The Washington Post was caught
off guard last week by the negative reactions it received over a
profile story it published on Brian Brown, executive director of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most
vociferous opponent of gay marriage.
Monica Hesse's 2,000-word story titled
Opposing Gay Unions With Sanity & A Smile has been called
a “puff piece” by the liberal media. Hesse reportedly has
received letters calling her “homophobic.”
The story juxtaposed Brown with
headline-grabbing, venomous anti-gay leaders of the past, including
James Dobson. She describes Brown as effective because “he is
pleasantly, ruthlessly sane.” And she suggests that the people who
run NOM are “rational” and “mainstream” in their objection to
“The nightmares of gay marriage
supporters are the Pat Robertsons of the world,” Hesse writes.
“The James Dobsons, the John Hagees – the people who specialize
in whipping crowds into frothy frenzies, who say things like Katrina
was caused by the gays.”
“But this country is not made up of
people in the far wings, right or left. This county is made up of a
movable middle, reasonable people looking for reasonable arguments to
assure them that their feelings have a rational basis.”
“Brian Brown speaks to these people.”
Writing at Media Matters for America,
Foser points out that Brown once worked for James Dobson, and
that NOM board member Orson Scott Card frequently attacks the gay and
Card has called for a divorce from the
United States over gay marriage.
“If America becomes a place where the
laws of the nation declare that marriage no longer exists – which
is what the Massachusetts decision actually does – then our
allegiance to America will become zero,” Cards said.
By Sunday, the Post waved the
“I agree that the story fell short,”
Alexander, the paper's ombudsman, wrote.
“Hesse said she decided to let Brown
tell his story, as opposed to extensively quoting what others say
“Fine in theory. But it deprived
readers of hearing from others who have battled Brown and find him
uncivil and bigoted. To them, he represents injustice. They should
have been heard, at length.”
Alexander finishes his article by
revealing that Hesse is bisexual, a fact that is suppose to soothe
fears that she is a conservative.