I don’t care if Republican National Committee head Ken Mehlman is gay. You
probably don’t either. No reason why we should.
But Ken Mehlman cares, and apparently
the Republican National Committee cares. A lot. Which is an
interesting Internet story.
UPDATE: The Republican National Committee has announced that Mehlman will leave his job in January. Was this the price for what follows? You don’t need a tinfoil hat to be suspicious.
From a public policy perspective the
rumor, if true, would make Mehlman into what gay activists call an Uncle Mary, a self-loathing gay man bashing other gays.
(Let’s update that, shall we? How about an Uncle Ted?)
But I don’t even care about that.
What I care about is the Internet
That’s not the story. That just started the story.
The story is what happened next.
CNN pulled down the relevant video
- CNN edited its own transcript
to take Maher’s statement (and King’s question) out.
- CNN sent cease and desist letters
to bloggers posting the video.
- CNN had YouTube send
cease-and-desist letters to bloggers posting the video.
YouTube, on behalf of CNN, sent
bloggers cease-and-desist letters if they were linking to the video.
Problem is, the genie is out of the
bottle. The toothpaste is out of the tube. Maher said it. People recorded it. It’s not going away. In
fact, all the efforts by Mehlman, the RNC and CNN (even of Maher) to kill this story
(literally) are only spreading it further. To blogs that don’t care.
Like this one.
In fact, I just Googled
the words “Ken-Mehlman gay rumors” and do you know how many hits
168,000. The story has been “out there” (as it were) since
Mehlman became chairman of the RNC. It was on the Democrats’ own blog. This was called “a smear
campaign” by PowerLine, a Republican blog.
Which only served to spread it further.
Obviously some people care about this,
mainly Republican people. But what can they do? Denying it doesn’t
help, trying to change history doesn’t help, suing people doesn’t
help. I don’t even think having Ken Mehlman do a sex scene with porn
star Jenna Jameson would help at this point. It’s in Ken Mehlman’s
heart, one way or the other, unless (or until) we get solid legal
evidence – and what Mr. Maher provided is, unfortunately, hearsay.
Next time, bring back a pubic hair.