Friday, September 08, 2006

More Shoe Aftertaste For Howard Dean

Howard Dean has to be accustomed to the flavor of shoe by now. The gaffe-prone head of the Democratic National Committee has severely damaged his credibility with the gay community over the past ten months by closing that party's gay outreach office (but not its gay fundraising office), firing the head of gay outreach because of criticisms his partner made to a small circle of gay activists, and most recently, appearing on right-wing anti-gay preacher Pat Robertson's 700 Club show to proclaim the Democratic Party platform's (non-existent) plank defining marriage as "between a man and a woman."

You'd think he'd quit while he's behind. But that's not the style of the Howard Dean who provides us with such entertainment value!
more . . .

Washington Blade editor and columnist Chris Crain reports on Dean's latest gaffe:

In an interview last week with Karen Ocamb of IN Los Angeles magazine, Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean scoffed when she referred to the Washington Blade as the "gay newspaper of record." He responded by the dismissing the Blade as "the New York Post of the gay and lesbian press corps."

"They're not credible and they have somebody there who has an agenda which is clearly not favorable to the Democratic Party so we simply don't give them any credence," he said.

The Blade has long been the most credible professional newspaper in the gay media -- one gay columnist friend of mine in Boston refers to it as "the gay New York Times." Dean, if he was serious about outreach to gay people, probably wouldn't be slamming the best-respected gay newspaper, but rather trying to sell it on his point of view.

However, we learn that his main beef isn't with a particular mistake they've made in coverage -- it's that the Blade hasn't provided Dean with fawning coverage that is "favorable to the Democratic Party." His response? Rather than engage with the gay community's most important newspaper, he's simply going to ignore it (like he ignores the facts) because it doesn't parrot his press releases and engages a few writers who aren't Democrats, including notorious GOP partisan James Guckert (aka "Jeff Gannon"). So much for Dean's commitment to "diversity in perspectives." Gay people, apparently, are supposed to be impressed by his media blackout.

As Crain notes:

This is, mind you, the same Howard Dean who lent credence to Pat Robertson's chops as a journalist by appearing on his "700 Club." Reverend Robertson doesn't have an anti-Democrat "agenda," does he Governor Dean?

Indeed. Howard Dean thinks so highly of Pat Robertson that he appears on his program -- he thinks so little of gay and lesbian people that he not only blasts gay marriage on Robertson's show on behalf of his party, but gives our most important newspaper of record "no credence." He respects the authority of the religious right, but not the intelligence of you and me.

One has to wonder what about the flavor of his foot Dean finds most appealing.

On a policy basis, one has to wonder how much longer Democrats can continue their "pro-gay" facade before the whole ediface finally crumbles away to reveal the lack of substance beneath it.