Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Defending Ceci Connolly?

Oh Lord, has is it come to this? Have I sunk so low?

I apologize, but we're going to have to take a quick trip to the parallel universe inhabited by Brent Bozell. Crazy Brent has written a column attacking the supposed mischaracterizations of Jerry Thacker. Thacker, you will remember, had withdrawn himself from consideration for a position on the President's Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS, after the Washington Blade and then the Washington Post revealed that Thacker had referred to AIDS as a "gay plague" and to homosexuality as a "deathstyle."

Bozell says this:

Connolly didn't put these comments in context. On the Web site of his Scepter Institute, a biography of Thacker explained that in 1986, "He knew vaguely about the 'gay plague' known as AIDS, but it seemed a distant threat." But then he, his wife and daughter contracted the disease through a tainted transfusion. The Post story did not explain that the plague quote a) did not come out of Thacker's mouth, as implied, nor that b) it was put in quotes in this biography. By that standard, Connolly could be deprived of future government work, given that she, too, used that quote.

So Thacker wasn't really "quoted" on "gay plague." What about the "deathstyle"? Connolly did explain in print how she got that one: from a Web site summary of Thacker's remarks on AIDS at his alma mater, Bob Jones University. Once again, Connolly couldn't find Thacker saying it. So how can she state as fact that Thacker used the term, instead of attributing it directly -- and solely -- to the university staffer trying to summarize? She can because she wants to. Being a Post reporter means never having to worry about being factually sloppy.

Actually, I agree with the last sentence. This *is* Ceci Connolly after all.

However, this is a masterful bit of cheap propoganda by Brent. He actually has no idea if Connolly had other confirmations of this quote. Neither do I. But, I can do in 4 seconds what either Brent or Ceci could have done and find the Google archive of Thacker's website, where the word "deathstyle" sits proudly.

Help for Homosexuals. A message on the nature of homosexuality and how Christ can rescue the homosexual. Includes statistics on homosexual behavior, tips for ministry to those practicing this "deathstyle" and information on the homosexual movement and its political agenda.

There are a few other things in that article I could take issue with, but 'ole Brent can be forgiven for his sloppiness. He's probably busy readying a column condemning the immoral behavior of his cousin Christopher Buckley.