Thursday, 5 January 2012

Media in Iowa didn’t share it all about Santorum

The sign says it all. Two out of three
ain't bad, eh Rick?
The Iowa count was exciting. A close-run thing, the caucus poll delivered an insignificant margin between the two front-runners, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. The headlines made much of the 8-vote difference but a rational view would simply be to do a recount, or declare a tie. The media didn’t do so because it makes better copy to bang on and on about the margin.

The media has so far been oddly quiet about Rick Santorum, who has come out of nowhere to take top spot in Iowa. It’s not just the American media. In Australia we were taken unawares by Santorum’s success. First thing I heard of him was Rupert Murdoch giving him a boost by promoting him on Twitter.

Santorum’s record appears fairly bland. He is from a background that features Italian migrant parents. He served in the House of Representatives and in the Senate before taking off to work as a lawyer. Now he’s back in politics. But there is one thing we should know that he has quite a bit of form for: homophobia. Thanks to a news story by The Independent of Britain a lot more people now know that Santorum is, as a mate, who resides in Texas, says, “a homophobic nutcase”. But the American media said nothing about this, like it’s somehow OK. When it’s not OK at all.

The Independent was coy and here’s what they said:
In April 2003, Senator Santorum, as he then was, gave an interview in which he likened consensual gay sex within the home to bigamy, polygamy, incest, adultery and bestiality. In revenge, a columnist named Dan Savage ran a competition to create a new definition of the word "santorum".

The winning entry is far too graphic to be reproduced in a family newspaper, but if you search for "santorum" on Google you will find out what it means before you learn anything else about the former senator from Pennsylvania.
So, the meaning of the neologism “santorum” is “far too graphic”? Diddums, I say. It’s nothing compared to what this “homophobic nutcase” has said on the record. So, the new meaning of “santorum” is to be “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex”, according to the website? Santorum soundly deserves the most cavalier treatment you can dream up because he espouses ideas which should have absolutely no place in a decent society. Here’s what Mr Nutjob said in an interview with USA Today in April 2003. How’s this for “graphic”:
If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything… It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution... You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families... In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.
Let’s hope that the website and its message get greater play in the media. Let’s hope that journalists call him out on his vicious homophobic views in a way that leads to his embarrassment in public. Let’s try to find ways to tell Mr Nutcase that it’s not just “one guy” who so reacts to the things he says. Let’s all speak out so that he gets well and truly trashed. This guy wouldn’t last 12 minutes in a mainstream political party in Australia.


Matt Platte said...

12 minutes, eh? I've heard that you folks in Australia have better parties than we here in the U.S.A. Those stories must be true.

Meredith Jones said...

Excellent post Matt, thank you.