Media Highlight 'Stupid' CNSNews Question to Barney Frank

Some members of the liberal media commemorated Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) retirement announcement by replaying his testy response to a CNSNews.com reporter about homosexuals showering with straight men in the military. Of course, they included their own eulogies about how much the liberal congressman would be missed.

A nostalgic Martin Bashir expressed his sadness at Frank's departure on his Monday MSNBC show, touting "one of the greatest hits from a man who championed the poor and oppressed, Barney Frank. He'll be sorely missed." He then played the CNSNews.com clip.

Liberal HLN host Joy Behar ripped the CNSNews question as "stupid" as she asked Frank "Are you going to miss the stupid questions people ask you?" She presented the video of the question as an example. At the end of the interview, she told Frank  "we're really going to miss you in Congress."

Behar, herself a champion of gay rights, asked the openly-gay congressman straight-up if " there a lot of gays in the closet in Congress these days?" Frank used his answer – "Not a lot. There are some" – to then bash Republicans for their intolerance.

According to Frank, the party difference in Congress is that if a Republican announces he is gay, "as long as he's embarrassed by it, and tries to hide it, and lies about it, they'll tolerate it."

"On the other hand on the Democratic side, we're free to be who we are to bring our partners places," he continued.

A transcript of the segments, which aired on HLN and MSNBC, are as follows:

MSNBC
MARTIN BASHIR
11/28/11
3:37 p.m. EST

[3:37]

MARTIN BASHIR: And as we go to break, one of the greatest hits from a man who championed the poor and oppressed, Barney Frank. He'll be sorely missed.

(Video Clip)

CNSNEWS.COM: Straight military personnel will have to shower with homosexual –

Rep. BARNEY FRANK (D-Mass.): (Mock gasp) Showering with homosexuals? What do you think happens in gyms all over America? What do you think happens in the House of Representatives? Of course people shower with homosexuals. What a silly issue. What – what do you think goes on when people shower with homosexuals? Do you think it's the spray makes it catchy?

(End Video Clip)


HLN
JOY BEHAR SHOW
12/1/11
10:02 p.m. EST

[10:02]

JOY BEHAR: Right. Are you going to miss the stupid questions people ask you?

Rep. BARNEY FRANK (D-Mass.): No, I won't. I guess – I take it back. I'll probably still get the stupid questions, but people won't be filming me when I don't answer them.

BEHAR: That's true.

(Laughter)

BEHAR: Ok. Let me show another example of a stupid question that you had to answer. Watch.

(Video Clip)

CNSNEWS.COM: A straight military personnel will have to shower with homosexual openly –

FRANK: (Mock gasp) Showering with homosexuals? What do you think happens in gyms all over America? What do you think happens in the House of Representatives? Of course people shower with homosexuals. What a silly issue. What – what do you think goes on when people shower with homosexuals? Do you think it's the spray makes it catchy?

(End Video Clip)

(Background Laughter)

(...)

BEHAR: Well, last – you lasted quite a while, so I think you did do the right thing. I wonder, are there a lot of -- you don't have to tell me their names, but are there a lot of gays in the closet in Congress these days?

FRANK: Not a lot. There are some. It`s hard to do – but I`ll tell you there is this difference and I wish it weren`t the case. But it`s a party difference. If you are a Democrat and you`re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, then you`re pretty free to come out and expect that you will get the support and encouragement of other officials and of the voters.

The closeted people are overwhelmingly Republicans. There are one or two closeted Democrats, and the reason for that is that while there have been some gay Republicans who have come out – two in Congress in particular – in both cases they ran into great opposition in their party.

But frankly, I think the position of the Republicans regarding being gay is this – all but a few of the morons understand that this is not a choice. None of us chooses our sexual orientation. They didn`t choose to be straight. I didn`t choose to be gay. That doesn`t mean I`m sorry about it. It`s just a fact of life.

But what they now say is ok it`s not your fault that you`re gay. So if a Republican who`s holding office is gay, they won`t be upset about that as long as he seems ashamed of it.

BEHAR: Right.

FRANK: That is, as long as he`s embarrassed by it, and tries to hide it, and lies about it, they'll tolerate it. On the other hand on the Democratic side, we're free to be who we are to bring our partners places. I will be at the White House next Monday with my partner Jim. We`ll go to the White House Ball, we`ll have our picture taken with the President, with Michelle.

And so there is that difference. And there are still more closeted Republicans because they pay a price if they`re honest.

(...)

BEHAR: Okay. I want to tell you something, we're really going to miss you in Congress. You know we really need –

FRANK: Thank you.

BEHAR: – people like you to tell them what for, and I'm sorry that you're leaving. And I hope that your next move is not going on "Dancing with the Stars". That's all I have to say.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014