Archive - Jul 1, 2015

Let Me Be Petty For You: Day Three (The Media)

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In the wake of Friday's decision by the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage nation-wide, I understand that the LGBT community has to be gracious in victory for the sake of optics and public relations. Sure, it would feel great for them to point and laugh at all the hyperbolic, conservative, self-shitting reactions... But since this SCOTUS decision pretty much represents the last time I'll get to argue all the usual arguments with all the usual people who've LOST LOST LOST LOST, let me be be horrible and petty for you. For like a week.

Today, we move down yet another rung on the ladder and turn to the media. Now, most of this column will be dealing with Fox News, but when it comes to the eternal question of "are they malicious or are they stupid", it's not hard to argue that Fox is malicious, while CNN is just stupid.

And by stupid, I mean hella stupid, and by hella stupid, I mean mistaking a flag at a London gay pride parade for the ISIS flag, when actually it was a flag where the ISIS logo was made out of dildos and butt plugs. Which is something that ISIS, not to mention nearly every 2016 presidential candidate, would have a problem with. But a viewer called in screaming ISIS AND THE GAYS HAVE TEAMED UP and CNN devoted six and a half minutes to it while spending zero minutes to figuring out whether or not ISIS and the gays have actually teamed up, since both groups have absolutely no reason whatsoever to sympathize with the other.

It makes me wonder if CNN even has producers at this point, or just a series of keyword filters that have achieved a sort of half-sentience that allows them to recognize controversial terms and generate coverage. It's like a version of Eliza that, instead of asking "How do you feel about ISIS and gays" when you tell it "ISIS and gays", puts "ISIS and gays: what does it mean?" on a teleprompter. That, plus some kind of alien pod-based mind control, would explain the entire network.

Fox, by comparison, are just the usual assholes being assholes because it's their job to be assholes and if they aren't assholes, Roger Ailes won't sign their checks. For a classic example, we turn to Martha MacAllum. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

“We’re just trying to think about the ramifications when a precedent is set what it means down the road, right? So suppose three people say, ‘we want to be a marriage.’ We’re three people, and we love each other, and we want to be marriage. What’s to prevent that under this?”

Mainly it's that three people are not two people. Which means what's preventing that, under this, is a way to somehow adjust and scale the civil marriage contract to more than two people. And that kind of legal framework is something that actually would be "legislating from the bench", as it would have to create a framework for polygamy from scratch, instead of extending the existing framework to people denied it due to the circumstances of their birth. Not to say that it won't happen, or that it shouldn't happen, but, as I've said before, different things are different, so stop being such a dick.

But for sheer hyperbole, you can't beat Sean Hannity and Ted Cruz about how the Obamacare and gay marriage decisions represent, in Cruz's words, "Today Is Some of the Darkest 24 Hours in Our Nation’s History’". Because for Ted Cruz, marriage is about Adam and Eve, not Subject and Verbsteve.

I'd hate to accuse Fox hosts and guests of a lack of perspective, because again, job description. But a statement like that isn't just a lack of perspective, it's a lack of perspective about your lack of perspective. If gay marriage and health care were so dangerous that court decisions in favor of them represent UTTER DARKNESS, we'd be importing all our maple syrup and poutine from a smoking crater of hellfire. I think we're gonna be OK.

And while he said it on the radio, and not on Fox News itself, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention frequent unintentional contributor to this column, frequent Fox contributor, and dingus maximus Erick Erickson, who cried at his party like it's 1979:

"First of all, you're only talking 3 to 5 percent of the population. Now I know a lot of people, a lot of people the thought is that you're born gay. That's actually not really true in most cases. In some cases I think it probably is, but in a lot of cases if you go back to it there are parental issues, there's abuse, and that has a lot to do with it. And as you see a collapse of family - I don't think that it's a coincidence that a collapse of family is - is directly inverse proportional or inversely related to the rise in people who identify as being gay."

Erick, this is really, really important. Stop pretending you know math words. The future of this nation's sanity may well be dependent on you never uttering a phrase as clueless and inane as "directly inversely proportional or inversely related" ever again. Or at least my sanity. And as I go, SO GOES AMERICA.

And second, dude, this is what happens when you have too much intercourse with Keith Ablow. That includes every possible meaning of that word.