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Towleroad in Brief: 5 Questions for Frank Rich

Rich

On Friday afternoon, Towleroad's Corey Johnson and I paid a visit to the office of New York Times columnist Frank Rich (you may remember his recent column on the National Organization for Marriage and the waning of the anti-gay movement). Rich answered a few of our questions about the LGBT community and Democrats, the state of the Republican Party, traditional media vs. new media, the Miss California blow-up, and the ethics of outing closeted elected officials.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Towleroad in Brief: 5 Questions for Frank Rich" »


Obama Defends Economic Plan as Skeptics Raise Questions

Obama60 Obama appeared on 60 Minutes last night to discuss a variety of topics, among them the AIG bonuses.

Meanwhile, skepticism abounds on the bank plan. Economist Paul Krugman panned the Geithner bank plan: "Why am I so vehement about this? Because I’m afraid that this will be the administration’s only shot — that if the first bank plan is an abject failure, it won’t have the political capital for a second."  And Frank Rich wondered: Has a "Katrina moment" arrived?

Obama also took on Dick Cheney and his assertion that new policies on Guantanamo Bay and prisoner treatment were making America more vulnerable.

Said Obama: "I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney. Not surprisingly. You know, I think that-- Vice President Cheney has been-- at the head of a-- movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our Constitution, our belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests. I think he's drawing the l-- wrong lesson from history. The facts don't bear him out. I think he is-- that attitude, that philosophy has done incredible damage-- to our image and position in the world. I mean, the fact of the matter is after all these years how many convictions actually came out of Guantanamo? How many-- how many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment. Which means that there is constant effective recruitment of-- Arab fighters and Muslim fighters against U.S. interests all around the world."

Watch the portion of the 60 Minutes interview on AIG, AFTER THE JUMP....

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Frank Rich on Obama and Rick Warren: You're Likable Enough, Gays

Frank Rich of the NYT is just the latest columnist to hand Obama a piece of his mind on the Rick Warren mistake. Here's a taste of it:

Rich"Warren’s defamation of gay people illustrates why, as does our president-elect’s rationalization of it. When Obama defends Warren’s words by calling them an example of the “wide range of viewpoints” in a “diverse and noisy and opinionated” America, he is being too cute by half. He knows full well that a “viewpoint” defaming any minority group by linking it to sexual crimes like pedophilia is unacceptable.

"It is even more toxic in a year when that group has been marginalized and stripped of its rights by ballot initiatives fomenting precisely such fears. 'You’ve got to give them hope' was the refrain of the pioneering 1970s gay politician Harvey Milk, so stunningly brought back to life by Sean Penn on screen this winter. Milk reminds us that hope has to mean action, not just words.

Warren"By the historical standards of presidential hubris, Obama’s disingenuous defense of his tone-deaf invitation to Warren is nonetheless a relatively tiny infraction. It’s no Bay of Pigs. But it does add an asterisk to the joyous inaugural of our first black president. It’s bizarre that Obama, of all people, would allow himself to be on the wrong side of this history.

"Since he’s not about to rescind the invitation, what happens next? For perspective, I asked Timothy McCarthy, a historian who teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an unabashed Obama enthusiast who served on his campaign’s National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council. He responded via e-mail on Christmas Eve.

"After noting that Warren’s role at the inauguration is, in the end, symbolic, McCarthy concluded that “it’s now time to move from symbol to substance.” This means Warren should “recant his previous statements about gays and lesbians, and start acting like a Christian.”

"McCarthy added that it’s also time 'for President-elect Obama to start acting on the promises he made to the LGBT community during his campaign so that he doesn’t go down in history as another Bill Clinton, a sweet-talking swindler who would throw us under the bus for the sake of political expediency.'"

Read the rest HERE.

You’re Likable Enough, Gay People [frank rich - nyt]

For all our Rick Warren coverage, CLICK HERE.


Frank Rich and Frank Kameny: Pardon Larry Craig

As Idaho Senator Larry Craig's court date, at which he will attempt to withdraw his guilty plea, approaches, columnist Frank Rich (now out from behind the NYT TimesSelect firewall), throws his support behind the ACLU and longtime activist Frank Kameny, calling for the exoneration of Larry Craig. Kameny argued for the innocence of the "self-deluding hypocritical homophobic bigot" last week in a letter to conservative rag WingNutDaily.

LarrycraigmugshotSaid Kameny: "Fair is fair. [Craig] was the victim of a false arrest and a malfeasant prosecution."

Rich agrees: "While there's widespread agreement that Mr. Craig was an idiot not to consult a lawyer before entering a guilty plea (for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor carrying a $575 fine), idiocy is no more a federal offense than hypocrisy, especially in Washington. What Mr. Craig did in that men's room isn't an offense either. He didn't have sex in a public place. He didn't expose himself. His toe tapping, hand signals and 'wide stance' were at most a form of flirtation. As George Will has rightly argued, if deviancy can be defined down to 'signaling an interest in sex,' then deviancy is what 'goes on in 10,000 bars every Saturday night in our country.' It's free speech even if the toes and fingers do the talking."

Larry Craig is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

Pardon Poor Larry Craig [nyt]


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