Today, at the National and Lesbian Gay Journalists' Association annual convention in San Diego, I had a chance to see the irascible legend Larry Kramer riff on gay politics in America. He delivered his usual points (but in his always entertaining fashion): that straight people hate gays, that gay people are complacent about their second-class status ("just don't be so fucking passive!"), and attacked the gay rights movement in general and the Human Rights Campaign in particular for being weak and ill-managed. A friend remarked that Kramer has the proper diagnosis of, but not the best tactics for, gay America.
But Kramer has a trenchant and historically-informed perception of how gay people are portrayed in the mainstream media, and he's willing to call out people and institutions, friend or foe, for their irresponsibility and unfair treatment. Kramer mentioned an Iowa judge's decision Thursday to overturn a state law banning gay marriage, a story that appeared on page A9 of Saturday's New York Times and A18 of Friday's Times; and hardly at all on television news. Meanwhile, the Larry Craig drama has been on the front page of the Times for several days this week and non-stop on CNN and Fox. No one can accuse the Times of having an anti-gay bias, but it's nevertheless reflective of the paper of record's poor news judgment to prioritize the sexual peccadilloes of a particular U.S. Senator over a major gay civil rights victory in a mid-western state.