Glenn Beck F-Word Controversy
John Aravois is outraged that CNN is defending Glenn Beck’s use of the word “faggot” on its airwaves and urging a letter writing campaigns to the network’s major sponsors.
I’d somehow missed the controversy. It turns out that Beck only used the word in the context of discussing the controversy over Grey’s Anatomy co-star Isaiah Washington’s use. Here’s the exchange between Beck and radio host Dave Glover from the transcript:
GLOVER: Yes. Basically you have Isaiah Washington, who`s one of the stars of the show, who referred to one of his co-stars during a heated argument as a derogatory term for a gay man that starts with “F”, rhymes with maggot. Did it a couple more times after that. And do you like how I did that?
BECK: Do you know that “The New York Times” wouldn’t even print — I mean, we can say the word. We’re having an adult conversation here. Wouldn`t even print the word “fagot.”
BECK: Wouldn’t print it. I find that amazing.
Presumably, it’s the transcriber who is unable to spell “faggot,” not Beck.
Nothing particularly controversial there, other than that he dares to utter the word and arguing that it’s silly to discuss the controversy without using the word. At that point, he goes on to deride Washington as a “jerk.”
GLOVER: When did we elevate obnoxious behavior to a medical condition? You know, I mean, when is just being a jerk, an obnoxious jerk mean that you now have to go to rehab? We`d be having the same conversation each week.
BECK: It`s Michael Richards and before that it was Mel Gibson. It`s the same damn story.
GLOVER: Yes. It is the same story. And we need to stop. Just call it what it is, OK? When someone acts in an obnoxious way, they are being a jerk. If people do it enough, they are a jerk, and it doesn`t mean that they have a genetic condition that makes them do it.
It means they`re a jerk and they need to study and grow up, be a man and stop acting like a jerk, not go seek out medical attention or, you know, spiritual counseling. Just stop it.
Aravosis is upset that Beck subsequently defends “faggot” as merely a “naughty word,” observing that “Faggot is the n-word to gays.”
Yet, Aravosis uses the word several times in his post. In the same way Beck did: to discuss an ongoing controversy.
That’s entirely appropriate.
Washington’s use of the word “faggot,” in an argument with gay castmate T.R. Knight, was a slur. It was meant to be hurtful. Beck’s use–and Aravosis’ and mine–is merely the repetition of a “naughty word” in an adult conversation about it. Those are quite different things. And I can’t imagine that intelligent gays wouldn’t implicitly understand that.