Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One Of The Upsides Of Having A Functional Political Memory

Is the cheap absurdist theater fun of watching the same guy who helped whip up a torch-and-pitchfork mob that led to Alec Baldwin getting sacked for yelling at a paparazzi who was stalking his kid --
Dear Andrew Sullivan, 'Left-Liberal Intolerance' Did Not Bring Down Mozilla's CEO
Andrew Sullivan has come to the defense of the Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich, writing that Eich is being treated as a "heretic," a victim of "left-liberal intolerance" and the "ugly intolerance of parts of the gay movement," forced to resign in the wake of stinging criticism of his financial contribution to the passage of Proposition 8 in California in 2008. 

According to Sullivan, the gay mafia has struck again, destroying a man and bringing him down because he would not conform to its thinking. You would be justified in being massively confused by that, because this is the same Andrew Sullivan who was first out of the gate with the pitchfork, driving Alec Baldwin off MSNBC -- as Baldwin bombastically charged that he was the victim of Sullivan and his "fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy." 
It may sound contradictory, but actually, it's all pretty consistent for Sullivan if you think of it this way: He often attacks liberals first, and homophobes second. Alec Baldwin is a liberal (whom Sullivan, rightly, believed was getting a pass from some sectors of the liberal establishment), and so are those among Mozilla's employees and users of its Firefox browser who criticized the Mozilla CEO, driving him to step down. 
Now, I wholeheartedly agree with Sullivan on his criticisms of Baldwin. I, too, slammed Baldwin -- and incurred the wrath of many of his fans who called in to my radio program -- because homophobic speech and actions must be vigorously challenged whether they come from a progressive or a conservative. But if you're going to get worked up over a guy hurling the word "cocksucker" in the heat of the moment -- while he also gave money and support to the causes of LGBT rights and marriage equality -- you should be completely outraged by a man unapologetically giving money to a hate campaign that helped pass Prop 8 by demonizing gay men and lesbians in television ads charging that gays are dangerous to children. The damage done by those ads is incalculable, turning neighbors in California against one another, empowering anti-gay bullies in schools as well as the bashers on the streets. 
But Sullivan is even more wrong because it wasn't the Prop 8 contribution, and Eich's refusal to renounce it, that eventually did Eich in. He was being defended by company executives last week and throughout the early part of this week, even as the dating site OKCupid had urged users to boycott Firefox. Eich even gave an interview on Tuesday suggesting he was staying put. Eich only announced he was stepping down after it was revealed late Wednesday that he'd given money to Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign in 1992, and later to Ron Paul's campaign. Suddenly, in addition to defending a CEO who gave money to homophobic efforts, Mozilla would have to defend a CEO who supported Buchanan, a far-right extremist and isolationist who's been accused of racist and anti-Semitic attacks, and who also was, rightly, driven off MSNBC -- though that took years longer to accomplish than the few weeks it took to purge Alec Baldwin.
-- now get all bitchy that Gawker wants to put that shoe on the other foot:
No word back from WAM on whether they were the ones behind the suspension of a journalist from Twitter for disagreeing with them. But good to know that Gawker believes that journalists [Andrew Sullivan] who sail close to the wind need to be silenced if possible. Name-calling is something they absolutely never do.
A tired, Sullivanesque ideological contortion Gawker itself sums up last and best as follows:
Sullivan's performance, in all its hyperventilating absurdity, is probably best received as an off-site contribution by a former editor to the New Republic's ongoing 100th birthday celebrations. Here is the spirit that the magazine embodied through the latter decades of the 20th century: tireless vigilance, in the face of an empowered reactionary movement, against any signs of excess on the left. Every outspoken liberal a Red Guard, every word about racial injustice an incitement to riot, every slope a slippery slope. Except the slope one is standing on.


John said...

As a long-time homosexual and one-time gay activist (my activism is all about economic issues these days), I have nothing but contempt for Sullivan. He supported Reagan, whose administration's policy turned a blind eye to AIDS.

I'm not sure how Thatcher was about gay issues, but I doubt that the picture was pretty. And Sullivan began his political life as a Thatcherite.

(By the way, in the circles I travel, the only more hated figure on the right than Reagan is Thatcher. Both of them paved the way to the economic crisis we all now face in the industrialized world.)

Here's the thing, Sullivan, as a gay man, supported gay people's enemies at a crucial juncture.

His ugly record of hypocrisy on issues like gay marriage only cements my contempt. He wrote some long nutty paean to gay assimilation to heterosexual norms ("Virtually Normal") at the same time he was frequenting sites where people sought unprotected anal sex--the best way possible to spread AIDS.

What a dick. I loathe this man.

And, no matter what his words were in the heat of the moment, Baldwin was a supporter of gay rights.

Anonymous said...

Sullivan doesn't get to bitch about mobs after he whips one up... this sounds familiar.

Sinnach said...

Farking Gamergate. It's an online hate mob dedicated to keeping video games as a virtual man-cave through whatever means necessary. They have been harassing and threatening women and sjw's (social justice warriors, ie, liberals) for months in an attempt to silence and terrorize their opposition.

It's no wonder the right wingers are giving it a big sloppy kiss.

This latest incident is about a Breitbart reporter (an early supporter of Gamergate) who got his twitter account suspended one day for harassment. Twitter recently reached out for help from WAM (Women Action & in the Media) due to the overwhelming amounts of reported abuse coupled with false reports intended to gum up the works. WAM set up a form where you can report incidents that violate twitter's guidelides (threats of violence, hate speech, doxxing, etc) and they escalate the ones deemed to be valid back to twitter for the final verdict. WAM plays no actual role in determining if someone will be banned/suspended - that's all twitter.

Long story short - that second to last blurb you quoted? Not a single truthful sentence in there. Not one.

WAM can't be behind the suspension because they can't suspend people from twitter. That journalist was suspended (for 1 day by twitter) for harassment, not 'disagreeing with WAM'. Gawker only tried to silence Sullivan by ridiculing his multiple, obvious factual failings.

Linkmeister said...

Maggie wasn't exactly a proponent of gay rights, according to the Guardian: http://tinyurl.com/ldu67hs

After winning the 1987 election Thatcher knew she was on to a winner. She denounced local education authorities for teaching children that "they have an inalienable right to be gay" and brought in the hated clause, then section, 28, which outlawed the promotion of homosexuality as "a pretend family relationship".

Neo Tuxedo said...

John skrev:

I'm not sure how Thatcher was about gay issues, but I doubt that the picture was pretty.

Linkmeister beat me to painting it, but I have to add the first thing I thought of: in the introduction to the DC Comics edition of V for Vendetta, Alan Moore famously (albeit somewhat hyperbolically) said that, with Clause 28, "[t]he government has expressed a desire to eliminate homosexuality, even as an abstract concept".