Books | Gay Marriage | Jo Becker | News | Proposition 8 | Ronan Farrow

NYT Reporter Jo Becker Defends Marriage Equality Book in Grilling from Ronan Farrow: VIDEO

Farrow_becker

MSNBC host Ronan Farrow used a segment of his show to discuss NYT reporter Jo Becker's new book Forcing the Spring: The Fight for Marriage Equality which has come under heavy criticism for a narrative advocates have called absurd, distorted, and just plain wrong.

Becker is asked if she regrets any of the language she used, including comparisons of AFER's Chad Griffin to Rosa Parks, and starting the book with "this is how a revolution begins" as if the movement for marriage equality began when AFER took up the Prop 8 case.

Becker regrets none of it.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. This woman is a dunce.

    Posted by: JMC | Apr 23, 2014 7:24:02 PM


  2. Stonewall was not about gay marriage! If Sullivan wants true archival information about gay marriage he should access "The Canadian Gay Archives" for documented facts from their own marriage evolution. Sullivan prides himself being as an authority on something. I think it was Bear sex. Regardless of the collective consensus, I would be more than "glaad" to sit back and watch them all cannibalize themselves over this. Thank you for writing this behind the scenes book. More behind the scenes please..

    Posted by: GB | Apr 23, 2014 8:03:30 PM


  3. I would not have so much trouble with this if Becker's own summary of the book calls it is “the definitive account of the fight to win the rights of marriage and full citizenship for all….”

    WTF? The book is about ONE case. One case that got booted from the SCOTUS on a technicality. It had ZERO effect outside of California. Then to add insult to idiocy, she mostly ignores the Windsor case -- THE CASE that led to the federal government recognizing all marriages. Unbelievable in its myopia.

    She was an embedded (read: indebted) reporter that did a fluff PR piece for the Prop 8 crowd.

    Posted by: Rob F | Apr 23, 2014 8:20:15 PM


  4. If you don't like the book, just write your own darn book. Whether people will buy it is another question.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 23, 2014 8:21:45 PM


  5. We had a breakthrough moment here in Wisconsin back in the '80's under a Republican governor. In 1982 Gov Lee Dreyfus signed first-in-the-nation legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, credit, and all public accommodations. Hollingsworth was a high point, but it wasn't the beginning of the revolution. Massachusetts passed first-in-the-nation gay marriage ten years ago, five years before Hollingsworth. Some of us showed up to march in Washington way back in 1979, first time that ever happened and not many really had the guts to show up. For me, that's when the fight began. Andrew Sullivan was late to the revolution; he doesn't believe revolution was the way to go about it anyway. Still, it started long before California a few years ago.

    Posted by: NealB | Apr 23, 2014 10:52:31 PM


  6. Ronan has scary eyes.

    Posted by: daws | Apr 23, 2014 11:17:44 PM


  7. Forgive me from deviating from the serious subject matter at hand into the shallow, but every online source I can find (and there are surprisingly many) states Ronan Farrow is nearly six feet tall (5'10" or 5'10.5") which is often used as "proof" he must be Frank Sinatra's son (even though Frank barely reached 5'8") instead of the dwarf-like Woody Allen's (mom Mia is 5'4"). However, every time I watch his show, Ronan Farrow is clearly shorter than most of his female guests and his feet swing a good six inches from the floor in the long shots. How do I get a publicist that can concince the world I am nearly six feet tall when I am so obviously, publicly not. At 5'7" I could use the assist.

    Posted by: Gerister | Apr 23, 2014 11:22:25 PM


  8. Yes, Gerister what does it have to do with this topic? Not much that I can see.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Apr 24, 2014 12:42:35 AM


  9. Ronan misinterprets Jo's laugh (at his apparent lack of actually reading the book) as a laugh at Edie Windsor's relationship with Thea. Not good form.

    And I remember in 2009 there was a lot of hand-wringing over the Perry case, and Olsen and Boies had to explain that someone was going to get to the Supreme Court on marriage prohibition, and they wanted to be certain to get there quickly, with the very best arguments (and as it turns out, trial record) so that they could win. How soon we forget that there were some poorly-filed cases that were attempted in that time frame that made the news... if one of them had been the case to go to the Supreme Court, it might have ended up differently. Of course AFER's team wasn't the only solid team (they're paired with one now in Virginia, for example).

    What AFER did much differently than the other teams was how they handled the public, outside the courtroom. They had the star power and the messaging to bring the marriage equality idea to the masses, and nobody else (nobody) was doing that, or is doing that now. It probably wasn't even their idea, but they inspired actors to act out the ENTIRE TRIAL (12 days) from transcript, only a few days behind the actual testimony.

    Ronan mentions Stonewall as some sort of gotcha, but why did he bring it up? It cuts against his argument. Stonewall WAS the Prop 8 of its day. Before it, there was Mattachine, Daughters of Bilitis, etc. Stonewall started the gay rights movement exactly the same amount as the Perry case started marriage equality successes. In other words, zero, but they were both pivotal events in queer lives, unlike anything that came before, and will be recorded in history.

    It is too bad that there isn't (to my knowledge) a similar level of documentation about the Windsor case, or the Goodridge case (Nov 18 2003, Massachusetts), or the Halpern case (June 10 2003, Ontario). But being firsts, these won't be lost. The Windsor case has certainly lit a fire and will probably be the most influential legally. But being spared from taxes isn't going to be a Hollywood movie, is it?

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 24, 2014 12:57:35 AM


  10. If Ronan Farrow would tighten the screws to all of his guests in the way that he does here to Jo Becker then I would have the utmost respect for him and be an avid fan of his show.
    Great interview!

    Posted by: memike | Apr 24, 2014 5:45:43 AM


  11. Jo Becker is a lying, delusional hack and a very bad writer.
    I hope her pamphlet is in the fiction section.

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 24, 2014 6:06:23 AM


  12. Simon makes the comment:

    "If you don't like the book, just write your own darn book." which ranks as one of the most stupid comments I have ever seen.

    It is false advertising for the talentless hack Jo Becker to write a fictional story and pretend it is fact.

    Do you believe in creationism - your comment seems to suggest you do?

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 24, 2014 10:33:24 AM


  13. I feel so bad for her face. Literally, her face. It makes me uncomfortable to watch.

    A face for print.

    Posted by: Jason | Apr 24, 2014 11:51:47 AM


  14. New books get a 30 day window within a publishing house to make or break. Meaning the in-house publicity and sales team spend 30 days intensely focusing on a new title with attempts at tv, magazine, radio and newspaper publicity. If the book is riding high and getting tons of publicity and hits the bestseller list then of course the publisher continues its efforts. This book, and its author, have now been on several tv shows and received numerous written forms of publicity but it's sales numbers are quite low. I'll bet the publisher thought they had an instant bestseller in their hands (Pulitzer Prize winning author and hot timely topic) but alas it seems it's going to fizzle. Right now the Amazon rank for this book should be well below a hundred but it's over 1,000.
    Not good.
    If the publisher gave Ms Becker a big advance the chances of them recouping that are rather slim at this point.
    This weekend the book is on the cover of the NY Times Book Review which theoretically should give the book a huge bump. Time will tell.

    Posted by: pubguy | Apr 24, 2014 1:03:09 PM


  15. Is Ronan Farrow still in the closet?

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 24, 2014 1:46:20 PM


  16. If this book gets on the NY Times bestseller list you can be sure that someone from Chad Griffin's or Rob Reiner's camp hired some PR firm to do a massive book buy across the U.S. because this book has yet to break the 500 mark on Amazon.

    Posted by: Masloski | Apr 24, 2014 5:17:09 PM


  17. Tighten the screws? When you've got Andrew Sullivan screaming up your ass you've got no choice. He conveys all the threat of a High School student council member, upset about not being able to wear shorts to school.

    As far as book sales go, more evidence that people are overdosed on the subject, despite that it goes counter to the PR.

    Posted by: Gare | Apr 25, 2014 12:04:37 AM


  18. The book is bombing.

    Posted by: jeff | Apr 25, 2014 10:09:00 PM


  19. It's out there. The author deserves an Ann Coulter award.

    Posted by: Arow | Apr 26, 2014 12:08:21 AM


  20. 5/1 Reported widely today that Ronan Farrow's eyes are not as blue as they seem. He wears contacts to enhance them. Also, his MSNBC show is tanking. He should consider drag.

    Posted by: Gare | May 1, 2014 8:30:18 PM


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