WaPo Writer Calls Gay-Marriage Foes 'Bigots'

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It all started with a tweet from one of The Washington Post's blogging wunderkinder, Dave Weigel:

I can empathize with everyone I cover except for the anti-gay marriage bigots. In 20 years no one will admit they were part of that.

His choice of the word "bigot" prompted quick responses from other journalists on Twitter. "The real question a journalist needs to ask is: Can one oppose same sex marriage without being an 'Anti-gay Bigot'?" returned Larry O'Connor, contributor to conservative Big Government. "I think so," mused Weigel. "But the activists who devote their lives to stopping people getting married? I don't know what else is there."

But Weigel's real problem came with conservative columnist Matt Lewis, who
wrote about the matter for Politics Daily after a Twitter exchange with Weigel:

Were Weigel merely a blogger--or an opinion writer (such as myself)--this Tweet would be of little concern. But Weigel is now a credentialed Washington Post reporter with a press pass, specifically tasked with covering the conservative movement/Republican Party beat.

Specifically, he questioned whether Weigel could plausibly claim to be providing objective coverage of the conservative movement when he aired such thoughts about its members. He reported some of the conservative irritation with Weigel's tweet:

Dan Gainor, a vice president at the Media Research Center, told me, "This is how the Post covers the conservative movement: Find someone who doesn't even understand the traditional values that made our nation great and then assign him to report on the right. Throw in the fact that Weigel loves to bash conservatives and he's the ideal Postie. At the same time, the paper hired a hard-core lefty in Ezra Klein to advocate for the left. It's a ridiculous double standard. The Post should be both embarrassed and ashamed."

Monday, Weigel responded on his Washington Post blog. The tweet had been prompted, he said, by an e-mail from an anti-gay marriage organization.

I apologize for calling same-sex-marriage opponents "bigots." I was specifically referring to people who spend their working hours opposing gay marriage, not just people who vote to ban it. But those people aren't bigots, either.

His problem with the same-sex-marriage opponents, he explained, is that he doesn't see "who's threatened" by it: "Whose life is made worse? ... That's what I don't understand. That's my bias, for now. I'll happily entertain arguments for the contrary."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.