Thursday, August 12, 2004

Much Ado About Nothing 

Two news stories on homosexuality and politics crossing paths (again) in the United States: NJ governor James E. McGreevey resigns after admitting to a gay extramartial affair, and the CA Supreme Court voids the marriage licenses issued by San Francisco to same-sex couples.

First story: considering the sex scandals that pop up with relative regularity in American politics, it doesn't really have any impact on me. I see this not very differently than a scandal involving a heterosexual affair. What did strike me, though, was how fast McGreevey stepped down. As Mark Steyn recalled, Clinton set a new standard in sex scandal longevity (article title "Clinton in Clapham").

Anyway, when this radio station alerted me to the cabinet minister's difficulties, I didn't bother getting back to them immediately. What's the hurry? By now, I was sufficiently Americanized to assume I had maybe ten months of lucrative on-air punditry to look forward to. Davies would surely stay put, while subpoenas were issued to his secretary, and other cabinet secretaries protested his innocence, and he went on TV and wagged his finger and said, "I did not have sexual relations with that boyo!" and Welsh Office spin-doctors denounced the vast right-wing conspiracy, and members of the Rastafarian community said that he'd always stood up for their interests, and former sweethearts posed nude for Hot Stud Monthly, and DNA tests were run on the foliage of Clapham Common, and more young men turned up, and some of them had been offered high-profile jobs with the Welsh Language Unemployment Benefit Leaflet Translation Office in Llandudno, and Davies insisted that, according to his official Welsh dictionary, it didn't count as sex if no druids were involved, and a Royal Commission had to be appointed under a distinguished former Lord Chancellor, who was promptly reviled as an extreme right-wing sex-crazed religious whacko with links to the fascist National Front, and in the House of Commons Select Committee Labour Members of Parliament attacked the Commission for its unprecedented number of leeks. And through it all Davies would just sit at his desk, venturing out only for starry fundraisers with Welsh celebrities like Anthony Hopkins and, er, Tom Jones and, um, well--did I mention Anthony Hopkins?

But instead Ron Davies just...resigned. And, by the time I called back that radio station the following day, they didn't want to know. They'd moved on to Nick Brown, Tony Blair's minister for agriculture, who'd been outed by a fetching young man who'd sold his story to a tabloid. I was stunned. On the TV news, Bill Clinton was preparing to settle with Paula Jones, on the grounds that after four years, what with impeachment and all, he now had too many other scandals to give this one the attention it deserved. And Ron Davies couldn't even make his last a week.
Who said Bill didn't leave a legacy?

Second story: way too easy to call this one. With state law setting in writing the traditional definition of marriage, and this not being a constitutionality decision, there's no question on the illegality of the actions of the San Francisco city government. Indeed, it's so obvious that this will hardly be a blip in the long political war between traditionalists and radicals on the definition of marriage issue.

In summary: the biggest thing about gays on TV today was the double-header of Will & Grace, not the evening news.
Comments: Post a Comment