Gay Kiss Costs WaPo 27 Subscribers

Apparently, this front-page photo made 27 people mad enough to cancel their subscriptions to the Washington Post:

Two happy couples express their enthusiasm as the District begins taking applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples. At top are Jeremy Ames, left, and Taka Ariga. Photo Credit: Photos By Bill O'leary/the Washington Post Photo

Two happy couples express their enthusiasm as the District begins taking applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples. At top are Jeremy Ames, left, and Taka Ariga. Photo Credit: Photos By Bill O'leary/the Washington Post Photo

So, why did nearly half of WaPo’s subscribers cancel?  A few people wrote  ombudsman Andy Alexander using anti-gay slurs. Mostly, though, it was mothers who didn’t want their kids exposed to such displays and grandmothers who really didn’t want to watch the world changing quite so fast.    Alexander defends the photo choice:

Did the Post go too far? Of course not. The photo deserved to be in newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display.

News photos capture reality. And the prominent display reflects the historic significance of what was occurring. The recent D.C. Council decision to approve same-sex marriage was the culmination of a decades-long gay rights fight for equality. Same-sex marriage is now legal in the District. The photo of Ames and Ariga kissing simply showed joy that would be exhibited by any couple planning to wed — especially a couple who previously had been denied the legal right to marry.

There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change.

One can argue whether “mixing” and kissing are equivalent, much less whether homosexual conduct and the mere fact of being black are.  But, certainly, there’s bound to be a major backlash when culturally controversial change is given such prominent treatment.

Is that fact that gay dudes are openly smootching in front of the courthouse — in broad daylight fer Chrissakes! — startling to some?  Much less lining up to get licenses to marry one another?  Of course. That’s precisely why this was front-page news in DC’s major newspaper.   So, I have to agree with Mediaite‘s Drew Grant that, “if you don’t like it, feel free to cancel your Post subscription and live in the alternate reality where the news only reflects what you want to hear. It’s called cable.”

Interestingly — and perhaps proving Alexander’s point — there doesn’t seem to have been any complaint about the hot Anglo-on-Asian action.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Media, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    I wonder what photo they will run if the Pentagon lifts the anti-sodomy regulations?

  2. Mithras says:

    I wonder what photo they will run if the Pentagon lifts the anti-sodomy regulations?

    Maybe a silhouette image of a woman performing oral sex on a man? Because straights engage in sodomy far more frequently than gay people, simply by virtue of straight people being over 90% of the population.

  3. Franklin says:

    Interestingly — and perhaps proving Alexander’s point — there doesn’t seem to have been any complaint on the hot Anglo-on-Asian action.

    Good point, LOL!

  4. JKB says:

    I wonder how many people would have complained if the same photo had been run with a story about growing immoral behavior and the photo caption had been something like “Two men arrested after defiantly kissing on the courthouse stops”?

    Was it the photo or the context?

    Don’t cancel the WP for this, cancel because they can’t get a story right when one of their interns who was on-scene calls it in and photos and video have been on the web for hours. I’m thinking of the WP’s complete failure to come close to the truth in the off duty cop bringing a gun to snowball fight incident.

  5. floyd says:

    Only a very small mind, prone to indoctrination could honestly equate Homosexuality to being black.
    Let’s face it the only thing race, ethnicity, and sexual preference have in common today is for political leverage to gain special privilege for those who do not truly believe in equality under the law.

  6. Herb says:

    Only 27 canceled subscriptions? That’s not exactly what I’d call a major backlash…

    The backlash is against the folks who can’t stand to even see a picture —a picture!— of a gay couple in the newspaper. Its result: increasing acceptance of gay relationships to the point of legally sanctioned same-sex marriages.

    I don’t mean to put words in anyone’s mouth, but I bet if you asked the couple in the picture what they thought about the subscription cancellations, they’d say something like, “Well, that’s too bad. They won’t be able to see our wedding announcement. BWAHAHAHAHA, suckas!”

  7. Franklin says:

    So again, floyd, you insist homosexuality is a choice. Care to trot out the evidence? I’m not denying or confirming, but you seem really sure about it so there must be some profound proof that I’ve overlooked.

  8. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Me, I’m stuck in that alternative universe where there are “two happy couples”. Do the math.

  9. legion says:

    Huh. I would have thought these people had already canceled their subscriptions to WaPo – and every other form of media known to man – after the Madonna-Britney Spears kiss back in two thousand-freaking-three!

    Oh wait, I forgot – it’s ok for women to be gay, but not men. Whiny asshats.

  10. floyd says:

    Franklin;
    You apparently have the ability to overlook plenty of things, but that’s OK since you see so much that isn’t there![lol]

  11. Rick Almeida says:

    So, why did nearly half of WaPo’s subscribers cancel?

    Ha! I see what you did there!

  12. Highlander says:

    “Interestingly — and perhaps proving Alexander’s point — there doesn’t seem to have been any complaint on the hot Anglo-on-Asian action”

    It appears to me the action in actuality, is the Asian guy on the Anglo.

    Outside of “Generation Kill”types, Anglo men have rapidly become everyone else’s bitches. Ain’t that a bitch?

    That is part of the reason Sarah Palin incites such irrational animosity among our elites. She subconsciously drives home the point of what effete wimps our elites are.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    Only a very small mind, prone to indoctrination could honestly equate Homosexuality to being black.

    Only an even smaller mind, prone to homophobia, could honestly think that homosexuality is simply just another “lifestyle choice” rather than being innate (and, therefore, as immutable as skin color)…

    Outside of “Generation Kill”types, Anglo men have rapidly become everyone else’s bitches.

    So, Highlander, whose bitch are you?

  14. Highlander says:

    Interested Party,

    I’m part of an older “generation kill”. Unlike Georgie Bush I didn’t hide out in the National Guard. So no bitching for me sonny boy.

    I must admit however, if Sarah would have me for a short time, it would be tempting. Whips, chains, the whole nine yards…whew!

  15. floyd says:

    aip don’t get a big head even archy could type just ask mehitabel

  16. USJOCK says:

    There are so many cry babies in this country I want to puke! Can’t anyone just be thankful they are here…in this country and let everyone live as they wish?? This is why we have a country!!!! REMEMBER?????