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RIGHT WING FAIL

Why Is Yale Grad And Radio Host Michael Medved Spreading Lies About CA’s LGBT History Bill?

Conservative cultural commentator and self-proclaimed “cultural crusader on politics and pop culture” Michael Medved graduated from Yale University and Yale law school. So why is he peddling easy-to-disprove lies about California’s LGBT history bill?

In an article he wrote for The Daily Beast entitled, “Gay Education Malpractice,” he says, “California kids may be learning more about the first gay vice president and other obscure figures under a new law that requires an emphasis on gay accomplishments,” and adds “it’s PC run amok.”

Mmmhmm… let’s dismantle some of his disingenuous “arguments”:

First, he spends most of his argument insinuating that kids will now have entire lessons on William Rufus Devane King, the rumored lover of president James Buchanan, focusing on their rumored affair rather than their political contributions. He also thinks that teachers will spend time speculating on whether Abraham Lincoln was actually gay.

Medved obviously has no idea how public school education actually works. History educators and textbook editors will develop the curriculum and these professional do not deal in speculation, rumor, and conjecture—no current history classes do. The purpose of LGBT history is not to “out” old historical figures but to acknowledge the openly, self-identified queer figures who made significant contributions to culture. He is either too ignorant to learn more about the curriculum’s development or too saturated in his own hysteria to actually care.

Second, he also says that Harvey Milk, who “served less than 11 months in his only public position” will be given as much weight as Martin Luther King and that teachers might show kids the “graphic, R-rated gay sex scenes” in Gus Van Sant’s Milk as part of their instruction.

That’s bullshit for two reasons: One, all historical figures are given their relative weight. King served as a pivotal civil rights leader who performed on the national state and did progressive work across the nation too. Milk worked more locally. Though Milk is important, to imply that he will receive as much textbook space as King is ridiculous. Public school classes serve as a jumping off point to these figures and multiple social issues, not exhaustive in-depth classes centered solely on propagating a single point of view.

Two, Medved buys into the right-wing talking point that these lessons will “invade the bedrooms” of historical figures. We don’t discuss sex lives when teaching heterosexual historical figures, so why would we go into Milk or anyone else’s sex life? It’s an absurd, alarmist claim without any proof or merit meant to scare parents into the idea that we’re pushing a sexual agenda to indoctrinate kids into gay sex. He knows that… and it’s a despicable rhetorical move on his part. Any intelligent teacher would only view the parts of Milk that deal directly with Milk’s political legacy. Any public school teacher stupid enough to view any film’s explicit sexual content should be reprimanded and fired, no matter the class.

Lastly, he also asks if these LGBT lessons will include “figures from our past whose life and works reflect poorly on the gay community” asking “should [Roy Cohn] be excluded from class because his witch-hunting ways do nothing to promote gay pride?”

No, not at all. We cover “straight” historical grifters and slaughterers like William Harding, Genghis Khan, and Josef Stalin. So why not Roy Cohn? In fact, we’ve already suggested that Cohn be included in such classes to the extent he is even significant enough to be included.

As a Yale graduate and writer, Medved knows that these shitty arguments hold no water and only serve as red meat to his conservative readers. Actual gay history classes would include the chemical castration inflicted on World War II codebreaker Alan Turing by the very country he saved. They would acknowledge the openly queer cultural greats like Wilde, Tchaikovsky, and Woolf without obsessing over their sex lives. These lessons would make sure students know that LGBT people have existed throughout history, that their contributions are already a part of public educational instruction, and that they have been historically oppressed purely for their sexual identity—the same way any competent educator would cover the oppression of any other persecuted minority.

The sad thing is that Medved is a conservative writer whose radio show is broadcast on 200 stations coast-to-coast with a weekly audience of more than 4.75 million people. So lots of people will lap up his biased, facile drivel as if it’s authoritative proof based on facts rather than fear. As such a popular media figure he knows the responsibility to dispense accurate, sound information to his readership… but he doesn’t take that responsibility seriously in this case.

No wonder film critic David Denby in The New Republic called Medved’s Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values “the stupidest book about popular culture that I have read to the end.”

And did we mention that Medved also finds fat women repulsive?

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Jul 21, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,
  • 14 Comments
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “Actual gay history classes would include the chemical castration inflicted on World War II codebreaker Alan Turing by the very country he saved.”

      What it should point out is that, had he been arrested before or during the war, the result would likely have been the loss of countless American lives – thanks to Turing’s work, for the most part our side knew where German submarines were so we could route troop ships around them. After his arrest and conviction, they prevented him from working in cryptography, so an arrest and persecution before or during World War II would have been an unmitigated disaster, not only for the U.K., but for the U.S. as well.

      The idea that, without Alan Turing’s work, some in the class might never have been born, just might make an impression.

      Jul 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAINTOM
      PLAINTOM

      The short answer to your headline question, because he is a lying bastard.

      Jul 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Countervail
      Countervail

      Maybe he’s lying because he’s a hypocritical closet case of the worse kind?

      Jul 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JohnB
      JohnB

      Medved is a blatant, unabashed ideologue. So I am in no way, shape or form surprised that he would consciously twist the truth to deceive his listeners.

      Jul 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveK
      SteveK

      I only know Michael Medved from his stint on Sneak Previews. I know this is playing into stereotypes, and I should know better, but I always assumed he was gay.

      Jul 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Disgusted american
      Disgusted american

      i dliek to kick Medved in the Teeth

      Jul 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      Has anybody seen Michael’s brother Harry?

      I’m just sayin’ . . .

      Jul 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • macmantoo
      macmantoo

      While he has concerns about what is taught, Fox News reported that the classes would be taught to kindergarden. So what’s worst? Fox is making every dumb republican think that the California system teaches kids at the kindergarden level. To me that hurts worst than who we reap the kudos on.

      Jul 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Improbable
      Improbable

      I saw him once in front of Grand Central and he is oddly shaped for man…his buttocks are wide and he is shaped like an hourglass. I think he got offended when he fell in love with a man and was rejected.

      Jul 22, 2011 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair
      WillBFair

      Daniel,
      This is a beautifully written, precisely argued piece. Excellent job. Thanks.

      Jul 22, 2011 at 1:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MattGMD
      MattGMD

      Who carries Medved’s luggage?

      Jul 22, 2011 at 4:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      According to Medved, learning about gay history is PC run amok.

      Jul 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evan
      Evan

      Tchaikovsky wasn’t “openly queer”–we know he was gay from some of his writings, but he was definitely not out. I assume that the author was misinformed and not intentionally trying to be misleading or dishonest, but it’s very important to get one’s facts straight when presenting arguments.

      Jul 23, 2011 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony Pelliccio
      Tony Pelliccio

      The whole conservative movement is based on fear. Medved just plays to that audience to enrich himself.

      Whether he hold such beliefs is another matter. But he’s pandering, I really have no stomach for people who pander like that.

      Jul 24, 2011 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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