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AmericaBlog: Washington Post defense of anti-gay magazine insert doesn't pass the smell test

Birds of a feather?

John Aravosis over at AmericaBlog hit the roof this evening after seeing the F-E-E-B-L-E, insulting response by the WPost to readers that questioned the ethics of running the anti-gay insert “Both Sides” last Friday regarding same-sex marriage. I originally posted on this topic here. The target of the wingnut publication is the religious black community, which the American Taliban/wingnuts feel is fertile territory in the latest iteration of the culture war. I have links to this insert here (large PDF files):

As usual, John can articulately rant; I am copying his rebuttal to the Post’s lame-ass excuses for running the insert in total. Action items are at the end. Be sure to visit AmericaBlog.

John Aravosis:

Yes, if you had an ounce of respect left for the Washington Post, feel free to let it go now.

Their response to the virulently anti-gay magazine insert they distributed with last Friday’s Post is, quite simply, appalling. Not to mention intellectually dishonest. The way they trivialize our concerns, suggesting we’re simply mad because the religious right disagrees with us about gay marriage! Yeah, it had nothing to do with the fact that they printed outright lies about us all dying young, based on studies by a quack kicked out of the major medical associations 20 years ago. Among the man’s other studies: one that says 17% of gay men eat feces. He’s also the guy who championed the “gays are pedophiles” myth. But no, the Post thinks our concern is our fear of debating gay marriage. Right.

And now this means their ombudsman will likely write some hideous story in next Sunday’s Post about how this pamphlet isn’t hateful at all! Please feel free to contact him again after reading the update below (his contact info is at the bottom of this email), and also contact Eric Grant, the Post’s Director of Communications Affairs. The number is 202 334-6466. These guys need to get the point that this isn’t about gay marriage. It’s about promoting Mengele-esque science that was debunked 20-30 years ago. Would the Post permit someone to run ads with equally quack science attacking blacks and Jews?

A few of the Post’s responses:

– Marc Rosenberg, manager of corporate and public policy advertising for the Post. “The key issue is that it is clearly identified as an advertising message.”

MY RESPONSE: No, the key issue is not whether it’s clearly identified as advertising. The key issue quoting fallacious “scientific studies” proving blacks are inferior to whites and therefore not deserving of civil rights. The Post wouldn’t. Hell, the Washington Post wouldn’t even publish my online ad going after Dick and Mary Cheney because it included a cartoon-swear-word – you know, #^$&* Yes, cartoon swear words were too much for the Post, even though it was clearly an ad that I paid for, but saying that gays die at the age of 41 from AIDS is a-okay.

– “We will not allow something hateful to go in the paper,” Post Publisher Boisfeuillet Jones Jr. said, indicating he did not believe this incident involved a hateful message. “Gay marriage is a public issue and matter of public debate, and we believed its point of view has a right to be expressed.”

MY RESPONSE: Not a hateful message? Really? How do you feel about the studies showing blacks to be phsyically inferior to white people? Ads for skin creams that can make black people white, making civil rights legislation unnecessary since black people who choose not to use the cream have “chosen” to be black? Any views on Hitler’s scientific theories on Jews? What an absolute crock to suggest that the problem with that pamplet is that it simply “talks” about gay marriage. The problem with that pamplet is that it promotes Nazi-esque quack science claiming gays are somehow inferior physically to straight people and therefore don’t deserve civil rights. For the Post to suggest otherwise is intentionally intellectually dishonest. They know damn well what our complaint is about.

– Post Ombudsman Mike Getler: “They might have insisted more that this be in a format that was clearly not a magazine. You could argue that the disclosure could have been larger. But the Post did not commit a sin by accepting it.”

MY RESPONSE: Ah, gotcha. So the trick is that David Duke just needs to use a really large font that says “THIS IS AN AD” when he runs an ad-magazine denouncing your black and Jewish readers as genetically inferior. That’s really your position? Because your about to inspire someone to raise some cash to run such an ad. And if you kill the ad, you’re going to get a civil rights law suit. And if you run the ad, you’re going to have a riot from DC’s black community on your hands, and no more black subscribers.

Yes, it was quite gracious of the Post to ignore the question of whether they would print an attack on affirmative action (a valid public policy discussion) that included passages from the Bell Curve, the 1990s book that argued blacks were less intelligent and thus committed more crime, etc. Bet the Post would NO PROBLEM with that kind of logic being printed. Or are lies about gays all having AIDS somehow less offensive than lies about blacks all being stupid?

Contact the Post’s ombudsman, Mike Getler. Try to explain to him why you consider this flyer (below) hateful, and be sure to ask him how the Post would feel about a similar ad about Jews or blacks and their physical inferiority to other races and peoples, and how that relates to those minorities not deserving civil rights:
– (202) 334-7582

1. Download a 1.2 meg file of the entire 16 page magazine here. This server is much quicker, and you can download the entire magazine at once (albeit a blurrier version) thanks to our friends at

2. Download the individual pages here (4 pages per link – 16 pages total), still as pdf (I need jpgs of these if anyone can help). These are from a FASTER server, so should be much easier to download (thanks to

If those links are slow, try these as well (Thanks to

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding