Obama Laments 'Worn Arguments and Old Attitudes' Holding Back Gay Liberation

The Washington Post put the first White House celebration of Gay Pride Month on the front page Tuesday, but reporter Michael Shear left out some of the president’s most liberal and most supportive lines from the transcript. Obama pledged to be "an ally and a champion" of the gay left’s agenda and hailed gay activists "who have refused to accept anything less than full and equal citizenship."

He implied there was still work to do with all those fuddy-duddies who still followed the "worn arguments and old attitudes" from old sources like the Bible:

There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop. And though we've made progress, there are still fellow citizens -- perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones -- who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes, who fail to see your families like their families and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful. And I know it can be heartbreaking.

And yet all of you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make, but also by the power of the example that you set in your own lives, as parents and friends, as PTA members and leaders in the community, and that's important. And I'm glad that so many LGBT families could join us today for... (APPLAUSE) ... for we know that progress depends not only on changing laws, but also changing hearts and that real, transformative change never begins in Washington.

Shear's account in the Post didn't note this was the first-ever White House Gay Pride Month event, but suggested it was an event "marking the 40th anniversary of the riots surrounding New York's Stonewall Inn." (But Shear did acknowledge that on the Post's Obama blog, 44.)

It might seem amazing -- and yet amazingly ordinary -- that Shear and the Post never found terms like "liberal" or "left-wing" worth using in the entire piece, even for radical activists and bloggers who didn't get invited to the White House because they've been too fierce.

Shear even let Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs claim that the even was "not designed as a way to mollify the gay community or reward its support during the campaign." Gibbs said: "We didn't play a lot of interest-group-based politics in the presidential race." You might even believe Obama didn't show up at interest-group events like the 2007 Democrat candidates forum on the gay cable channel Logo.

When a Republican president or primary candidates court the religious right, the media constantly suggest that they're courting the extreme at the expense of the mainstream. But reporters like Shear obviously avoid the notion that there's political danger for Obama in "mollifying" his ideological base on the libertine left.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis