The Faggot-Guy

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It's somewhat excruciating to watch Mickey Kaus's latest bloggingheads encounter with Bob Wright. This is a journalist who is a stickler for others' perceived or minor conflicts of interest, even when fully disclosed. (Ask Howie Kurtz.) And yet only now does he concede of Ann Coulter that "I'm a friend of hers. I know her." Only now does he tell us that their friendship goes back to before the time "Ann Coulter became Ann Coulter". He still will not admit that he reprinted an email from Coulter because he got it from her, passing it along to readers as if he were not an interested party. His defense of Coulter's slur with respect to Edwards and the word "faggot" is as follows:

"Edwards being flighty, dancing around like a little elf and being wussy on foreign policy."

Hence "faggot". Those pejoratives have never been used to stigmatize homosexuals, have they? If Coulter wanted to call Edwards a wuss, she could have. She chose to call him a "faggot" because she is pandering to bigotry. She has every right to do so; and I would defend her right to it with my last faggoty breath. If her defense is that she is actually not a a bigot - "some of my best friends are closeted gays" - then it is even worse. She simply uses bigotry to earn money, applause and attention. I just don't buy the argument that she had no idea what the word 'faggot" implied. But if she was genuinely that clueless (some mega-rich Republicans have no idea what homophobia actually is), she could always explain that, apologize for being completely out of it, and move on. But she didn't.

Mickey also says on bloggingheads that

"Andrew made exactly Coulter's argument in 2001 ... He defended the use of the f-word specifically in the schoolyard context."

Go read the full post here. I assume Mickey did. He's lying - obviously lying. As for his new acknowledgment that he did indeed support and frequent a bar that had the notice "No Fagots" pinned to the bar and "No Fagots" on its matchbooks, and was furious that they were forced to take those signs down, he now says he regrets the piece. He doesn't explain now why he thinks he was wrong then. The owner of TNR expressed his disapproval, apparently. But everything Kaus now says and writes is completely of a piece with the view in that piece: that gay men are repulsive, that he is viscerally creeped out by us, that he wants to be able to live and relax in spaces that are reliably homo-free. If someone said that about Jews or blacks, would they still be a blogger at Slate?

He also says he has used the f-word in conversation, and once used it routinely. When asked by Bob why so many applauded and cheered the use of the term "faggot" at CPAC, Mickey actually said:

"Half of them were probably gay."

He really has morphed into Coulter, hasn't he? Kaus has no evidence to support his 1983 claim that gay bars exclude "breeders like me". In response, he throws out the wild red herring that some gay bars in the past may have excluded women. I wasn't living in L.A. in 1983, but I have been in many, many gay bars in my life and I have never been to one that excluded women. Still, that isn't what he wrote and it isn't what I asked. Can Mickey name a single gay bar in America that refuses to serve straight men or women? If he can't, would he withdraw his absurd claim of victimization?

I know this blog can sometimes be an embarrassing series of recognitions of my own naivete, but I used to think, and often said, that, for all his quirks, Mickey Kaus isn't now and never has been a bigot. So let's stipulate that Mickey isn't a bigot. But from now on, inspired by South Park, on those few occasions when his name comes up, he will have a new appellation on this blog. He's the Faggot-Guy now. How does it feel, Faggot-Guy?

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