Is gay the new god?
Are some in the media its new high priests?
You can be forgiven for forming these opinions, especially if you've been watching the reaction to what Congressman Scott Garrett is supposed to have said at a private meeting. Although no record exists of what the Congressman actually said, supposedly he told a meeting of Republican Congressmen that he didn't want to make a contribution to their campaign account because he didn't like the political ideology of the candidates they funded -- including gay candidates.
Now it has never been confirmed that Congressman Garrett actually said this, but what if he did? Was he arguing that self-identified "gay" candidates are not by definition "conservative" and so, as a conservative himself, Garrett will not provide financial backing for their candidacies?
We simply do not know the context of the words Congressman Garrett supposedly, according to sources, said. But he did, supposedly, say the word "gay" in a negative context. And that was enough.
You have to go back to the Dark Ages to find the kind of over-reaction that happened next. Some in the media -- too many -- behaved as if it were a case of treasonous blasphemy and called on Garrett to publicly confess his sin and repent -- or go. The editor of the Star-Ledger hoped for a savior, as he put it, a "gay John Wayne", to do violence against the Congressman. This was kind of nuts, but other commentators went much further.
Trenton Democrats even launched a crusade led by an Ironworkers Union - trained LGBT operative, better known for sting operations against homeless shelters for women (what kind of people target and sue homeless shelters anyway?). Remember the Ironworkers? The FBI caught them burning a church in Philadelphia and the U.S. Justice Department has been winning conviction after conviction against them.
Looking at the Twitter accounts of some of these "journalists" you would think that what Congressman Garrett may or may not have said was the only important story in the last weeks of July. When not enjoying their bobo (bourgeois - bohemian) lifestyle, it's all they want to talk about.
But there are other stories out there. Important stories that didn't get the attention Garrett's gay blasphemy (supposedly) story got. And that's a shame, because journalism could have made the difference.
At the July 22nd meeting of the Sussex County Freeholder Board, Freeholder Director Phil Crabb read out the following letter from Freeholder Gail Phoebus to the Board. It described an imminent concern:
July 22, 2015
The Honorable Phil Crabb
Sussex County Administration Building
1 Spring Street
Newton, New Jersey 07860
Dear Director Crabb and Fellow Freeholders:
The Sussex County Division of Social Services has reported that funding for the Emergency Assistance (EA) program has been terminated. Currently, those making use of the program are all receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Department of Social Security. As such, they have been determined disabled and not able to work.
The Housing Assistance Program (HAP) that helps people with a long term medical issues or disabilities with maintaining housing expired earlier this month. Now there are 29 adults and 3 children (2 families) who face homelessness on August 1st unless the county can find the money to keep them housed. One child is a 6-year-old girl who is undergoing treatment for cancer. There is no way that we can stand by and see her made homeless.
I suggest that the Freeholder Board hold off spending any money on filling administrative positions until we have worked out how to fund housing for these vulnerable people. It is the prudent and humane thing to do given the circumstances we face. Even if it means forgoing some of our salaries as Freeholders, I believe we should look at all options in finding the means for our neighbors to keep a roof over their heads.
Sussex County Freeholder
Freeholder Phoebus' letter was sent to the same media covering the Garrett gay blasphemy (supposedly) story. They were too busy. Because there was no media coverage, no public pressure, 29 adults and 3 children will have no place to live come August 1st. A child who is undergoing cancer treatment will have to recuperate from the street.
The media's priorities have real consequences.