By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
In "Gay Conservatives Confront the Pride Divide" [September 7], Norah Vincent calls her admission that she gave a speech to the Log Cabin Republican conference she reported on "full disclosure." It's really something far more cynical: using the illusion of honesty to hide facts about the reporter that readers of the piece are entitled to know.
Regarding the attack on members of the Fed Up Queers by security staff at the Roosevelt Hotel, Vincent writes: "When [Log Cabin executive director Rich] Tafel heard about what was happening on the street Saturday night, he left the banquet midway through dinner, went out to the front of the hotel, and attempted to talk with the handful of remaining FUQ demonstrators. Such diplomacy is typical of Tafel."
Here's what's missing from Vincent's account: She showed up in front of the hotel and began talking to several demonstrators, including me and another demonstrator from SexPanic! She agreed to try to get Tafel to come down and speak to us, and to her credit, she made good on her promise. However, when a journalist convinces a political operative to meet with dissidents, and then writes a story that doesn't mention her role but credits the meeting to the "typical diplomacy" of one side, it's fair to say that her account lacks integrity. When she includes other information about her participation in the event and labels that "full disclosure," readers can reasonably assume she's being willfully deceptive.
Even in regard to the conference participation that Vincent reported in her piece, her description hides as much as it reveals. "Though I am not a member of the Log Cabin Republicans," she writes, "I attended the banquet." According to journalist Andy Humm, members of the press, including Humm and a writer from the New York Post, were denied entry to the banquet. Vincent's presence in the room raises questions about her objectivity that her very limited disclosure fails to answer.
Norah Vincent replies: I hid nothing. In the original draft of the piece, I did say that I was outside the hotel that night with Tafel. The Voice, however, encourages writers to avoid using the first person whenever possible. I said that such diplomacy is typical of Tafel because, as I wrote, I'd seen other examples of it atthe conference plenary that morning. Finally, I was invited to the banquet because, unlike Andy Hummor the Post reporter, I'd been a speaker at the conference. They didn't pay me for my speech, so this was their thank-you.
I was amazed by Nat Hentoff's column "WABC Attacks Free Speech" [September 7], concerning talk show hosts Steve Malzberg and Sean Hannity and the arrest of the Unafaxer. Having worked in talk radio in Nashville, Toledo, Atlanta, and here in Fort Wayne, I too have been bombarded by certain callers to the point of being harassed, threatened, and in one case stalked. I never let on-air or off-air verbal assaults bother me. But I have carried a gun for personal protection since a fellow talk host was the subject of a failed kidnapping and bomb plot. He reacted in fear, removing his personalized license plate and becoming even more paranoid than he had been. Malzberg and Hannity overreacted, and they may pay the price. When you invite opinions from those who hold opposite views, no matter how vehemently, you'd better be ready to suck it up!
Fort Wayne, Indiana
In your September 7 issue, you ran a story, "A Love/Hate Thing," by Donna Ladd, about our Web page, www.godhatesfags.com. This is one of many pieces you've run about our ministry. Given your hedonistic, homosexual-promoting propensities, the article was pretty good. A few points should be made in follow-up.
David Goldman of HateWatch.org accurately notes that it is un-civil-rights-like of these creatures to try to silence our words. He pretends not to recognize that these militant homosexuals are utterly unable to resist their base impulses, that they would bankrupt this nation-its treasury, its laws, and its morals-in pursuit of their burning lust.
If his organization was true to its name, it would keep a close eye on these violent homosexuals. They are as violent as they are intolerant, and they pose the greatest danger to this nation that any group has ever posed. Goldman also gratuitously offers that we "freeze up" when it comes to homosexuals in spite of our strong civil rights record. The fact is, we oppose the homosexual agenda as zealously as we protect the rights of legitimate minorities. That's because we're capable of rational thought. It is disgraceful to compare chosen sexual perversion to innocent innate attributes, such as skin color or national origin.
By Goldman's un-logic, we should afford rapists and pedophiles special rights. Mark my word, these perverts will demand protection for pedophiles next. Mr. Goldman can't see past the end of his nose. His agenda is perversion. Ours is to publish the law of God. Those twain shall never meet. No matter how gracious his rhetoric may sound.
Margie J. Phelps