A Feb. 9 article by Mark D. Tooley at David Horowitz's FrontPageMag is a laughable, poorly written attempt to pull off a bizarre bit of guilt by association: claiming that virulently anti-gay Kansas preacher Fred Phelps is a leftist.
Headlined "The 'God Hates Fags' Left," Tooley's article falls way short of proving that Phelps is a leftist. Tooley writes that Phelps "supported Saddam Hussein and has been appreciative to Fidel Castro," but he offers no supporting evidence to back it up; If Phelps has a "God Loves Saddam" website, Tooley didn't mention it. Details of Phelps' Democratic links -- he ran for office as a Democrat and "actively supported Al Gore in 1988 and 1992" -- may be true, but they are meaningless because Tooley offers no evidence that Democrats currently support Phelps, particularly after launching his "God Hates Fags" campaign.
Tooley also ignores evidence to the contrary. Phelps promoted a 2005 vote in Topeka, Kan., his hometown, to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals in city government hiring -- a position that puts him in the mainstream of social conservatism. And when Phelps' granddaughter, Jael Phelps, ran against the state's first openly homosexual officeholder for a Topeka City Council seat (and got clobbered), the Souther Baptist Convention-owned Baptist Press newswire deemed it worthy of coverage.
In short, it's the kind of reporting we've gotten to know and love from the Horowitz organization.