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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 29: Here, Queer and Utterly Hypocritical

NewsMax suddenly discovers the right to privacy for children of (Republican) presidential candidates.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/20/2004

NewsMax's outrage over John Kerry noting during the third presidential debate Oct. 13 that Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary, is a lesbian would be much more credible if it weren't so utterly disingenuous.

First, NewsMax gets a basic fact wrong. An Oct. 14 story called Kerry's comment an "outing," which is impossible since Mary Cheney -- through of her prior work as lesbian/gay corporate relations manager for Coors Brewing Co. and as a member of the advisory board of the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight alliance formed within the Republican party -- was already quite "out."

NewsMax itself noted Mary Cheney's lesbianism previously -- on Aug. 25 in a story on Dick Cheney's comments in a public forum about his "gay daughter," and in a Sept. 1 story in which Illinois Senate candidate Alan Keyes agreed that she was taking part in "selfish hedonism" by simple definition of her being a homosexual. Nowhere in that article can be found any outrage on the part of NewsMax or the Cheney family about this particular "outing."

Still, NewsMax calls Kerry (and a previous one by Kerry's vice presidential candidate, John Edwards) "lesbian-obsessed," called the Cheneys' other daughter -- whom NewsMax makes sure to describe as a "married mother of four" -- "gutsy" for calling for an apology from Kerry, and, most hilariously, noted a columnist who wrote that "Well-known political preachers like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson have gone out of their way to defend her right to privacy." (Funny, we thought conservatives didn't believe in the right to privacy -- well, not when it furthers its political goal of banning abortion, anyway.)

NewsMax was not so concerned about the "right of privacy" in reporting the doings of the children of the president and vice president before. In fact, NewsMax has in the past complained that the media wasn't running enough stories about them -- the Democrat ones, that is, when they get stopped for speeding or (allegedly) have plastic surgery.

If it was mere hypocrisy and overreaching statements, it wouldn't be NewsMax. While it has thus far failed to find a way to work a Clinton into the controversy beyond quoting Hillary Rodham Clinton on the issue (while still working in terms like "sleazy assault" that for once don't apply to Bill), we do have the requisite clueless columnist making baseless, outrageous statements. Enter Dan Frisa:

What if Bob Schieffer had asked the president if, in his opinion, people were obese by choice?

And what if the president had paused for a dramatic moment and in a calm, deliberate – even caring – voice responded he was sure that John Edwards’ wife was not obese by choice. That he knew John and their kids must be proud of Elizabeth, who was open and candid about her obesity because that’s who she was, that it defined her very life.

After all, she can’t help being so very overweight; she was born that way.

Of course, Edwards and Kerry have not supported a constitutional amendment to make certain activities and benefits off limits to fat people.

To top it off, Frisa also works in a reference to the Edwards family as "John and 'Tiny.'"

The rest of the ConWeb was surprisingly behaved about this non-controversy, their faux outrage being relatively tempered. One exception was Doug Powers at WorldNetDaily, who wrote in an Oct. 18 column about Kerry and Edwards: "How they must wish they had a gay child during this election season – it's such a great campaign accessory for any Democrat. Unfortunately for the Dems, the closest their campaign has to a lesbian is John Edwards himself, who could pass as Melissa Etheridge's "'arm candy' any day of the week."

The outrage by both NewsMax and the Cheney family over Kerry's statement sounds more like a political calculation -- which, sadly, is exactly what we would expect from both.

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