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.