Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The true scourge of Orlando

I've always respected CNN's Anderson Cooper as a journalist. Sure he's a leftist, but I've never had a sense that it clouded his ability to conduct a tough (but fair) interview.

In the aftermath of the recent Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL, Cooper recently chatted with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who apparently spoke out against gay marriage some time ago. Because Ms. Bondi was upholding the one of the tenets of her job (i.e. advocating for the voters' position on a 2008 gay marriage ban), Cooper asserted that any sympathy she expressed towards the LGBT community after the horrific tragedy at Pulse can be construed as hypocritical. 

Check it out for yourself: 

Guy Benson, himself a gay man, was appalled by Cooper's line of questioning.

Many Lefties and press types are giddy over Cooper's performance, for which he should actually be embarrassed. There is precisely zero hypocrisy -- none -- in an elected official both (a) opposing same-sex marriage as a public policy matter, and (b) unequivocally blasting the mass murder of gay people, and vowing to do everything in her power to prevent or severely punish similar outrages in the future. This should be patently obvious to anyone who doesn't reflexively assume that all opposition to gay rights legislative efforts are rooted in "hate." I'm by no means blind to the fact that genuine homophobia exists, and that some anti-LGBT sentiment is pure bigotry. I also disagree with Bondi's legal position (effectively endorsed by a lopsided majority of Florida voters in 2008) that the implementation of legalized gay marriage would inflict "harm" on the state. Bondi, who didn't acquit herself especially well in this exchange in my view, at least makes clear that she doesn't believe gay people are harmful, which is how Cooper unfairly framed the question.

Think about it: Here we have the state's top law enforcement officer being raked over the coals for her act of standing in solidarity with a community that had just found itself in the crosshairs of lethal terrorism. Her public stance on any number of policy disputes pertaining gay rights issues is irrelevant here -- unless she'd previously advocated in favor of anti-gay violence, which of course she had not. Times like these require ardent gay rights supporters and entrenched gay rights opponents alike to stand tall, shoulder to shoulder, against a surpassing evil that threatens our shared values. Cooper chose to use his formidable platform and gravitas to blur important distinctions and imply equivalencies that do not exist. In doing so, he actively participated in the division of America. He made it harder for his fellow countrymen to coalesce in needed unity, shared anger and joint resolve. He debased himself with his morally-bereft premise.

In fairness to Cooper, he became visibly emotional when, during a recent broadcast, he read the names of the 49 victims of last Saturday's shooting. I can only surmise that emotions were still pretty raw and thus his line of questioning seemed more coarse than normal.

Alas, one could argue Cooper's premise is another in a vast collection of red herrings over the past few days. Yes, the primary focus should be on government bureaucracies continually failing the citizenry as well as a worldview looking to destroy western culture. However, that may (or may not) occur only after the perpetual boogeymen comprised of "gun nuts" and Christians endure their rhetorical flogging.



W.B. Picklesworth said...

In fairness to Cooper, he became visibly emotional...

He's unprofessional. If he can't be fair to an interviewee because he has a personal connection to a story, then he shouldn't be the one doing the interview.

Brad said...

If he can't be fair to an interviewee because he has a personal connection to a story, then he shouldn't be the one doing the interview.

A valid point.

I can only surmise that Cooper felt he could separate his personal feelings but then got caught up in demagoguery. Given he's one of the bigger names at CNN, I'm sure the top brass at the network gives him a lot of latitude regarding his work.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I'm sure he's got almost infinite latitude in one direction.