Newsweek's Adler Furthers Meme That Conservatives Are Obsessed with Kagan's Sexuality

Another day, another liberal meme.

Yesterday I tackled how Newsweek's Howard Fineman was attacking Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul for picking a fight that the liberal media, in fact, was whipping up.

Today, it's Fineman colleague Ben Adler and his insistence that conservatives are fixated on smearing both Elena Kagan and softball players everywhere as gay.

Adler made his argument in his May 20 The Gaggle blog post, "What Is With Conservatives, Gays, and Softball" by picking apart a comment Fox Business Network's John Stossel made on Fox News Channel in which he defended Paul's comments regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964.What annoyed Adler most was Stossel's quip that gay softball leagues, for example, should not be forced to admit straight players:

The gay softball team? The proverbial black student association has long been every anti-civil-rights pundit's favorite shibboleth, but why suddenly gay softball team? Do gay people have separate softball teams that don't allow straight people to play for them? If so, it's still an awfully random example. Oh wait, no it isn't, it's a dog whistle to everyone who thinks that women who play softball are gay, and that therefore Solicitor General Elena Kagan is gay. Stay classy, John. 

There are two problems with this. First and foremost, it was gay groups that first made a stink about an innocuous photo by the Wall Street Journal that was clearly selected as a clever tease for a story in the May 11 edition. The headline and caption for the Kagan-playing-softball photo were as follows:

Court Nominee Comes to the Plate: Elena Kagan, shown in 1993, was nominated Monday to the Supreme Court. She drew rave reviews from Democrats, concerns from Republicans. A6

It was gay groups that read into that a coded message and raised an uproar. Adler can't point to any Senate Republicans who have issued statements focused on Kagan's sexuality as a confirmation issue.

Secondly, Adler may be unaware of this, but a few weeks before the Kagan nomination, major media outlets reported the story of former membes of a gay softball league suing the group claiming they were dismissed because they weren't "gay enough." Here's how Janet Tu of the Seattle Times reported the story on April 21:

Three bisexual men are suing a national gay-athletic organization, saying they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series held in the Seattle area two years ago.

The three Bay Area men say the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance in essence deemed them not gay enough to participate in the series.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle accuses the alliance of violating Washington state laws barring discrimination. The alliance organizes the annual Gay Softball World Series.

Beth Allen, the alliance's attorney, said the lawsuit is unwarranted and that the three plaintiffs "were not discriminated against in any unlawful manner."

In any case, Allen said, the alliance is a private organization and, as such, can determine its membership based on its goals.

Whether the alliance is public or private will likely have to be determined in court, since the plaintiffs characterize the alliance as a "public accommodation" that's open to the public and uses public softball fields.

It's likely Stossel had that story in mind, because, oh, I don't know, Fox Sports also covered the story.

But once again, that's a far less sinister explanation than the preferred media storyline which has conservatives using coded messages to secretly communicate to the racist or "homophobic" hordes. 

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.