David Dreier Latest Outing Target
David Dreier and his straight hypocrisy (LA Weekly)
The latest target of a Capitol Hill outing campaign Ã¢€” designed to expose closeted homosexual Republicans who oppose civil rights for gay people Ã¢€” is San Gabriel Valley Congressman David Dreier.
The powerful 12-term congressman Ã¢€” chairman of the House Rules Committee, chairman of the California Republican House delegation, co-chairman of Californians for Bush, chairman of Governor Arnold SchwarzeneggerÃ¢€™s transition team Ã¢€” is in the cross hairs of Mike Rogers and his Blogactive.com Web site, whose outing campaign has already forced one GOP congressman out of politics. Representative Ed Schrock, a reactionary from Virginia, ended his re-election campaign last month after Rogers put on his Web site an audiotape of Schrock trolling for tricks on a gay chat line.
Now, Rogers Ã¢€” a former development director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Ã¢€” has given Dreier the Ã¢€œRoy Cohn Award, in recognition of 24 years of working against gay and lesbian rights while living as a gay man yourself.Ã¢€ He is pummeling Dreier with almost daily revelations as a response to the GOPÃ¢€™s anti-gay crusade for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
RogersÃ¢€™ campaign against Dreier got a major boost when it was taken up by Raw Story, the hot new liberal gadfly newsblog. Raw Story Ã¢€” which is edited out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, by 23-year-old John Byrne, who is also gay Ã¢€” last week published an interview with DreierÃ¢€™s Democratic opponent in 1998 and 2000, Dr. Janice Nelson, who said she was aware during her 2000 campaign that Dreier was living with his chief of staff, Brad Smith. Ã¢€œBrad was like an invisible presence,Ã¢€ she said. Ã¢€œThey really have the routine down slick.Ã¢€
Nelson, a professor of pathology, says she came forward when she read on Raw Story that Hustler Ã¢€” the Larry Flynt magazine Ã¢€” was working on an exposÃƒ© of DreierÃ¢€™s secret gay life. Mark Cromer, the magÃ¢€™s features editor in charge of its outing of Dreier, is a former reporter for a string of Valley newspapers in DreierÃ¢€™s district, including the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Pasadena Star-News. Cromer said his magÃ¢€™s exposÃƒ© on Dreier Ã¢€” part of a package on sexual hypocrisy by Republican spear-carriers in the Ã¢€œculture warsÃ¢€ Ã¢€” will be published in November. And he accuses the papers in DreierÃ¢€™s district, all of which spout a conservative, anti-gay editorial line, of having a Ã¢€œDonÃ¢€™t Ask, DonÃ¢€™t TellÃ¢€ policy toward the congressman and his relationship with Smith. These papers are all owned by Media News Group (MNG), whose CEO, Dean Singleton, is a major contributor to Republican campaigns. Opinion pages editor Steve Scauzillo said he could not comment on the Dreier matter without the approval of MNG higher-ups.
These stories are the reverse of the Trent Lott and Dan Rather stories. In those cases, blogs and other alternative media sources helped draw attention to abuses of power by public figures that were being ignored by the mainstream press. In these “outing” cases, they’re working with the likes of Larry Flynt to smear people for alleged private conduct. In a media climate where the existence of a rumor is now considered itself a legitimate story for reporting, these things can do a lot of damage regardless of whether they’re true.
(Hat tip: Memeorandum)