As early as tomorrow morning but most assuredly before the month is over, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines, for federal purposes, marriage as an institution existing between a man and a woman. A ruling on that count would have repercussions to a whole host of federal employee benefits, so it's perfectly legitimate for the Washington Post to examine what happens in such a case.
But "Federal Diary" columnist Joe Davidson went much further than that in his June 19 piece, "DOMA ruling could expand rights for gays, but with questions about full spousal benefits." Davidson made crystal clear to the reader his personal feelings on the illegitimacy of DOMA, that he would celebrate its demise, and that the Supreme Court failing to vacate the law would be an injustice (emphasis mine):
- Ran 11 articles related to D.C.'s new law allowing same-sex marriage.
- Devoted 543 inches of column space to the ruling - equal to nearly four full pages.
- Printed 14 photos of gay celebrations, including a prominent one of two men kissing.
- Quoted supporters 11 times more often than opponents - 67 to 6.
- Repeatedly compared gay marriage to the historic civil rights movement.
Nobody can accuse The Washington Post of being objective when it came to covering the District of Columbia's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. The Post has reported on the event with a celebratory zeal more appropriate to The Advocate or The Blade.
"Here's another sad sign of our economic times: Never before has the U.S. Postal Service laid off workers. Now, it's a real possibility," lamented Joe Davidson in the October 3 "Federal Diary" feature for the Washington Post.
But isn't that part of the problem with government in the first place? Rather than trimming expenses and payroll during tough economic times, the federal bureaucracy stubbornly insist on being immune to market forces that affect the private sector.
Davidson quoted American Postal Workers Union President William Burris that "for the first time in postal history, the losses cannot be recovered by postage rate increases."
Wow. Cry me a river. Davidson fails to explain that one major reason the federal tax-exempt USPS has been able to rate-hike its way out of trouble before is that, by federal law, it has a monopoly on the delivery of first class mail.