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Right Wing Monster, Laura Ingraham December 1, 2008

Posted by joshuachayne in Culture, media, Religion, Uncategorized.
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Right Wing radio host, Laura Ingraham is either a charlaton or suffers from severe cognitive dissodence. 

As noted in a previous post, Laura Ingraham is known for her homophobia.

While working for the conservative campus paper The Dartmouth Review during the 1980s, Ingraham sent an undercover reporter to secretly tape a meeting of gay and lesbian students, under the auspices of pursuing a follow-the-money story on where a mandatory $100-per-student activities fee went. “The View’s” latest guest co-host then went on to print the names of those students, who had not been made aware a reporter was present.

The piece she then ran denounced the group as “cheerleaders for latent campus sodomites.”

Its ironic that Laura is now criticizing gays for listing individuals and companies that voted “Yes on 8” when she use to intentionally out gay people and with malicious intent.

However, Laura also has a gay brother, Curtis Ingraham.  Laura eventually did an interview for the Washington Post where she explained that her views on homosexuality had been tempered due to her brother. 

“In the ten years since I learned my brother Curtis was gay, my views and
rhetoric about homosexual have been tempered, because I have seen him and
his companion, Richard, lead their lives with dignity, fidelity and
courage.”

“My brother had to claim he was Richard’s
“caretaker” to gain full access in the hospital, “knowing what they had
been through together made it sound antiseptic, almost an insult.”

Laura stated that it was seeing her brother and his late partner living their lives and caring for each other that shifted her views and it was not due to them “prosteltizing gay rights”.  Laura and the other Right Wingers are not fans of “prosteltizing” for gay rights or any type of civil rights as they view this as “greivance mongering”.  I’m not sure why they can’t understand why a group of people who is denied equal rights and protections would actually advocate for those rights and protections.

Laura indicated that it was insulting that her brother had to say that he was his partner’s “caretaker” to get into his partner’s hospital room instead of being recognized and acknowledged as his life partner.  Yet to be officially acknowledged and to have visitation rights and rights to be party to medical decisions, Curtis and Ricky would have to have been married or in a civil union.  However, Laura Ingraham seems to be against both gay marriage and civil unions as evidenced by her diatribe in her book, Power to the People.

So it would appear that Laura would have wished that Curtis and Ricky had been treated equally to married straight couples while also expressing her desire that gay couples should not recieve equal rights and protections as married straight couples.  Which is it Laura?  You can’t have it both ways.

Finally, David Brock portrays a different side to Laura Ingraham in his book, Blinded by the Right–the Conscience of an Ex-Conservative.  David Brock was a “right wing hit man” whose job was to smear liberals and others who stood in the way of the right wing agenda.  He wrote a book blasting Anita Hill, the woman who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harrassment.  He was friends with the Right Wing darlings of the 90s– some of whom are still Right Wing darlings.  However, David was also gay.  While some of his Right Wing friends like Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter knew that he was gay, his outing to the general Conservative community and the resulting homophobic backlash, lead him on his journey to becoming a liberal and holding the Right Wing media accountable through his organization, Media Matters.

The juicier parts of his book includes descriptions of him and Laura Ingraham snorting what they believed to be cocaine (but ended up being cat tranquilizer) in a gay bar and Laura and Ann setting him up on a date with Right Wing blogger, Matt Drudge (who has sense been outed as gay by several sources) of the Drudge Report. 

He (David Brock) tells of one crazy night at a gay bar in Washington where he and Laura Ingraham sniffed up what they thought was high-grade cocaine. It was cat tranquilizer! Both of them got violently sick, and Ingraham crawled on her hands and knees through a jam-packed dance floor of gyrating men to reach him — in the men’s room where he passed out.

And he also tells about how Ingraham and Ann Coulter fixed him up on a “blind date” with another gay journalist, Matt Drudge. Brock said he wanted to keep the friendship with Drudge platonic, but that Drudge showed up in his little red compact car with a dozen roses for Brock!

They went to another gay club where Brock saw someone he found attractive and interesting, but Drudge stepped on the guy’s feet and told him to back off. Brock said Drudge was “a scary date.”
 

Brock also says in his book that Ingraham admitted to him that she doesn’t really believe all the things she says (many of us already expected that) and that it was her job to generate hateful nasty sound bites.

So who is the real Laura Ingraham?  Is she the traditionalist Cathloic who champions family values or is she the party girl drug user?  Is she affirming of gay couples or does she think that gay couples do not deserve civil unions or marriage?

Is she conflicted about cultural issues or is she simply a money grubbing charlaton who sells out her real ideas and values to cash in on a niche market based on ignorance and bigotry?

Has she made fools of the millions of consevative fans who believe that she is the real deal?

Regardless, the fact that she would continue ratcheting up fear and prejudice against gay people (including her own brother Curtis) on her radio program and during her appearances on Fox News makes her a verifiable monster.

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Obama in the Middle July 10, 2008

Posted by joshuachayne in politics, Uncategorized.
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Obama supporters should not be shocked that he has been at least perceived to be pivoting towards centrist positions. That is the norm in campaign politics. Politicians play to their base during the primary and then move toward the center, arguably where most Americans are, for the general election.

Finally democrats are catching on that they can reach out to evangelicals and speak the language of faith too. It is usually the republicans who are more comfortable talking about faith but that has changed with this election. John McCain is not very open about his spiritual beliefs and doesn’t seem at ease when discussing religion. Obama, on the other hand, sometimes sounds like a preacher when he is giving a powerful speech. Its no question that Obama is an impressive orator but he also seems to have an intuitive understanding of the evangelical community even though his view of Christianity is more liberal than many of theirs.

Kerry made a big mistake in not courting evangelicals so it is nice seeing Obama reaching out to them. Obama says he will support an expansion of Bush’s faith based initiatives. He has also met with a group of evangelical leaders. However, Obama will have to do more than talk faith to convince those who disagree with his views on abortion and gay rights to vote for him. I believe that Obama should let them know that his inclusive beliefs come from or at least are compatible with his Christian faith.

Some of Obama’s more left leaning supporters also worry about his position on FISA which is going to allow telecommunications companies to have immunity from being held accountable for spying on americans. Obama also supports gun rights with some regulation and has said that mental illness should not be used to justify late term abortions. Obama also seems to support the death penalty in the case of brutal crimes against children.

Again, I don’t think that Obama supporters should be surprised. Yes, he is a liberal and a progressive, but he shouldn’t be expected to be an automaton that always keeps in step with the party line. After all there is much variation within the democratic party and within the liberal and progressive traditions as well. Most of us probably have a mix of liberal and conservative views.