Let’s see how the mainstream media handle this. The Internet – and not just blogspace – is filled with stories today suggesting that U.S. Rep. David Dreier of California may have lost out on a chance to succeed indicted House Republican leader Tom DeLay because Dreier is gay. The job went instead to Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri. Check out this search of Google News.
Last September, the Dreier-is-gay story made it well up the food chain, to the LA Weekly, although the Weekly offered no independent confirmation. Instead, the Weekly relied mainly on a report in the Raw Story, a Cambridge-based Web site that is not notably shy about outing people.
Yesterday, WRKO Radio (AM 680) talk-show host Howie Carr, a conservative and a vicious homophobe, snickered about Dreier’s alleged homosexuality (nothing new for Carr). Blogger Josh Marshall, a liberal, offered a not-very-subtle James Dobson joke. Gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan stuck in a one-liner. And the story has been all over the gay press. Just one example: this story from PlanetOut.com.
In other words, this has already entered the common discourse, which isn’t surprising in an era when there are no longer any gatekeepers. (If it hadn’t entered the common discourse, you can be sure that I wouldn’t be writing about it. Outing a gay person who’s closeted is not something to be undertaken lightly.)
So now what? Will this be a subject for Rush Limbaugh this afternoon, and for the Fox News yakkers tonight? Will either the New York Times or the Washington Post publish a piece tomorrow reporting that Dreier’s sexuality had something to do with his being denied the majority leader’s slot? Do stay tuned.