Friday, May 13, 2005

1039 Phony through and through

Yesterday Glenn Beck was doing a parody/schtick on Florida weatherman Bill Kamal who was caught in a police dragnet of a “men and boys” web site when Kamal made arrangements to meet a “boy” he thought was 14. He only wanted to comfort him in the death of his father, he said. Beck really took him to the comedy woodshed for this tearjerker:

“In the interview with Channel 10, Kamal denied the chat room was called BoyzForMen, saying it was either SonsAndDads or DadsAndSons. He said he was hoping to be a big brother to some poor, unfortunate kid, because he was a fat child and he knows what it feels like to be picked on and teased.”

I don’t know if it safe for anyone to meet a lover on the internet, but it seems to be risky if you are a public figure involved in something your audience or constituency wouldn‘t like. Take this story about the Mayor of Spokane, Jim West. He is calling the Spokane reporters of the Spokesman-Review that trapped him soliciting a 17-year-old on the Internet the “sex Nazis.” As it turns out, these are not isolated incidents for either the Floridian or the Washingtonian. Men just don’t suddenly decide, “I think I’ll go on the Internet today and look for young boys to entice.” Others are coming forward and charging West with molestation some years ago.

Talk about a phony. For years he masqueraded as a “fiscally conservative Republican opposed to gay rights, abortion rights and teenage sex.” That’s a really great cover, isn’t it? He was married five times, and dated women, but it apparently was not a well kept secret that he was gay. Many Republicans are really Libertarians and a legislator’s sex life is of no interest as long as he does his job. But most voters don’t like a politician’s phoniness, or violating the basic values of his supporters.

“West has been no friend to Spokane’s gay community, said Dean Lynch, a former Spokane city councilman and the city’s first openly gay politician. Spokane’s gay and lesbian community has “general knowledge that Jim West is a closeted gay man,” but they are quiet because of the “tremendous power that he wields." Lynch said.”

Editor and Publisher on May 12 ran a column on the ethics of the undercover work of the Spokesman. It includes excerpts from an on-line chat with 10 editors.

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