Thursday, January 28, 2010

James O'Keefe, Andrew Breitbart, and the lgbt community

We are all getting a kick out of the tribulations of phony journalist James O'Keefe, but let's not be so quick to make fun that we forget a few things.

O'Keefe was receiving salary from Andrew Breitbart, the founder of the site Big Government. That's the weirdo on the video above being interviewed (the video is painful. Someone needs to talk about punditry in Washington)

You do remember Big Government, do you? That's the site behind the huge crop of lies against Obama appointee Kevin Jennings. From Media Matters comes a listing:

Blogger Hoft's smear campaign against Jennings. Writing for the website Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft has authored a series of factually dubious attacks on Department of Education staffer Kevin Jennings and the organization Jennings founded and previously led, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Hoft's Jennings posts -- which he has labeled "Fistgate," even though many of those allegations have little or nothing to do with the sexual practice of fisting -- often draw upon the work of MassResistance, a Massachusetts based anti-gay organization that has been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Even conservative commentator Dean Barnett has stated that the organization "verges on being a hate group."

Breitbart eagerly embraced and promoted Hoft's false attacks on Jennings. Hoft's "Fistgate" attacks on Jennings and the GLSEN have been faithfully cross-posted on, and Breitbart himself has used Twitter to promote Hoft's work. Among the smears and distortions Breitbart has embraced:
  • Hoft deceptively linked Jennings to "fisting" workshop he criticized. Hoft claimed that a 2000 conference sponsored by the Boston branch of GLSEN included "a workshop where GLSEN activists promoted 'fisting' to 14 year olds," citing a recorded exchange that occurred during a "Queer Sex and Sexuality" workshop at that conference. In fact, Jennings reportedly criticized some of the workshop's content when the recordings were first released in 2000, and the people involved in conducting the controversial discussion were state employees and contractors, not GLSEN employees.
  • Hoft falsely claimed high-school students received "fisting kits" at 2001 GLSEN conference. Hoft falsely claimed that "fisting kits" -- which he placed in quotes -- were distributed at the 2001 GLSEN/Boston conference. But Hoft has presented no evidence that the kits distributed by Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts were actually intended for fisting. Indeed, while the conservative newspaper Massachusetts News -- cited by Hoft -- reported in 2001 that the kits were "intended for 'fisting' or oral sex," the paper described the kit's contents as "a single plastic glove, a package of K-Y lubricant and instructions on how to make a 'dental dam' out of the material" and offered no support for the claim that the kits were "intended for 'fisting.' " Even has reported that Hoft "alleged that Jennings and GLSEN were involved in Planned Parenthood's purported distribution of 'fisting kits,' " but that the kit "was actually for making a 'dental dam' -- designed to prevent STD transmission during oral sex."
  • Hoft falsely suggested Jennings' organization handed out explicit safe-sex booklet to children. Hoft falsely suggested that that GLSEN had distributed to children an explicit safe-sex booklet that included "a list of the local gay bars" and "Pushed Anal S*x in Parks With Strangers." In fact, a community health group -- not GLSEN itself -- reportedly said that it had mistakenly "left about 10 copies" of the booklet on an informational table it rented at a 2005 GLSEN conference at Brookline High School in Massachusetts; the group reportedly apologized for doing so; GLSEN stated that if it had known the booklets had been at the conference, it would have demanded they be removed; and the Brookline school superintendent reportedly said he believed no students had actually taken the booklet.
  • Hoft falsely claimed Jennings "Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex." Hoft falsely claimed that Jennings "Personally Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex," citing MassResistance's falsehood that a book Jennings recommended to high school and college students, One Teenager in 10, "encourage[s] teens to, among other things, go to gay bars and have sex with adults to see if they like it." Media Matters for America has reviewed the book, compiled all references to gay bars, and determined that the book at no point encourages teens to "go to gay bars and have sex with adults." In fact, a majority of the youth testimonials included in the book that mention gay bars refer to them negatively. also smeared Jennings. An October 6, 2009, post grossly distorted comments Jennings made to a GLSEN audience in 2000 to claim he "criticize[d] schools for promoting heterosexuality." In fact, in the audio files posted at, Jennings promoted a curriculum that demands "respect [for] every human being regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of gender identity, regardless of race or religion or any of the arbitrary distinctions we make among people," and said that efforts to promote a specific sexual orientation through schools were ineffective.

O'Keefe went after ACORN and caused the organization considerable trouble. Just imagine what he could have tried with various national and statewide lgbt organizations.

It's a part of a huge picture of targeting us all via slander and innuendo. O'Keefe got over his head and got so stupid that he got caught.

I'm sure there are others waiting in the wings.

Just something to remember.

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Florida anti-gay adoption law dying a slow death? and other Thursday midday news briefs

Oh yeah. Opposition to LGBT equality is ALL ABOUT THE LOVE!

Hat tip to and the New Civil Rights Movement for the picture

Ruling a third strike against Florida's gay adoption ban - While ruminating over Don't Ask, Don't Tell and marriage equality, let's not forget this VERY important issue.

Polis Introduces Youth Protection Bill - Again, another issue that shouldn't be neglected.

Because you never know what 'right' he will seek next - These phony experts seem to be "testifying" everywhere.

'Don't say gay' bills deferred to senate committee - These bills are archaic. How did we miss talking about them?

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Family Research Council rails about 'sexualization' of the Armed Forces

While I know that everyone wants to zero in on Obama for his comments regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell, check out this from an email message by the Family Research Council:

Last night in his State of the Union Address, President Obama repeated his call for Congress to repeal the military eligibility law that was passed in 1993, and to allow homosexual conduct within the ranks of the armed forces.

This would put our military in the strange position of actively recruiting personnel who have an expressed intention to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which still prohibits certain forms of sexual conduct, including homosexuality). Forcing soldiers to cohabit with people who view them as sexual objects would inevitably lead to increased sexual tension, sexual harassment, and even sexual assault. America's military exists to fight and win wars --not to engage in radical social engineering.

It's amazing how the lies never really change. During the original hearings in the Clinton Presidency, Army and Navy officials circulated the discredited studies of Paul Cameron. Senator Sam Nunn, who opposed gays in the military, took the press on a tour of  shower facilities in an attempt, I guess, to emphasize how "normal soldiers"  are in danger if lgbt soldiers are allowed to serve openly.

That's the opposition, folks. And if we either laugh or marvel at the ignorance of FRC's statement, we do it at our own peril. We should remember that the organization belongs to a conglomerate of groups, talking heads, and assorted blogs all pushing the same lie - that somehow allowing gays to serve openly in the military will lead to danger.

So while Obama is relevant to a degree, in a larger sense he is rendered irrelevant if FRC and other organizations (not to mention Fox News, Big Government, etc.) can stitch together a  good fear story to make Americans doubt the necessity of eliminating DADT.

And you just know that they are going to try. The question is what are we going to do about it?

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