And I don't want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn't.
Conservative media figures call comments "defensible," say Paladino is "dead on the money"
Paladino's comments have since been publicly supported by many right-wing media figures, including Bryan Fischer, Jonah Goldberg, the blogger Ace, Anne Coulter, and Dana Loesch.
Fischer: "Everything -- every single thing -- that Paladino said about the homosexual lifestyle yesterday was dead on the money." On the American Family Association's blog Rightly Concerned, conservative commentator Bryan Fischer wrote that Paladino "told the truth about homosexuality, right out in front of God, the public, and vicious, mean-spirited homosexuals." Fischer concluded the article by asking, "Do you have the backbone of Mr. Paladino, or are you a nancy-boy who will try to finesse this issue or dodge it altogether?" From the post:
Carl Paladino, running for governor of the state of New York against Andrew Cuomo, trod yesterday where angels fear to tread: he told the truth about homosexuality, right out in front of God, the public, and vicious, mean-spirited homosexuals.
Paladino brought it yesterday, throwing a live grenade into what had already been a contentious campaign, the kind that makes politics the spectator sport it is in the Empire State.
Everything -- every single thing -- that Paladino said about the homosexual lifestyle yesterday was dead on the money. What he said is so true and so evident and so obvious that the real controversy here is that there is any controversy at all.
The fact that homosexual activists will now bare their fangs, veritably dripping saliva as they go for Paladino's carotid artery, and will do so with the full-throated blessing of the out-of-the-mainstream media, only illustrates the enormously dangerous clout these purveyors of perversity have been given in our culture.
Fischer concluded by calling anyone who isn't "with Carl Paladino" a "nancy-boy":
I frankly hope the Ministers of Propaganda at places like the networks, the Associated Press, the New York Times, and the Washington Post start pinning down other pro-family candidates on what they think of Mr. Paladino's remarks. It's time for pro-family candidates to put up or shut up. You're either with Carl Paladino or you're with them. We need to know where you stand. Do you have the backbone of Mr. Paladino, or are you a nancy-boy who will try to finesse this issue or dodge it altogether? Inquiring minds want to know.
Goldberg: "There's a lot of defensible things [Paladino] has to say." On Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg said that while he believed that Paladino should have made sure that the speech wasn't taped, he thinks that "if you want to read in a favorable light, there's a lot of defensible things he has to say."
From Fox News' October 11 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier:
GOLDBERG: I think if you want to read in a favorable light, there's a lot of defensible things he has to say in this. In that, there are a lot of people who maybe have questions on gay marriages, including the President of the United States and most of the Democratic politicians in this country, who at the same time don't want to discriminate against gays but don't like the importing of this kind of conversation to very young children in schools.
That all said, I agree with Charles on this. When pandering to ultraconservative, ultra orthodox Jews, say, "No cameras."
Ace of Spades HQ blogger Ace: "I don't think any of those latter lines are bad at all." In a post responding to a Politico article on the speech, blogger Ace said that the comments in the speech are not "bad at all," commenting: "The gay community has to understand that, contra their desires, they will not likely be wholeheartedly embraced by traditionalists." From the post:
[Quoting Politico:] "However, there were other lines in the speech -- saying Andrew Cuomo set the wrong example by marching in the gay pride parade, where the focus is not solely marriage equality, and saying kids shouldn't be 'brainwashed' into thinking a gay lifestyle is 'valid' and 'equally successful' -- that were criticized. Dickter's headline referred to the speech broadly as 'anti-gay.'"
Yeah, well, I don't think any of those latter lines are bad at all. The gay community has to understand that, contra their desires, they will not likely be wholeheartedly embraced by traditionalists, and should stop insisting that that be the goal or the bar for "tolerance." Unless they [sic] gay community thinks that 70% of the country is "anti-gay" (and a lot of the gay community does think that, of course), this goal has to be considered perhaps one to shoot for one day, but it can't be made the standard for determining who's "anti-gay" or not.
Coulter: "[G]ay, left-wing activists" were "the only thing [Paladino] was condemning." In an appearance on the October 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Ann Coulter supported Paladino, saying, "I think someone on this network should." She said of his comments, "I think it's a little bit offensive to merge gays with gay, left-wing activists. That was the only thing he was condemning." Host Bill O'Reilly disagreed, saying, "He lumped the whole group of people," and added, "I think everybody but you in the world agrees this ain't going to help the guy."
From the October 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
Loesch: Paladino expressing himself as social conservative, talking about "his views on sex." Dana Loesch, Editor-in-Chief of Andrew Breitbart's BigJournalism.com, defended Paladino's comments in an appearance on Fox News' America's Newsroom, saying that he "was expressing his stance as a social conservative." Loesch added, "He is a Catholic. He's talking about his views on sex from a religious perspective."
From the October 12 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom: