Fourteen paragraphs into a report about rumors about Elena Kagan's personal life, Associated Press writer Martha Irvine finally gets around to acknowledging “Kagan may very well be straight.” Paragraph 15 notes that a White House official told the AP three days ago that Kagan is not gay. Paragraph 16 notes that a college classmate of Kagan's says she dated men. Meanwhile, the closest Irvine comes to offering any reason to believe that Kagan is gay is that she's 50 and has short hair.
The article doesn't contain a single word that adds to what is already known about Kagan. It doesn't contain a single word of original analysis or insight into whether it does or should matter if Kagan is gay. Not one word of explanation or even speculation about why anyone would or should care if a Supreme Court justice is gay. It's just a vague rehash of previous speculation about speculation.
So why was this article written? What's the point?
More than a month after White House officials told reporters that Elena Kagan is not gay, and a week after President Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court, reporters continue to obsessively speculate that she may be gay -- despite a complete lack of evidence that she is, and the statements of several of her friends and associates that she is not.
Here's where things stand:
Elena Kagan's friends and White House staff say she is not gay.
There is no real evidence that she is gay.
Nobody except a few bigots on the far-right fringe of public life says that being gay should disqualify a nominee from serving on the court.
Given those three facts, isn't it time for the media to start covering the actual Supreme Court nominee and her actual record and qualifications, rather than speculating about how people might react if she were gay, which she apparently is not, and which few people think would be disqualifying in any case?