Buzz

Cold embrace; No free ride; Love fest

Cold embrace

How confusing it must be for old-school, pro-family, Christian-right Republicans now, watching the GOP lurch toward the center, toward inclusiveness, toward sodomy. Some longtime GOP faithful must be feeling like the devoted wife suddenly cast aside for a younger woman -- or man, as the case may be.For example, consider Cathie Adams, the Dallas-based president of the pro-family Eagle Forum. At the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia last week, Adams led a silent protest against a speech by gay Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe -- a protest made even more silent thanks to the efforts of supporters of nominee George W. Bush. Adams says she and other members of the Texas delegation found themselves hemmed in by "three men whose shoulders were cemented together" to prevent a walkout during Kolbe's brief speech on free trade. The human wall also kept television cameras from recording Adams and others too closely as they bowed their heads and placed their cowboy hats over their hearts in protest.

Seriously.

"In trying to prevent embarrassment to the governor, I think they [Bush's henchmen] brought embarrassment to him," Adams says. "That was not my intention."

What was her intention? Buzz wondered. Does something about the love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name prevent one from speaking knowledgeably about tariffs and trade deficits?

"This man is not the best person to speak on international trade," Adams says. He was on the podium to signal the Bush GOP's new inclusiveness, to serve as a sort of beachhead for the dozens of gay men and women clamoring to be welcomed into the fold.

"This was their coming out," says Adams, who pointed out that someone flew a "gay flag" at the convention with a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker.

"Tolerating and embracing are two different things," she says. "I think I'm a tolerant person, but I'm not going to embrace something I think is harmful to our children."

She's not tolerant, really, but to Buzz, she at least seems a bit more honest than the political geniuses who put an openly gay Republican on stage to talk about...free trade. If Kolbe's speech was an embrace, it was one of those straight-guy, shoulders-only, keep-the-naughty-bits-distant kind of hugs. It reeks of the same sort of weak-willed hypocrisy behind the Clinton administration's military policy of "don't ask, don't tell." Asexual sexuality. Welcome to the party; check your genitals at the door.

And that's just not good enough, especially for the party that gave us "Let Reagan be Reagan" as a rallying call for ideological straightforwardness. Next time, let that gay flag fly for real. Next time, forget free trade. Talk about the problems of two men sharing a bathroom.


No free ride
There are several reasons for becoming a member of the media, and if you were to ask the average reporter what those reasons were, they would tell you at least one of the following: 1) The chance to stand near famous people; 2) The occasional free meal or ticket; 3) The joy of providing the populace vital information of community import.Sadly, only two of those answers are invariably true. Sadder still, it's likely to get a bit harder for us to glom on to our rightful free stuff, now that the Dallas Police Department is considering no longer issuing city-sanctioned press cards. Police spokesman Lt. Ron Waldrop says the cards, meant to credential reporters attending city functions, serve little purpose since most news outlets issue their own employees identification cards that are way better than the police passes, which are only slightly harder to obtain than a Pokémon card. (He didn't say that last part. We did.)

Also, too many of the cards found their way into the hands of non-reporters who used them to try to sneak into rock concerts and sporting events, which we think is just deplorable. If you want to sneak into rock concerts and sporting events, go to journalism school like the rest of us.


Love fest
When Seth Mnookin, a reporter from Brill's Content, recently asked George W. Bush about a disputed biography that claimed the governor covered up a 1972 cocaine arrest, Bush took the opportunity to lavish praise on The Dallas Morning News. In Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, author J.H. Hatfield quotes three anonymous sources concerning the purported arrest. St. Martin's Press later pulled the book from the shelves after the News reported about one not-so-purported arrest--Hatfield's. He was a convicted felon."I think the book was outrageous," Bush told Mnookin. "And, to the credit of my staff and Pete Slover from the Morning News, who blew the whistle on the fraudulent nature of the writer."

It's good to have friends in high places, especially when you're a newspaper. One day before most other publications, the News reported with confidence and a banner headline the selection of Dick Cheney as Bush's running mate.

Just a coincidence, we bet.

 
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