LGBT

LGBT Lives Are Better Than Ever, Yet The Culture War Grows Louder

In the future, everybody's religious beliefs will be newsworthy for 15 minutes.

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Joanna and Chip Gaines
Everett Collection/Newscom

My public reaction (on Twitter) when I saw BuzzFeed's strange, now-viral piece about a couple of HGTV hosts going to a church whose pastor doesn't support gay marriage was to wonder if the media outlet was going to write a similar piece about every single Catholic in America or just the famous ones.

Whatever the stated intent for running a story about the church attendance of some C-list home improvement show hosts (they do well in cable ratings, anyway), the subtext is clearly intended for us to look askance at Chip and Joanna Gaines for belonging to a church whose pastor preaches against gay marriage. The weirdest part of the piece is that it's entirely speculative. The Gaineses didn't respond to requests for comment, so it's a piece that cannot even tell the reader whether the Gaineses themselves support or oppose gay marriage.

Robby Soave noted this morning a couple of media outlets like Jezebel and Cosmopolitan running with the story. There's also been a much larger blitz of responses that are critical of the BuzzFeed piece. Here's some critical analysis over at the Washington Post from an engaged gay man who worries that the digital media environment under the Donald Trump administration is going to end up as "four agonizing, tedious years of 'gotcha' non-stories like this one."

There is some possible good news here amid the media feeding frenzy surrounding the story: At the time that I'm writing this, a host of outlets have written about and linked to the BuzzFeed story. But I haven't seen a peep at the major blogs or media outlets (such as The Advocate) that specifically cater to LGBT readers. I may have missed a blog link somewhere given the size of the internet, but this "controversy" doesn't seem to be a focus of sites that are narrowly focused on LGBT lives and issues.

Why is this good news? Because it's a sign that the people who are actually affected by cultural attitudes toward gay marriage recognition understand where the battles truly are (to the extent that there are any battles left). Whatever the Gaineses and their retrograde preacher believe about gay marriage is not relevant to whether the practice will continue. There is no indication that any of these people in this story have influence to alter the state of legal recognition (or any interest in doing so).

There is a lot of focus at LGBT sites about who will be serving the Trump administration and fears about what they may do. Trump actively courted LGBT voters, which is remarkable on its own for a representative of the Republican Party. Let's not forget that the Republican Party's opposition to gay issues hasn't been just a plank in the platform—it's also historically been an issue to campaign with, something largely absent from this year's race. Trump nevertheless did terribly with gay voters, according to exit polls.

But while Trump doesn't seem to personally have much opposition to the LGBT agenda, the same cannot be said for the people he's selecting for his administration, and that's where all the power will be. I've noted previously fear over Trump's selection of Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, given his record of opposition on gay issues. Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for secretary of education, didn't just oppose legal recognition of gay marriage; she actually bankrolled ballot initiatives to block it. Her family has significant connections to organizations that have done everything they could to halt the legal normalization of same-sex relationships, and it's worth analyzing how that might affect what she does in Trump's cabinet.

So having said that, what I'm seeing from pieces like this bizarre one from BuzzFeed, and from things like a gay politician's attempt to promote a boycott of a beer company owner for supporting Trump, is an inability to accept a norm that we live side-by-side in a world with significant ideological diversity, and an inability to place an emphasis on policy-making over signaling and culture war judging. Debate over DeVos' actual anti-gay background and how that might or might not affect federal education policy (libertarian disclaimer: we shouldn't even have a federal education policy) shouldn't be fighting for attention with the church habits of a couple of televised home renovators.

I've said repeatedly while watching this election play out that one of the primary attitudes driving the culture of these campaigns has been the desire to punish one's foes. It's kind of remarkable seeing responses to the Trump election like this one at Out Magazine that is so certain that LGBT folks are going to be the ones punished under the incoming administration, yet is completely blind to the motivations of pro-Trump voters who think that they are the ones who were being punished and would continue to be punished in a Democratic administration. Why didn't Shawn Binder's parents think about his self-interest and those of his LGBT friends, Binder asks, while failing to detail or explain in any way what self-interests prompted his parents to vote for Trump. He wants to know whether he can forgive them, but doesn't consider whether "forgiveness" is an attitude that should factor into a response to somebody using his or her vote in a way you don't like. (Maybe that's the libertarian in me talking: I go through life surrounded by people who vote in ways I don't like and have managed to not have a nervous breakdown or wonder if I need to "forgive" people)

Self-segregation and social punishment seem to be the order of the day as the left and the right drift further and further apart culturally, even as policy differences seem less pronounced than they used to be. As a member of neither side, I'm hard-pressed to figure out the end game in BuzzFeed's report other than page views and yet another thumbtack marking a point of cultural hostility on the map of the Internet.

I don't want to suggest the false choice that covering the Gaineses comes at the expense of covering DeVos. I do want to suggest that journalists at BuzzFeed seriously start thinking about the motives behind cultural reporting like this because it is very clearly influencing people's perceptions of politics and the media in ways that have already come back to haunt the press. Defensive responses by BuzzFeed's editor grasping desperately for an explanation as to why the couple's church attendance was considered newsworthy is not helping.

NEXT: 4th Circuit strikes down North Carolina residency/movement restrictions on sex offenders

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  1. How are these people on home improvement shows if they’re not absolutely fabulous?

    1. More importantly, they’re achievably good looking.

    2. My wife likes them

  2. The real monsters are those tiny house people.

    1. “You just spent $170,000 for a trailer.” That is a quote from me watching that show over the holiday as some just-out-of-college moron spends $170,000 for a trailer that will be the home for him, his wife, and their two daughters.

      The look on the face of the wife when she saw the actual size of a 20 sq ft “master” bathroom was priceless. I was shocked the couple made it to the end of the episode without a lawyer submitting divorce paperwork.

      1. I had a similar thought, but it gave me a great idea for a Portlandia sketch. A bunch of hipsters build a cluster of tiny houses. It starts out civil and refined but it gradually devolves into a trashy trailer park. The end would probably involve a tornado ripping through everything.

    2. The real monsters are those tiny house people.

      The thing that always kills me is the neo-greenie ‘derp within derp’ aspect of it. Half of the tiny houses would be *awesome* to live in for 1-3 weeks every couple as a hunting/fishing cabin or retreat out on a remote 1000+ acre ranch or as a sort-of ‘executive office’ next to your cheap-floor-space rural machine shop. Instead, they buy a really small house to live in full time and find an obnoxious plot in the city or the suburbs to park it and invite their six friends over to annoy the neighbors. They don’t love nature and independence, they’re just insecure, hate people, and have mild form of agoraphobia.

    3. +1 “This tiny house is too small and doesn’t have enough amenities!”

  3. I do want to suggest that journalists at BuzzFeed seriously start thinking about the motives behind cultural reporting like this because it is very clearly influencing people’s perceptions of politics and the media in ways that have already come back to haunt the press.

    How are they going to keep their blocs voting appropriately if they don’t keep them terrified of the “other side”?

  4. I see the word ‘retrograde’ is really coming into fashion in this Age of Trump.

    1. And I don’t think it means what they think it means.

      1. Yeah, checking all the definitions on Dictionary.com doesn’t really yield anything that applies very well in context.

  5. I recommend that Chip and Joanna simply publicly recite the speech Obama gave regarding Reverend Wright, substituting “Anti-gay” for “Anti-American”, etc. Obviously Jezebel and Cosmopolitan will be fully satisfied thereafter.

    1. Hear, hear!

    2. do you have a link to that? i like this idea.
      i usually use it when someone posts something really stupid on bookface.

  6. Whatever the Gaineses and their retrograde preacher believe about gay marriage is not relevant to whether the practice will continue. There is no indication that any of these people in this story have influence to alter the state of legal recognition (or any interest in doing so).

    This is the kind of thing that makes me think that a lot of progs wish that something terrible would happen just so they can have the drama. Since something terrible probably won’t happen, they have to invent “crises” to occupy themselves and to feel important.

    1. That’s how politics of every stripe works, from the PTA and quilting clubs on up. Everyone who likes telling others what to do learns early on that getting othe people falsely excited is the way to play.

      1. With the emphasis on “falsely”, since it means there is no actual resolution possible, no actual work required, no way to ever finish the task, and no way to lose an argument.

      2. No. They reason why they got into politics in the first place was because they want to feel important. The worse you pretend your enemy is, the more important you feel.

        1. Yes, John. Same thing, different words. Now stop trying to pretend I am worse than you!

          1. You are a monster. And I am fighting the noblest and bravest fight ever by pointing that out.

            1. Stands and applauds.

    2. This is the kind of thing that makes me think that a lot of progs wish that something terrible would happen

      I really think it’s true. They really want Trump’s election to mean whatever horrible things are in their imagination. They really want the country to be full of gay-bashing rednecks and neoconfederates who want to kill homos and subjugate blacks.

      They have so much invested in their worldview that they are the ones out for justice and the world is just against them that they just can’t bear it not to be true.

      Or maybe not. I can’t read minds. But it sure seems that way sometimes.

      Of course, it’s not only something that progs do. There are plenty of libertarians and conservatives who are attached to their gloomy worldview as well. But I think progressives really take the cake.

      1. I remember the South Park episode from after the 2008 election, in which the republicans started beating each other up and then seeing their own behavior as ‘society breaking down’ and blaming it on Obama.

        Thats what the Progs’ behavior now is like. Wreak havoc then blame said havoc on the ‘disunity’ sown by Trump and his supporters.

      2. I got into an argument with a liberal friend, who was outraged–OUTRAGED!!!–that Trump had seemingly reneged on one of his campaign promises in regards to ‘building the wall.’ She demanded that he be held accountable to his promise and that he actually proceed with building said wall. I asked the lady, who thought the thought his policy was horribly racist, why she would want him to go through with the promise of doing something she was vehemently opposed to, when she so feared it…

        I had to pay the dry cleaners extra to remove all the blood and grey matter….

  7. They should handle this situation like so:

    1) Pretend they really weren’t paying attention to the message despite attending that church for years

    2) Give a speech pointing out that they could not disavow their church any more than they could disavow their grandmothers

    3) Disavow their church anyway

    4) Wait for all the praise to roll in for being just so goddamn intelligent

    1. Have you seen the show? There is no way Chip could be called intelligent, damned or otherwise.

  8. In the culture wars it isn’t enough that your side win. The other side must also lose.

    1. If by “lose” you mean “ground to dust”… yeah.

    2. It’s not about legal equality for many, it’s about moral equivalency.

    3. Do you mean the anti-Equal Marriage people? They forced LG people into a mode of marriage or bust. [“LG”, not “LGBT” because “B” and “T” persons could marry someone of the opposite gender. Equal marriage only applies to “BT” persons if the person they wish to marry would make the marriage “LG”.)

      Don’t forget, that 2/3 of their precious amendments banned civil unions or domestic partner laws. In the case of Virginia and Michigan, the amendments even banned enforcement of contracts to mimic the protections of marriage for couples. To be honest, I’m surprised the Michigan and Virginia amendments were not summarily overturned under the Federal Constitutions “Contacts clause”.

      These anti-Equal marraige people were not trying to protect their image of marriage. They were figuratively on a “Gays must die and go to hell” march. This forced the supporters of LG equality to respond similarly with a scorched earth movement, and the LG equality side won pure and simple over changing social attitudes. People will abandon the culture war position the moment someone they love comes us. See: Rob Portman’s change of opinion when his son came out.

  9. This is why Trump won.

  10. Drama Queens gotta queen and drama.

  11. “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

    ? Eric Hoffer

    1. That is an excellent quote; may take home for the day, thank you.

      1. Just buy a copy of The True Believer. It’s worth it.

        1. Will do, thanks.

  12. Antioch Community Church’s communications director pointed me toward the church’s website under “beliefs,” where it states, “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.”

    I can’t believe that in this day and age, anyone would be so narrow-minded and bigoted to believe that marriage is only to be entered into for a lifetime.

    1. A covenant commitment states what’s intended, not what’s predicted.

      AFAIK, most couples getting married intend for it to last “as long as we both shall live.” And the marriage license people seem to agree. At least I haven’t seen any “valid for 10 years” licenses.

  13. HGTV=”homo gay television” right?

    Poor business decision to hire them if nothing else.

    But seriously, it is rather perverse that pretty normal, mainstream beliefs (even if they are becoming minority beliefs) are being tarred as beyond what should be socially acceptable by certain media segments and social activists.

    1. It’s especially galling to me when this approach is adopted by people who were on record as being opposed to gay marriage as recently as 2012.

      1. I was going to mention that too, but the squirrels were fucking with me.

    2. I think their ratings will probably go up as people view watching the show as a way to tell the SJWs to fuck off. Even if it turns out to hurt ratings, it is hard to blame HGTV here. The people apparently had a show that worked. Why should HGTV have quizzed them for possible unacceptable beliefs? Maybe HGTV didn’t care what they thought about issues that have nothing to do with their show?

      1. Yeah, it’s dumb. The show they present has nothing to do with their views on marriage or religion. There is no rational reason why HGTV should give a shit if it doesn’t affect how they do their jobs in a negative way.

        1. I am only capable of being entertained by people who share my exact political opinions on every topic.

          All other individuals have no right to even attempt to entertain people.

          1. I’m looking at you, Tom Cruise. And Matt Damon, fuck that guy.

            1. MATT DAMON!!

  14. Confident prediction:

    The ratings for their show will go up as a result of this kerfuffle, thus allowing the SJW morons to score yet another own goal.

    1. I bet you are right about that.

    2. I always figure all this stuff must come from the networks themselves. Who else would bother to ever know this kind of stuff? Any publicity is good publicity.

  15. “four agonizing, tedious years of ‘gotcha’ non-stories like this one.”

    Do we mean, four years ADDED to the previous years of non-stories?

    1. Yeah was thinking the same thing. The only difference is now they won’t be in charge anymore. Perhaps instead of social-justice invitations to the white house for victims from favored groups, we’ll have it go the opposite direction, and the cops and teachers get the invites.

      1. 1461 x SSDD

  16. WTF, squirrels? I waste enough time here as it is without having my comments disappear because you can’t make shit work properly for more than a few days in a row.

  17. Self-segregation and social punishment seem to be the order of the day as the left and the right drift further and further apart culturally,

    I’m not completely sure they are. What we have is a noisier, more committed activist segment of the population that increasingly controls the narrative. Trump was the backlash to that.

    Most people on the left and the right just want to go to work, raise there kids– they aren’t steeped in a kind of Marxian power struggle with every social interaction, and aren’t out to destroy everyone who veers slightly off the ideological reservation. This is a new-ish phenomenon that seems to be– as far as I can tell– controlled by a small but increasingly powerful segment of the population.

    1. This is a new-ish phenomenon that seems to be– as far as I can tell– controlled by a small but increasingly powerful segment of the population.

      This is the reason that the only people lamenting Gawker’s demise were its inbred, effete commenters and a few self-righteous morons in the journalist class. These are the kind of people that have no problem using their platform as a cudgel to destroy the lives of random nobodies that none of us should give a tinker’s damn about, merely for exercising the wrongthink of the moment. It’s downright Orwellian and a big reason why Trump’s gleeful trashing of previously-held tempremental norms didn’t kill his candidacy within a couple of months.

    2. I do know that they are so powerful as they are loud and have more of a bully pulpit through social media.

      Lena Dunham, for example. Need I say more?

  18. LGBT Lives Are Better Than Ever, Yet The Culture War Grows Louder

    That’s because the culture isn’t about improving LGBT lives, its about punishing (perceived) enemies of the One True Hivemind.

    As a group (I know, I know), I expect gay people are doing better (education, income, assets) than straight people in this country. In fact, that would be interesting context to know when discussing LGBT “discrimination”, as in, “Gee, if the lives of gay people in this country are such a living hell, why are they doing so well?”

    Or, who knows, you may actually find some basis for the belief that they are victims of widespread societal discrimination.

    Here’s the thing: You can get people (cough, the commentariat, cough) to do analysis and opinion of these kinds of stories for free. What you have to pay people to do is the legwork of research and actual uncovering of facts. Maybe your paid staff should concentrate on that, as a way to distinguish yourself in a crowded field?

    1. http://www.usnews.com/news/art…..al-couples

      Women who are in same-sex couples and in the labor force tend to make far more money than similar women in heterosexual couples, while men in gay couples tend to make slightly less than their heterosexual counterparts. People in gay couples are also more likely to be in the labor force (that is, working or looking for a job) than their heterosexual counterparts, and they’re far more likely to be highly educated.

      Those are a few of the datapoints from a new report on the demographics of America’s same-sex couples. The Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA that focuses on LGBT issues, has dissected Census data from 2005 through 2011 to create a detailed picture of the demographics of men and women who live with people of the same sex. And while the economic findings are at first puzzling?why would gay women earn so much money, while men in same-sex homes tend to take an earnings hit??the author says the principles underlying those conclusions may in fact be nothing new.

      Gays have been doing well in this country for decades. But somehow gay marriage became the most important civil rights issue since slavery.

      Yeah, the entire point is for leftists to have a club to beat their enemies with.

      1. Also, and I’m too lazy to find the link, I believe that the biggest physical threat to lesbians is their partner.

        1. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

          1. Its a bad thing. Domestic violence is a really nasty problem in the lesbian community. And one sadly that gets swept under the rug all too often.

            1. Yeah, I’ve heard that before.

              The reason I ask is that saying that the biggest threat comes from the domestic partner could either mean that there is lots of domestic violence, or that they are very safe otherwise.
              I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the biggest threat of physical violence to women in general was from their domestic partners.

              But without seeing any actual numbers, it’s impossible to figure out the significance of such observations.

              1. You are right, the statement itself could mean a lot of things. The actual numbers are a bit slippery because it is not something that is reported very often. But, from what I have read the consensus is that it is a pretty nasty problem.

            2. Looking into it a bit, it does seem to be significantly higher risk for gay women than straight women (~20% vs ~35% over lifetime).
              It also seems to be something that a lot of gay advocacy organizations are trying to call more attention to.

            3. Domestic violence is a really nasty problem in the lesbian community.

              It’s a bad job all the way around. Even from a libertarian legal moral perspective splitting up a family to prevent a murder is a pretty lose-lose-lose situation. The fact that society currently seeks out anti-discrimination and inclusiveness in defining families against current norms, combined with getting all uppity about staying out of the bedroom, makes this bad situation worse rather than better.

              The last couple decades and even still a bit today, if a woman came home from the company of a man disheveled and bruised, the man and any associated closed door behavior was automatically suspect. If the same thing happens now among two women, not only is the victim assumed to be equally guilty as the aggressor but the aggressor can, even more sufficiently as a member of an oppressed minority, employ a simple ‘mind your own business’ defense. Chivalry among women exclusively didn’t just not exist but is, in many overlapping corners, declared dead among heterosexuals and its corpse is beaten in earnest.

          2. I did a poor job of wording that. From a larger cultural perspective it’s a good thing because gay bashing is way down. It’s also a bad thing because there’s so much domestic violence among lesbians.

            Also, my wife(who was a lesbian for 10 years) says that the 35% number is likely pretty low.

            1. “My wife (who was a lesbian for 10 years)”
              Wait, what?

              I’m not sure whether that’s a compliment or an insult to your manhood.

              1. Or maybe it has nothing to do with his manhood, just something that his wife dealt with and now they’re married. Nothing to see here…move along…

  19. I may have missed a blog link somewhere given the size of the internet…

    It’s not the size of your internet, it’s how you __________________.

    1. Hitler?

    2. Your joke could allow more leeway with punchlines if you remove the ‘you’ before the wildcard space.

      Just trying to help.

      1. Nope. I thought of that but I want it the way I want it. Plus people just ignore that and say what they want anyway.

        1. I thought of that but I want it the way I want it.

          My ex-wife used to say that.

    3. use up the bandwidth?

    4. …make it swing?

      1. “You spin me right round baby right round…”

    5. Keep telling yourself that

    6. Harambe?

    7. …….google with your personal digital assistant.

    8. Wipe your servers with a cloth?

  20. Feels like ages ago but did this trend in journalism originate when that reporter went to Bumfuck, Indiana to find out a small business that wouldn’t service a gay wedding?

    “Conservatives in the Mist” has long been a trope in reporting but I think it’s new to purposefully go on a fishing expedition to find something socially unacceptable to shame culture war enemies over.

    1. Yes and it keeps getting more malevolent. Those stories used to be pretty benign and just said more about the narrow mindedness of the people who wrote them and their readers. Now with the internet, they have become pretty nasty and often ruin the lives of their subjects. Gawker did that story on the woman who tweeting something they didn’t like and got her fired and pretty much ruined her life. The pizza place either went out of business or came close. And if Buzzfeed has its way, these people will lose their show.

      1. Memories Pizza is still in business and they received a fairly large amount (several hundred thousand) in donations during the Great Pizza Catering War of 2015. But I’m willing to bet the ownership might have preferred not having become the focus of a national hate campaign.

        The SJWs might not have gotten them, but each such fight will get less and less response. It was great for them being the first, but in another year or two being the 17th business owner getting death threats for not answering stupid hypothetical questions the “right” way will be a lot less profitable.

        1. the focus of a national hate campaign

          Speaking of which… I was in a Jersey City mall the other day and saw my first Chick-Fil-A in the food court. So naturally I had to try it. Verdict: the spicy chicken sandwich was just OK, no better than Wendy’s. Fries were quite good though.

          1. Chic-Fil-A is a cult. A wonderfully delicious cult where all employees are clean cut, happy and never get your order wrong. They can have a line that wraps around the block at lunch time at a stand alone locations but they send out employees with iPads and credit card swipers and you have your correct order and are driving off in less than 10 minutes. (It takes 15 minutes for me to get a honey butter chicken biscuit from the Whataburger when there is only one car in front of me and chances are they’ll get something in my order wrong.)

            There are somethings more important than punishing wrongthinkers and getting a delicious lunch fast and right is one of them.

  21. Her family has significant connections to organizations that have done everything they could to halt the legal normalization of same-sex relationships, and it’s worth analyzing how that might affect what she does in Trump’s cabinet.

    It’s only relevant if she’s planning to strip and stain the doors on that cabinet, or changing the hardware. Gay marriage acceptance will really come through in how level she mounts it.

  22. Hmmm… Muslim literally just means “one who submits to God”, right? Maybe Christian churches should just rebrand themselves as dissident Muslims, then they can hate gays all they want and progs can’t say shit.

    1. Well, according to Muslim’s they’re all children of Abraham sooo…yes?

      It’s pretty obvious that the left is almost entirely atheist and/or secularist. That isn’t a bad thing but when a group like that starts making carve outs for particular faith’s it raises some eyebrows.

  23. Maybe it’s one of those mega-churches with an espresso bar?

    1. Or better yet a wine bar (also known as a Catholic Church)

  24. It can’t be proved that other people are terrorized by my internal thoughts, but I like to believe that they are.

  25. Why are people, including you, Scott, clicking on Buzzfeed? Just curious.

    1. Boobie bait

    2. Chris Geidner over there is actually the best reporter on LGBT legal issues and is pretty good on other kinds of court cases as well.

  26. “…that journalists at BuzzFeed seriously start thinking…”

    It’s BuzzFeed, should one really call them Journalists? Or thinkers? To me, they’re like a slightly more newsworthy version of Cracked.com. They publish click bait and an occasional interesting thing, that’s about it.

    1. Their serious stories tend to be kinds of things that a young, inexperienced reporter can do from his/her/hx desk, and doesn’t require a web of foreign bureaus.

      Old newspaper ways of doing things are scoffed at here. At a morning meeting, discussion of how to cover the president’s State of the Union address focuses on two aspects only: getting Vine video “of when stupid stuff happens” and putting together a piece about how no one cares about the State of the Union.

      The editor in chief, Ben Smith, the only person among the 29 in the meeting who wears a jacket, urges his lieutenants to tell more stories as quizzes. “People are going to be making fun of us as the website that only does quizzes,” he says. “But we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of quizzes.”

      1. Well, I did leave myself wiggle room with the ‘occasional interesting thing’ note in that occasionally someone over there will report on something interesting and newsworthy. I only say this because sometimes someone will point me to one of those stories. The other stories they offer while reading those interesting things is why I never go there on purpose.

        Frankly, Reason is on the edge for me when the adverts at the bottom have cheerleader upskirts on them but I give this place more slack because the comments are actually interesting; and sometimes the article is too.

    2. Ideally, she says, she’d like to write both “28 Things That People With Big Boobs Can Simply Never Do” (another of her smash hits) and reported pieces on social justice?tough, serious work, but in the BuzzFeed way:

      They’re the same thing, baby doll, the same thing.

      http://www.cjr.org/cover_story…..s_true.php

  27. My favorite reporting on Chip & Joanna Gaines where they sent a New York reporter to do a feature story on them that turned into some weird meditation on whether Waco was really worth saving. Its a strange story that features them in nearly every paragraph and isn’t about them, really, at all.

    1. What an amazingly pointless story. Interesting, for sure (this coming from someone who likes the town), but all so pointless. Quasi-virtue signaling, yet more of a genuine “coastal elites in shock over this town”.

      And, it’s Texas Monthly, for Pet’s sake.

  28. Regarding that Buzzfeed “story,” written by Kate Aurthur… This Twitter convo on Nov 26:

    Kevin Fallon ?@kpfallon
    My blood-boiling suspicion that every couple featured voted for Trump has ruined House Hunters for me.

    Kate Aurthur ?@KateAurthur Nov 26
    @kpfallon And Fixer Upper.

    So I think we know the inspiration and motivation for the reporting. These suspected Trump voters MUST GO DOWN.

    1. I really don’t understand the mindset of such people, but then I don’t know why people watch these kinds of shows in the first place.

      1. I don’t know why people watch these kinds of shows in the first place.

        I’m an incidental watcher, but then, both my wife and I’s families have been ‘consumers’ of ‘This Old House’ and similar since forever. It’s more interesting than The Weather Channel and less consuming and absurd than prime time docu-dramas and sitcoms. There’s also a warm fuzzy element about TV that teaches you stuff. Also, I’m certain HGTV has mentioned Trump and Clinton considerably less than any most any other networks besides TWC.

        I have met people who do watch it through the lens of entertainment-style TV. Where they’ll know which identical twin brother built which garden patio for which couple whom they recall by name but won’t remember jack shit about whether the patio was simply set in place over a compressed gravel bed or required a poured concrete foundation. Those people are a little bizarre.

        1. Oh, TWC has gone all in for Climate Alarmism.

          1. Oh right, and HGTV tries exceedingly hard to seem like they’re convincing people that the gay couples are just acceptable couples who just happen to be gay, black people can afford nice stuff too, and even people who don’t hold regular jobs should expect a basic right to wheelchair ramps for their personal mobility devices. But at least, in my intermittent viewings, both networks do a decent job of sticking to their gnere and not hammering idiotic tangential issues about policy and politics pegs into weather and homebuilding holes like they’re worried about CNN horning in on their demographics.

          2. I can still recall a recent episode on HGTV about the couple demanding organic sod and the host was unable to meet their demands. I can only imagine that; either HGTV didn’t know they were going to ask for organic sod and somehow got stuck doing due diligence, HGTV and/or the contractor themselves are grossly ignorant of turfgrass production, or HGTV and/or the contractor felt obligated to inform the public that organic sod is/was not a thing.

      2. I enjoy such shows without giving a crap about the politics of anyone on it.

        Hell, I liked that one with Tim Tebow giving away houses in Georgia FFS.

      3. I enjoy Homes on Homes when I manage to catch it. The only other show of that ilk I’ve seen is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and I only lasted two episodes on that before the incessant in-your-face showboating of the main guy got on my last nerve.

    2. A lot of the families they do work for are Baylor employees. Yes, Baylor is very conservative for a college, but it isn’t Notre Dame or Liberty. I would be surprised if the “List of couple features on Fixer Upper” didn’t correlate somewhat with “People in Waco, TX who voted for Hillary”.

    3. One the best retorts to those fuck-heads on Twitter

      RJ ?@rjames1928 17h17 hours ago
      .@kpfallon I feel sorry for you that Trump & his voters are living rent-free in your head. Must be exhausting labeling people all day long.

  29. “LGBT Lives Are Better Than Ever, Yet The Culture War Grows Louder”

    Because the culture war isnt about making anyones lives better.

  30. Her family has significant connections to organizations that have done everything they could to halt the legal normalization of same-sex relationships, and it’s worth analyzing how that might affect what she does in Trump’s cabinet.

    I’m having a hard time agreeing that we need to vet not only the nominees, but their families as well. I think you are overegging the pudding, here. Potentially squirrely financial activities, maybe (thinking of the appointments of family members to phat jobs and no-show boards), but their political beliefs? C’mon, man.

    Having said that, I’ve always thought Huma’s family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood should have gotten a lot more attention, especially in light of her work on one of their RadMus publications.

  31. We Democrats have basically two paths forward. One is to whine, complain and try to skew any and all discussion in our direction, as we’ve been doing for years. The other is to acknowledge that most people who voted for Trump did so not because they are racist or homophobic but because Trump was acknowledging the struggles of Middle America and Democrats simply were not. We can complain and send out accusations, or we can begin to listen to the voices of those that we dismissed before. I applaud this article for calling out the hypocrisy of the people who are attempting to put all the blame on middle America for the Democrats’ loss.

    This sentence strongly articulates the fundamental flaw of Democrats trying to place blame solely on Middle America:
    “Why didn’t Shawn Binder’s parents think about his self-interest and those of his LGBT friends, Binder asks, while failing to detail or explain in any way what self-interests prompted his parents to vote for Trump.”

  32. I can’t wait for the article on how ship lap is an indication of homophobia.

  33. Were I one of these pearlclutchers, I would be rather more concerned about the views espoused by the likely new DNC Chair’s spiritual counselors than those of a couple of minor tv personalities. Just sayin’.

  34. I believe its a Schopenhauerism that the closer we get to a goal, the angrier we are about not being there.

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