I used to like watching Bill O’Leilly on FOX…not because I agreed with him, but because it was fun to predict how quickly he could shift positions to support the conservative stand of the moment. Then I appeared on his show and caught him in a brazen lie about the time he outed a Massachusetts judge.
It’s no surprise, of course, that Rick Santorum’s gay communications director would arrange to have him appear on O’Leilly’s show…Where else can a wingnut like Santorum be guaranteed a friendly interview?
From Today’s Washington Post:
Sen. Rick Santorum has accused the Philadelphia Inquirer of having “outed” one of his staffers.
The Pennsylvania Republican made the charge on Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” last week after the Inquirer published a story headlined: “A Top Santorum Aide Is Gay.”
Why on earth would the Inquirer run such a piece? Reporter Steve Goldstein, who was following up a story about the aide’s sexuality on a gay Web site, noted that Santorum “has been an outspoken opponent of homosexual rights and a leading proponent of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.” But does that mean his staffers’ private lives are fair game? (emphasis added)
Inquirer Editor Amanda Bennett calls the outing charge “nonsense.” She says the aide (whose name is not being mentioned by this column) told the Web site that he was an “out gay man who completely supports the senator.” The site called him a “self-loather.”
“So we didn’t out him,” Bennett says. “It is being talked about in the context of one of the hottest contested races in the country.” She says that perceived conflicts between a politician’s positions and personal associations — such as Vice President Cheney and his daughter, Mary, who is gay — are a common subject of news stories.
The staffer, who says he’s received death threats, notes that Santorum and his friends knew about his sexuality, but not everyone did. He questions why whom he chooses to sleep with should be thrust into the news in a way that heterosexual aides would not face.
Bennett responds that “lots of people are upset by lots of things we write.” Santorum, who once said that legalization of gay sex could lead to bigamy and incest, told the paper it is “entirely unacceptable that my staffers’ personal lives are considered fair game by partisans.”