Monday, May 14, 2012

Double Standard

Many times over the years I've heard the lamentations of the right that the "liberal media" has a double standard when it comes to political peccadilloes.  Allegedly the media doesn't pursue Democrats who have affairs while persuing Republicans with zeal for doing the same thing.

That's not really accurate, as the case of what's-his-name, the NY Congressman who sent sexually provocative pictures of himself to a woman, shows.  He was hounded out of office with gusto, and rightfully so for someone engaging in sexual harrassment.  Anthony Weiner.  That was the guy's humorously appropriate name.

But let's, arguendo, presume it to be true.  There's a good reason why the affairs of Democrats and the affairs of Republicans are viewed differently.  While Democrats adhere to a social agenda of tolerance Republicans maintain a line of condemnation for social behavior that doesn't conform with the "ideal" of a married man and woman with 2.5 children (more if you're really being fruitful and multiplying).  No gay marriage.  No polygamous marriage.  No men and women living together without being married.  In fact, no pre-marital sex.

Democrats don't condemn any of that stuff.  They're not necessarily in favor of it.  Polygamous marriage, for one, hasn't much support.  But Democrats don't condemn it.

So when a politician has an affair, and especially if he has a gay affair, but he's a member of a political party that generates a lot of political capital condemning that sort of thing, it's not only to be expected that media organizations would make a big deal about it.  A Democrat, who hasn't condemned that, isn't nearly as much of a story.  He's not being hypocritical. 

Look, it's like this.  If a Democrat is big on the environmental protection agenda but is riding around in a low fuel efficiency SUV, then the media's going to be all over that.  I've seen it more than a few times.  But a Republican who's not an environmentalist has no such problems.  It's the same kind of thing with sex.  If you're going to tout a line of sexual intolerance, don't be surprised when you're hoist on a petard for engaging in the same behavior you condemned.

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