Fox's Geraldo Show Delights In 'Brokeback Mountain, Family-Style'

Back in December, Brent Bozell warned that group marriage – polygamy – was becoming the rage on television, including this:

What’s next? Non-fictional "group marriage TV" will arrive on the Bravo channel in the spring, with a documentary called Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family, featuring a New York triple with two gay men, a woman, and two children. Now, reading that last sentence – what was your reaction? Perhaps a bit surprised, maybe somewhat disgusted. But you weren’t shocked, were you? I rest my case.

Well, it’s a little late to qualify as "spring" now, but this film will air on Bravo this month, and it’s now being publicized by Fox News, in their syndicated program "Geraldo at Large." MRC’s Geoff Dickens reported that on Thursday night, Fox anchor Laurie Dhue filed a story for Geraldo on the film with a predictable opening:

"Well you could call it Brokeback Mountain, family-style. You’re about to enter a household that’s anything but conventional. A household that will challenge our very ideas of what it means to be a traditional family. What happens when boy meets boy meets girl? Welcome to the 21st century edition of the American family unit. Now the subject of Three Of Hearts, a documentary airing on the Bravo channel June 12th....The film chronicles the unusual love between New Yorkers Sam, Steven and Samantha, two bisexuals and a straight woman who spend 13 years sharing a bed, a business and ultimately the responsibility of raising two children together."

Okay, first point: a threesome does not challenge "our very ideas of what it means to be a traditional family." Because it’s not a traditional family. It in fact, underlines exactly what it means to be a "non-traditional family." It is, however, traditionally scandalous and sinful. Dhue underlined that the filmmakers were making a political statement:

Dhue: "For director Susan Kaplan and husband David Friedson, the film’s executive producer, the movie is especially timely." [Mini-soundbite of President Bush] "What do you hope people get out of Sam, Samantha and Steven’s story?"

Susan Kaplan: "What really interested me was taking the idea of a family and pushing it really to the limit to make people question and make people talk about the idea of what is family."

It’s probably for the best that this report didn’t appear on the regular Fox News Channel, since Dhue made no attempt to locate an opposing point of view to stand with President Bush and his more vocal advocates of traditional matrimony. (It would, however, delight Dhue’s friends at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, where she has appeared at New York fundraisers along with Fox’s Page Hopkins and liberal media stars like Brian Williams, as you can see here.)

Dhue ended with the film’s predictable conclusion:

Dhue: "After 13 years of trinogamy[?], Steven left the relationship. Today, Sam and Samantha remain a committed couple, content in the knowledge that two out of three ain’t bad..."

Geraldo Rivera: "Steven is out, Sam and Samantha still together?"

Dhue: "Sam and Samantha are still legally married, but they do not have a sexual relationship anymore. They do live together for the sake of their children. They say they’re dating other people but so far neither one has found a very serious relationship."

Rivera: "You know I don’t think I believe in bisexuality. I think you’re either gay or you’re straight and maybe you fool around and go the other way once in a while and this seems like two gay guys trying to find a way through straight society."

Dhue: "Well you know, I think it’s interesting, a lot of critics might watch this and say, 'hey, it was just a menage a trois. It didn’t really mean anything. It was just an excuse for people to experiment and have a good time.’ But the husband and wife documentary team say that’s not true at all. That they really, these three people really and truly did love one another."

Actually, the film underlines exactly why social conservatives say these kind of relationships are inferior to traditional marriage. They’re unstable, and they’re certainly not monogamous – Mommy and Daddy are dating other people. And then does the marriage survive the other people? Do the children take a back seat to the other people? 

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