New York Times columnist Ross Douthat apologized for appearing at a fundraising event for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an extreme anti-gay legal group working to criminalize homosexuality.
On October 16, Douthat spoke at “The Price of Citizenship: Losing Religious Freedom in America,” an event held by ADF and aimed at drawing attention to a number of popular right-wing horror stories about the threat LGBT equality poses to religious liberty. Douthat spoke alongside radio host Hugh Hewitt and the Benham brothers, who are notorious for their history of extreme anti-gay, anti-choice, and anti-Muslim rhetoric. The event ended with explicit solicitations for donations to support ADF’s legal work.
As Media Matters noted, ADF is one of the most extreme anti-gay legal groups in the country, fighting against even basic legal protections for LGBT people and working internationally to repress LGBT human rights, including supporting Belize’s draconian law criminalizing gay sex.
On Wednesday, Douthat explained that he did not know ADF’s event was a fundraiser and said he plans to decline the honorarium he received from the event.
Here’s Asshat with the Benham twins, who’re taking a break from their perpetual 69 in order to explain “Dominianism” — a belief that the Big Invisible Bi-Polar Daddy Who Lives in The Sky runs ABSOLUELY EVERYTHING. Asshat raises no objection to their specious twaddle.
“I was not aware in advance that this event was a fundraiser and had I known, I would not have agreed to participate,” he said in a statement issued to Media Matters through the Times Wednesday. “I was invited by an events organizing group, not by ADF directly. I understood this to be a public conversation about religious liberty. This is my fault for not doing my due diligence, and I will be declining the honorarium.”
Oh great, that’ll solve everything.
But hey, why not donate the money to the Trevor Project? Hunh Ross? Ross? Must be a bad connection.
Douthat has previously lamented the opposition to Arizona’s SB 1062, a law that would have allowed business owners to refuse service to gay customers and that was largely orchestrated by ADF.
“Douthat’s helping ADF raise money is disturbing,” said Richard Rosendall, president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. “I am not inclined to jump all over the Times for it, as they feature a range of columnists and a columnist needs some room to say and do the wrong thing, and then be duly criticized for it. But ADF does not merely engage in polite disagreement. It is relentless in its attacks on equal protection of gay people and families. If this is the company that Douthat is happy keeping, it says unfortunate things about him.”
Ross Gregory Douthat (/ˈdaʊθət/; born November 28, 1979) is a conservative American author, and New York Times columnist. He was a senior editor at The Atlantic and wrote Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press, 2012), Grand New Party (Doubleday, 2008) with Reihan Salam, and Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (Hyperion, 2005). David Brooks called Grand New Party the “best single roadmap of where the Republican Party should and is likely to head.” Douthat is a film critic for National Review and has also contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, the Claremont Review of Books, GQ, Slate, and other publications. In addition, he frequently appears on the video debate site Bloggingheads.tv. In April 2009, he became an online and op-ed columnist for The New York Times, replacing Bill Kristol as a conservative voice on the Times editorial page.Douthat is the youngest regular op-ed writer in the paper’s history, and has been described as “the New York Times’ most consistently thoughtful and level-headed opinion columnist” and “the best Times columnist by far”.
Does New York Times Opinion Columnist Ross Douthat Think His Colleagues Frank Bruni, Charles Blow, Josh Borro, and Jennifer Boylan Should Go To Prison?
Conservative NYT opinion columnist Ross Douthat appeared at an October 16 fundraiser for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a rabidly antigay hate group that wants to put LGBT people in prison. (You know, prison—where even straight people have gay sex.) As Media Matters reported yesterday:
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat spoke at a fundraising event for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a right-wing legal group that works to defend anti-LGBT discrimination and supported the criminalization of homosexuality… Douthat has used his platform at the Times to lament efforts to prohibit anti-gay religious business owners from discriminating against gay customers. But his attendance at an ADF event is still surprising.
ADF is notorious for its work defending anti-LGBT discrimination. The organization has partnered with anti-LGBT hate groups, crusaded against allowing gay people into the Boy Scouts, opposed basic anti-bullying efforts in schools, and defended California’s Proposition 8. In the 2003 Supreme Court case decriminalizing gay sex, ADF filed a brief in support of state anti-sodomy laws. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the group “virulently anti-gay.”
General admission tickets were $15, VIP seats were $100. And there was a call from the stage for donations during the event—donations that would be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor. Clearly a fundraiser. But today Douthat is claiming that—golly!—he didn’t know he was at a fundraiser for an org that wants to send Rosie O’Donnell and Neil Patrick Harris to prison:
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat apologized for appearing at a fundraising event for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an extreme anti-gay legal group working to criminalize homosexuality…. On Wednesday, Douthat explained that he did not know ADF’s event was a fundraiser and said he plans to decline the honorarium he received from the event. “I was not aware in advance that this event was a fundraiser and had I known, I would not have agreed to participate,” he said in a statement issued to Media Matters through the Times Wednesday. “I was invited by an events organizing group, not by ADF directly. I understood this to be a public conversation about religious liberty. This is my fault for not doing my due diligence, and I will be declining the honorarium.”
Let’s take Douthat at his word and just accept that it didn’t occur to him the event was a fundraiser even after the MC began soliciting donations from the stage during the event. Let’s focus on this this instead: Douthat isn’t apologizing for crawling into bed with the ADF, an organization that wants to send Douthat’s colleagues Frank Bruni (gay), Josh Barro (gay), Charles Blow (bi), and Jennifer Boylan (a trans woman married to another woman) to prison. He’s not apologizing for speaking before the ADF. He’s only apologizing for appearing at a fundraiser for the ADF. (Accidentally!)
So… it’s fine for writers at the NYT to speak before hate groups—rabidly antigay orgs like the ADF, anti-Semitic groups, the reconstituted KKK, White Citizen Councils—so long as the event isn’t a fundraiser? So… it would’ve been fine for Douthat to have a “conversation” with the organization that wants to send Frank Bruni and Josh Barro to prison but a line was crossed when Douthat helped raise money for the organization that wants to send Frank Bruni and Josh Barro to prison.
Let’s pop over to Wikipedia for a second:
A distinction without a difference is a type of logical fallacy where an author or speaker attempts to describe a distinction between two things even though there is, in fact, no actual difference.
And let’s end with follow-up question for Ross Douthat: We know that your pals at the ADF want to send Josh and Frank to prison—along with all the other gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans folks who work at the New York Times—but do you? We know that you think that it should be legal to discriminate against LGBT people (including your LGBT colleagues). But do you believe that gay sex should be criminalized? And if you don’t, Ross, what are you doing in bed with people who do?
Dan’s dissing doesn’t come out of the blue. He and Asshat have a long history of exchanges — some of them quite cordial as in THIS Bloggingheads entry (It’s about an hour long and well worth watching.)
I don’t expect to see them being so copasetic again anytime soon.
Here’s some Music-to-Write-the-NYT-To-Demand-They-Fire-Asshat By.