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Gay and Ashamed
December 3, 2004 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Hustler's magazine's anticipated expose of closeted congressman David Dreier (R – California) hits newsstands today. Raw Story reports that the article “offers a handful of new details not previously reported, including a charge that high-level California Republicans have been aware of (and sanctioned) Dreier’s gay lifestyle for many years.” The article recounts how Dreier’s gay life was exposed earlier this summer by blogACTIVE.com, RAW STORY, and then picked up by L.A. Weekly (previously discussed here, here, and here). Dreier was targeted because he had repeatedly voted against gay rights measures – all the while keeping his alleged partner on his office payroll. Hustler gave permission to blogACTIVE and RAW STORY to excerpt parts of the article. The full article is only available in the print edition of the magazine.
posted by ericb (40 comments total)

 
because being a hypocrite is bad. so we can be hypocrites too. because when we're hypocrites, we're not bad. because we're good. or something.

moral pygmies.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:25 AM on December 3, 2004


Hustler is being hypocritical! My sweet lord, I've always held them to such a high moral standard.
posted by Doug at 10:28 AM on December 3, 2004


Yep, when I think journalistic integrity, I think super close up beaver shots.

Actually, I like Larry Flynt, nothing like a rich asshole with nothing to lose to blow the whistle on highly hypocritical douchebags in power!

Andrew, what in the fuck do you mean?
posted by fenriq at 10:32 AM on December 3, 2004


Hmm, reading hustler for the articles ... I think I'm just not there yet.
(don't get me wrong, I like nudity, it's just a bit too zoomed-in for my tastes)
posted by milovoo at 10:35 AM on December 3, 2004


Oh jesus, now you've got the pygmies started.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:35 AM on December 3, 2004


The real story? David Dreier and Governor McGreevey in kahoots, the Sheltered Arkansian says.
posted by asbates2 at 10:40 AM on December 3, 2004


How can a porn king be hypocritical? I mean, some people might find him to be morally repugnant, but he seems like a guy who stands by his convictions. (Sounds familiar)
posted by absalom at 10:42 AM on December 3, 2004


Does Dreier pose for the centerfold in the issue?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:49 AM on December 3, 2004


Hypocritical Hustler gay Republican Pygmy beaver shots, oh my.
posted by mikojava at 11:00 AM on December 3, 2004


> The full article is only available in the print edition of the magazine.

Gee, that so, err, 19-something...
posted by NewBornHippy at 11:01 AM on December 3, 2004


> The full article is only available in the print edition of the magazine.

Gee, the Blue Lemur story says:
The full story has now been posted on Flynt’s website.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:07 AM on December 3, 2004


The cartoons[NSFW] are great, too.
posted by jonmc at 11:07 AM on December 3, 2004


I'm glad this story is getting out, even if it's just Hustler. Flynt has been on a hypocrisy hunt in government since they Ken Starred Clinton. thanks, ericb and happy bday jon!
posted by amberglow at 11:20 AM on December 3, 2004


My first exposure to hardcore gay porn were ads in the back of a Hustler magazine. That's why it was my favorite porn mag as a teen.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:47 AM on December 3, 2004


I, too, see absolutely nothing wrong with Hustler's outing Dreier. Here's how I see it: if you want to have sex with people of the same gender, that's perfectly cool. If you want to have sex with people of the same gender, but don't want anyone else to know about it, that's perfectly cool, too. If you want to have sex with people of the same gender and don't want anyone else to know about it, while at the same time persecuting other people because they have sex with people of the same gender... yeah. You deserve to be exposed to the world.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:56 AM on December 3, 2004


Yep, when I think journalistic integrity, I think super close up beaver shots.

I'm glad this story is getting out, even if it's just Hustler.

actually, from what i remember, Hustler has a pretty good history of investigative reporting: Raping Ma Bell

i remember some pretty good articles from the 80s and 90s.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:56 AM on December 3, 2004


How is Flynt a hypocrite? He says he's a pig, he is a pig. He hates people who persecute homosexuals (despite being gay themselves), he goes after them. Where is he not being up front about this?
posted by fungible at 11:58 AM on December 3, 2004


This Dreier affair reminds me of the Boston Magazine expose of high ranking Republican strategist Arthur Finkelstein. Referred to by his opponents as, "The Godfather of dirty politics", Finkelstein was a consultant to Presidents Nixon and Reagan.

An October 1996 Boston Magazine story on Mr. Finkelstein outed him as living with his gay partner on the North Shore of Boston, where they share custody of two adopted children.

In the article ("The Secret Life of Arthur J. Finkelstein") journalist Stephen Rodrick reported: "He has become a millionaire by working for politicians whose policies attack a very important and intimate part of his life. Specifically, four of Finkelstein's clients in the Senate - Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Bob Smith of New Hampshire, Don Nickles of Oklahoma and North Carolina's Lauch Faircloth - form the core opposition to nearly all gay issues before Congress."

In response to the article Finklestein issued a statement: "I keep my private life separate from my business life-something my friends and clients understand, appreciate and respect."

Such hypocrisy!
posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on December 3, 2004


I remain pleasantly amazed that Flynt is able to get traction with these exposés.
posted by lodurr at 12:21 PM on December 3, 2004


I think the inferred hypocrisy is that Flynt was furious about the way the Republicans dug into Clinton's sex life for ammunition, but thinks it's fine to do the same to politicians that he doesn't personally agree with.

I don't agree, mind you, they're not the same issue at all, but I'd wager that's where the hypocrisy claims are coming from.
posted by Simon! at 12:53 PM on December 3, 2004


Dreier was targeted because he had repeatedly voted against gay rights measures – all the while keeping his alleged partner on his office payroll.

If this is the case, we're not just talking about moral hypocrisy: we're potentially talking about conflict of interest, nepotism, misappropriation of government funds, and corruption.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:56 PM on December 3, 2004


Ad hominem attacks are never pretty, but this is an interesting case.

While I don't think Larry Flynt is necessarily someone to be admired (among other things, his misogynism is reprehensible), the man does stick to his guns, as others in this thread have pointed out. I don't believe he has misrepresented himself or his mission at any time. It is quite interesting to me that so many people who voted for Bush did so because they believe him to stand by his convictions, and to never waver. Flynt does much the same thing, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that many Bush supporters (secret Hustler readers though they may be) would not be caught dead voicing support for the man.

And therein, really, is the hypocrisy that Flynt is addressing with this exposé. He seems to be saying something like: You don't like his method or his political stance? That's fine by him. But don't be getting all high and mighty about it, as your foibles are no more or less serious than his.

It's smear tactics, for sure, but, well, so was the epic campaign to impeach Bill Clinton. Politics is a dirty fucking business, and, honestly, I think it's time that opponents of Bush, Inc., learn to play a little dirtier. Kerry, for instance, played too nice.

Hypocrisy is indeed the greatest luxury.
posted by Dr. Wu at 1:08 PM on December 3, 2004


I'm always a bit conflicted about these kinds of tactics. On the one hand, hypocrisy should be exposed. On the other, sexuality of all kinds should be private and non-political.

Maybe I'm being a bit naive, but I really don't see how getting folks used to outing people helps those gays, bisexuals, S&Mers, etc. who really have very good reasons for not running around rudely shouting out their sexual practises to those who don't really want to know about it.

But I will admit to a certain guilty pleasure in reading about this. Mr. Flynt does have a point, both that the Dems have been too nice and that there are some class A jerks out there.
posted by QIbHom at 1:28 PM on December 3, 2004


Dreier was targeted because he had repeatedly voted against gay rights measures – all the while keeping his alleged partner on his office payroll.

According to the Hustler article (thanks MonkeySaltedNuts for pointing out that it's now online), Brad W. Smith, Dreier's Chief of Staff (and alleged partner) receives "the highest salary he legally can: $156,600 a year. That’s just $400 less than White House heavyweights Karl Rove and Andy Card."

The article further states: "Dreier and Smith have shown a taste for jet-setting together as well. During the past three years they have traveled to at least 25 countries together on the taxpayers’ dime, spending 45 days abroad in locales that traditionally attract frolicking lovers: Italy and Spain, as well as a few destinations off the beaten path, including Sri Lanka, Micronesia and Iceland." Earlier this year RAW STORY revealed that (according to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call ) Dreier is the tenth-most traveled member of the House though his committee, Rules, has no foreign jurisdiction.
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on December 3, 2004


sexuality of all kinds should be private and non-political.

Well... maybe and maybe not. Most heterosexual politicians don't mind if you 'out them' as straight, by mentioning spouses, divorces, etc. If we treat gay politicians differently, aren't we implicitly playing along with the 'there's something wrong with it' theory?

I really don't see how getting folks used to outing people helps those gays, bisexuals, S&Mers, etc. who really have very good reasons for not running around rudely shouting out their sexual practices to those who don't really want to know about it.

Do you mean does it help these particular politicians? Depends. Some, like Barney Frank, take the opportunity to out themselves before it can be done to them, and survive and prosper. Some deny it but don't run again (while continuing to cast anti-gay votes while their term runs out). Although this may be mean to these politicians, they can avoid this by simply not building their career on attacking gays.

Or do you mean does it help gay people in general? I remember someone once saying, if all gay people turned purple for a week, homophobia would greatly diminish. Invisibility is our greatest handicap. Nonetheless, the politics of outing is still up for debate in the gay community.

By the way, I fear you are buying into the double standard for gays versus straights here. When straight people are open about their sexual orientation, do we accuse them of 'rudely shouting their sexual practices'?
posted by kevinsp8 at 3:08 PM on December 3, 2004


When straight people are open about their sexual orientation, do we accuse them of 'rudely shouting their sexual practices'?

Exactly.
posted by amberglow at 3:11 PM on December 3, 2004


QIbHom, many conservative religious Republican types voted for Dreier because he's "against gays," and they hate gays.

Wonder what their reaction will be to his being gay - AND spending their taxpayer money doing all sorts of gay stuff?
posted by zoogleplex at 3:14 PM on December 3, 2004


According to RAW STORY, the local press outlets which cover Dreier’s district in California, have kept mum and have refused to investigate or report on any of the allegations: the hypocrisy and dissonance of his supposedly being gay and having such a marked anti-gay voting record; the alleged relationship with a highly-paid staffer, the significant foreign travel accompanied by this staffer.

RAW STORY points out that most notably, editors at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune - which is owned by conservative media tycoon Dean Singleton - “have nervously refused to comment”.

Letters to the Editor , as well as personal missives to Executive Editor, Talmage Campbell and Opinions Editor, Steve Scauzillo – along with phone calls (626.962.8811) might encourage the San Gabriel Valley Tribune to investigate and report on these allegations. Dreier’s constituents deserve the critical reporting called for in this affair.
posted by ericb at 4:16 PM on December 3, 2004


I really don't see how getting folks used to outing people helps those gays, bisexuals, S&Mers, etc. who really have very good reasons for not running around rudely shouting out their sexual practices to those who don't really want to know about it.

I am sorry, but my head almost exploded when I read this.

Admittedly, I only read Hustler for the articles, but it's very difficult for me to understand "a good reason for people to not shout out their sexual preference."

Shouting out your sexual preference has so many advantages. For one, you stand a much better chance of meeting someone who will make you happy. Moreover, you don't have to whore-yourself to people who would just as soon see you fry. I predict that Drier's career is over, and I hope he ends up as disenfranchised as those Nazi he has helped oppress.

Just think how many lives would have been saved if Hitler had been outed as part Jewish when the Nazis were passing the Nuremburg laws. Would you feel sorry for Nazis that had good reasons for not disclosing their non-Aryan impurities?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:51 PM on December 3, 2004


Oops, I meant I hope Dreier ends up as disenfranchised as those Gay people he has helped oppress.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:02 PM on December 3, 2004


I'm with you gesamtkunstwerk.

"When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn't a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak." (on the Wall at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.)
posted by ericb at 5:17 PM on December 3, 2004


When straight people are open about their sexual orientation, do we accuse them of 'rudely shouting their sexual practices'?

Why, yes, kevinsp8, I do. I don't like seeing them smooching in public, talking about what they did with their dates or any of that stuff any more than I like seeing us do it. It's rude, no matter who does it.

Dreier is a hypocrite who has misused his influence and done unethical things to help his partner. Why is it worse because he is in a same-sex relationship?

Sexuality isn't the issue, abuse of power and hypocracy are.
posted by QIbHom at 6:48 PM on December 3, 2004


Perhaps, QIbHom , but if you can't see the difference then, as they say, there's not much point in trying to explain it to you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:56 PM on December 3, 2004


QIbHom, if any straight politician ever voted for legislation excluding themselves from rights and benefits others had, or forbidding themselves and their loved ones from protection from discrimination in employment, etc, it'd be comparable. I've never seen a straight politician do that, yet Dreier voted against ENDA, DOMA, etc...
posted by amberglow at 7:42 PM on December 3, 2004



RAW STORY points out that most notably, editors at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune - which is owned by conservative media tycoon Dean Singleton - “have nervously refused to comment”.


It's not like the newspapers are openly advocating for Dreier, either. Indeed, the papers have hammered Dreier over his soft position on illegal immigration (although it came a little too late for him to be deposed from office). The real trick to getting it in the newspapers is someone with credibility (not Larry Flynt) to make some of the charges listed above and connecting the dots. A good government Republican with some money could probably make a good fiscally conservative case against Dreier while not sounding intolerant. Dreier is very vulnerable in the primary because of this.
posted by calwatch at 8:35 PM on December 3, 2004


Hustler has articles ?
posted by MiG at 12:25 AM on December 4, 2004


I don't like seeing them smooching in public, talking about what they did with their dates or any of that stuff any more than I like seeing us do it. It's rude, no matter who does it.

Oh, well, that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about a politician openly acknowledging his orientation (e.g. by mentioning his partner as a part of his life when a newspaper does a profile of him), not a politician playing tonsil hockey on a park bench.

THAT I too find tacky (e.g. Al Gore's bent-over kiss of Tipper at the convention in 2000).
posted by kevinsp8 at 6:35 AM on December 4, 2004


I don't think visibility is the panacea that some think it is. After all, for centuries ethnic minorities were(are) oppressed and you can spot them from twenty yards. Simply making gays visible will not end discrimination, Gay rights will be fostered only by positive visibility, something that gives people pause and causes them to rethink their positions. Outing politicians is tantamount to saying that being gay is a scandalous thing, something to be ashamed of and the context alone makes it seem like other political scandals, like bribery or adultery.
posted by Endymion at 8:08 AM on December 4, 2004


Don't be foolish, Endymion. Ending the idea that being gay is scandalous and shameful is the whole point of outing hypocritical politicians like this festering turd.

(FWIW, I'm not a big fan of outing people against their will. The whole point of the gay rights movement, as I see it, is that your sexuality is your business, not mine. However, when you're hiding your sexuality, and actively helping to persecute or deny rights to other homolesbigaytrans people, then I think you've given up the right to that privacy. Same as Jimmy Swaggart visiting hookers--generally speaking, that's your own business. But when your career is predicated on making people not do those things, you don't have the right to do it yourself.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:15 AM on December 4, 2004


But when your career is predicated on making people not do those things, you don't have the right to do it yourself.

Or--you have the right, but you're going to be called out about it.
posted by amberglow at 12:45 PM on December 4, 2004


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