Fox News: Home of Immorality

First it was the infamous falafel and now it turns out that Shepard Smith is THE GAY. FOXNews sure seems like the biggest den of inequity on TV*.

Let’s go to Kleinheider** for the thoughtful, seemingly-right reason why this is:

People who live in DC and New York and travel around the country are almost never “cultural conservatives.” This is the essential disconnect between true conservatives and those professional pundit conservatives who claim to lead and speak for them. Quite often they just ain’t the same type of people.

As with most of my problems with Kleinheider, considering how closely our worldviews line up until the last possible second at which point they diverge so sharply that I often get intellectual whiplash reading his blog, my problems with this paragraph are complex.

Yes, on the surface, it’s true that there does seem to be an enormous disconnect between “true” conservatives and the professional pundit conservatives of Fox News and the like. It’s true that the professional pundit conservatives usually lead lives much different than the lifestyles the people who view them pretend to promote.

Is this because the professional pundit conservatives are just not “the same type of people” as regular conservatives? On the one hand, it’s certainly easier to be promiscuous or gay in urban areas where fewer people give a shit. On the other hand, one certainly doesn’t have to be a social scientist to look at divorce rates in southern states–6.4 per thousand here in the state of churches and church headquarters–coupled with Kleinheider’s own insight that most divorces end because of infidelity to realize that even regular conservative people aren’t “behaving” themselves.

So, if it’s not that there’s some great divide between the open sanctimonious hypocrisy of the political pundit conservatives and the closeted sanctimonious hypocrisy of regular conservatives, what explains folks like Smith and O’Reilly and Coulter?

America, as hard as it is to believe, Smith, O’Reilly, and Coulter are human beings. Human beings get drunk and make asses of themselves. They have sex with each other when they get the chance. And people are gay, even conservatives, even people on Fox news.

I mean, please. It’s not just homosexuals who are, again, quoting Kleinheider, “sex-obsessed deviants.” Being a sex-obsessed deviant is part of being human.

This brings us to an interesting issue. Shepard Smith did not come out. He propositioned the managing editor of the Washington Blade–a gay publication that doesn’t usually out folks–and the editor wrote about it.

I say, “Kevin Naff, good for you.”

Listen, being ashamed of being gay is about the stupidest thing in the world. And allowing people to stay closeted contributes to a culture of shame. Do I think there should be giant witch-hunts and some Big Ole List of Gay people so that everyone can know who’s lusting after members of the same sex?

No, I don’t.

But on the other hand, people are curious about who people like and why they like them and who they want to get into bed with. We freely speculate about which straight folks are fucking and which ones want to be. We should freely speculate about all folks.

I mean, is Kenny Chesney fucking Payton Manning? That’s a yes or no question. It’s true, it might not be my business, but only because it’s not my business, not because there’s something inherently gross about wanting to fuck Payton Manning. He’s a cutie.

And the truth is that there are gay people all over the U.S., even in the red states, even in conservative households. There have always been gay people***, but back when you married so that you could acquire some property with a vagina to have some kids for you, who you were sexually attracted to was less firmly coupled to who you partnered with.

I mean, seriously, Conservative America, people have been fucking people of the same sex forever. Christianity has been on a 2000 year long crusade to abolish such practice and it’s made NO difference. Homosexuality is not some recent invention of Hollywood designed to make you uncomfortable and keep you out of San Francisco. It’s just an expression of the diversity of human experience.

People coming out or being outted, being ashamed of who they are or not, going through ex-gay programs or sitting in bathhouses, none of that makes gayness more or less likely.

I mean, Shepard Smith is not gay as an affront to Fox Viewers. He ought not stay in the closet as a concession to them.

*Though, Sharon, let me know if MSNBC rents out their evening line-up. I’ve got a big bed and I don’t think there’s much that could make me happier than looking around, seeing Dan, Keith, Joe (I know, but what can you do? The vagina wants what the vagina wants.), and Rita naked and grinning and little Tucker curled up way down at the end crying.
**Kleinheider remains the smartest, most insightful person I read who is regularly utterly wrong.
***Yes, I know it’s more complex than that.

"Mature Circus"

You know it’s a weird evening when you look over at all the people sitting on your floor and there’s the Butcher, with his head in Mrs. Wigglebottom’s mouth, and no one notices.

I sat for a long moment wondering if I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing.

“Is your head in the dog’s mouth?”

“Well, you said you thought it was a bad idea for me to put my hand in her mouth.” Which, People of Earth, is true enough. Both the Butcher and my dad love to put their fists in the dog’s mouth, let her shut her mouth around said fist, and then they shake their fist–and by extension, the dog’s head–as hard as they can. She loves this, but it is obviously a stupid trick to teach the dog. She can’t tell who’s got fists that can go in her mouth and who doesn’t.

Here’s another stupid trick my dad taught the dog. My dad is a big man, as are the people in our family. And I don’t mean big in the Hulk Hogan way, I mean big in the “when he’s standing in front of his congregation in his white robe, he looks like someone threw a napkin over a peanut M&M” way.

So, gravity is on his side. And he thinks it is the greatest thing every when the dog runs at him as fast as she can, leaps up onto his belly and back-flips off. And, I’ll admit that it’s spectacular to watch.

But think of poor Yellow Brand Hammer Company, who is more ordinarily sized and not keen on having 60 pounds of dog hurling at his stomach, or even aware that such a thing might be possible. And poor YBHC usually has both hands occupied–cigarette in one, beer in the other–so there’s not a lot of defense he can employ.

But one day, as the Butcher tells it, YBHC was standing out in our front parking lot, having a cigarette, being a little drunk, and the dog came bounding out of the house, ignoring the Butcher’s cries of “Mrs. Wigglebottom, stop! No! Stop!” and running over to YBHC. She leaps up, hits YBHC in the belly full-force, and physics kicks in. She goes off in one direction in a fabulous arc of dog. YBHC goes off in the other direction in a more messy arc of man, tobacco, and booze.

When they were telling me about it later, YBHC said that, even from his perspective, it looked pretty cool. Landing flat on the concrete was not so cool, but the dog somersaulting through the air was a site to behold.

So, what was my point?

Ah, yes, that the dog already has a repertoire of incredibly stupid tricks that we were, at the least, ill-advised in training her to perform. But teaching the dog to let you stick your head in her mouth?

Dear Sweet and Tender Jesus, have a little mercy on my poor brother–that’s got to be just about the stupidest.

But apparently, this is all part of the Butcher’s plan to quit his job and start a non-traveling “mature circus.”

The non-traveling part is obvious. Dude doesn’t have a car. He can’t have a job that requires being on the road, because, obviously, I can’t be without my car for ten months out of the year.

Plus, please, where’s he going to get the money for that venture? They repossessed his car, which is sad enough, but imagine having your whole circus repossessed. Though I wonder what kind of repo man would get that gig?

Anyway, the “mature” part.

“Well,” he explains. He doesn’t want it to be a ‘sex’ show, but he really wants one of his acts to be “a girl who can shoot ping pong balls out of her coochie.”

“Wow.” I say.

“Obviously, not you,” he says.

“Thanks for clarifying.”

But I was thinking about it, and I’ll be damned if the Butcher doesn’t have the beginnings to a pretty interesting circus. I could do his press releases. YBHC could do his posters. Our neighbor twirls fire–okay, I don’t know if he’s worked up to fire yet, but he twirls big balls of cloth that can eventually be set on fire, once he figures out how not to hit himself in the leg every few minutes.

The Butcher has Mrs. Wigglebottom trained to do spectacularly stupid things. And he could wrestle the orange cat.

His sullen, moody friend who doesn’t read Chinese, but has many Chinese words tattooed on him by a man who also doesn’t know Chinese could be our tattooed man. A lot of folks have tattoos, so he’d have to have a gimmick, like “World’s Stupidest Tattooed Man,” though he’d have to get the name of his best friend’s wife tattooed on him first, to really qualify. But we could talk him into that.

I don’t know where we’re going to find a girl who can shoot ping pong balls out of her cooter, because, I imagine that it’s not a skill most women even know they have.

But, I was thinking, too, that both the Butcher and I take forever to actually get around to anything, no matter how fabulous an idea it is. So, if you want to be his ping pong girl, you’ve got plenty of time to practice.