Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and Tim Graham start their April 30 column by writing:
The times they are a-changing in ways even Bob Dylan didn't foresee.
I have an early childhood memory riding my bike and coming across a discarded booklet on proper social etiquette. It had the perfunctory rules. Gentlemen always open doors for ladies. Stand when a lady comes in the room. And so on. But the one I remember vividly is this: A lady always extends her hand first in greeting. Why? Fifty years ago I could understand the concept, but even then, I thought it was a bit much. Today that rule's been abandoned.
Whose "early childhood memory" is this? Perhaps it's Graham's since he's been shown to be the actual writer and Bozell just the figurehead. But this is the kind of problem you have when you have a singular memory described in a column written by two people.
Conflicts in literary perspective aside, Bozell and Graham's goal is to further the MRC's anti-gay agenda by mocking the idea of the Washington Post hiring a columnist to address issues of gay etiquette:
"Steven Petrow will be joining our advice ranks," declares the Post, "with a special emphasis on LGBT and straight etiquette issues." Petrow, states his bio, is "the go-to source for modern manners ... known as Mr. Manners." Why was he chosen for the job? He will tell you it's largely because he's the former president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.
His column is called "Civilities" (get it, homophobes?), and Mr. Manners will tackle many thorny etiquette issues as well. In his introductory piece, he outlines some of the issues he's dealt with in the past.
He muses about the gay cop who wrote in to say he was subjected to homophobic jokes, feeling it was his colleagues' way of convincing him to resign. Or the gay widower upset that his in-laws omitted him from his husband's obituary. Or the most vexing question of them all: How to introduce a married same-sex couple? (Answer: They "should be referred to as you would any legal spouse, and that's 'husband' and 'wife.'")
Questions, questions. "Do parents pay for their gay son or lesbian daughter's wedding?" "Is a dad expected to walk his son down the aisle?" "What pronoun (and restroom) is appropriate for a person who is transgender?" "How do you respond to 'assimilated' gays who find 'flamboyant' ones embarrassing?"
How do you respond to an entire industry you find embarrassing?
Well, you've just seen you Bozell and Graham respond to something it finds embarrassing -- with sneering and derision for their fellow Americans.