Monday, May 04, 2009

Simply 'Outrage'-ous

Michael and I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Tribeca Film Festival screening of Kirby Dick's provocative new documentary, "Outrage," on Friday at the Directors Guild. The press materials describe it as "a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to" and it does not disappoint. Politicians are named. Their heinous voting records are tallied. Their misdeeds are exposed. And their friends, ex-lovers, ex-staffers are interviewed, all put into context by some of the leading gay social critics of our time . Even if you're a regular follower of politics, there will be things in here that will shock you. The juxtaposition of Jim McGreevey against Charlie Crist -- who still seems to honestly believe he could be president one day -- alone is mind-boggling.

"Outrage" opens Friday and I can't recommend it enough.

Gang of Four: McFarlane, Signorile, Kramer and Dick

Afterward, there was a spirited panel discussion with the director led by Rodger McFarlane plus Michelangelo Signorile and Larry Kramer, who was a stand-in for the mysteriously absent Jim McGreevey, who was rumored to have been none-too-pleased with the way he wound up being portrayed in the film. (Was ANYONE happy with their portrayal? Ed Koch was throwing a hissy fit, too.) It was amazing how many of the audience members -- even after seeing such blatant hypocrisy onscreen -- still seemed uncomfortable with the film and the naming of names, which they still think of as "outing" rather than what Signorile smartly points out is actually just "reporting." (I neglected to ask if any probing into Lindsey Graham was done as I was surprised he was not present and accounted for.) In particular, many people thought it was unfair that Shepard Smith was included while Anderson Cooper was not. (Huh? Shepard Smith AT ALL, maybe. But Smith but NOT Cooper? No.) Kirby Dick was unfazed by the line of questioning and quickly pointed out that Smith makes his considerable living by banging Fox’s conservative “drumbeat” on gay issues (and made the "too-juicy-not-to-include-in-the-film" mistake of trying to pick up gay journalist Kevin Naff) while Cooper does not. Never one to miss a chance to give his opinion, Larry Kramer quickly sided with the questioner and agreed that Cooper is "pretty hypocritical." Really? (For the record, I've never understood the anti-Coop segment of the gay community. Sure, it would be GREAT if he officially came out. But in what way is he being hypocritical? He does work for AIDS organizations and frequently takes anti-gay types to task on his national TV show, so I just don't see the comparison. Most of us got to come out on our own terms, why shouldn't he be allowed to?)

Dick and Signorile both said they hoped the film would start a dialogue with the media whom they deemed as complicit in this hypocritical behavior. While I agree and wish reporters would do more REPORTING (that's all it is) on these conflicts (would they not cover it if, say, Joe Lieberman voted against aid to Israel?), I think it's important to remember that as recently as last year the mainstream media was reluctant to cover John Edwards' extramarital affair, so the difficulty in reporting on personal behavior that contradicts with politicians' platforms has a long and tangled history that is certainly not exclusive to gay issues.

For more information visit the official site HERE.

(Video removed)

To see just how scared the MSM is of all this, watch how uncomfortable Don Lemon is just trying to report on the film in this interview with Kirby Dick & Co. Notice how he emphasizes calling legislation against gay equality as "perceived as anti-gay" rather than just calling anti-gay legislation ANTI-GAY.

P.S. A big thank-you to Jeremy for hooking us up!


Soxophone Player said...

I'm not personally certain that a gay politian is automatically a hypocrite if he votes against pro-gay legislation. I would hope (perhaps naively) my representaive would vote according to the majority opinion in his or her district, regardless of personal interests.

John said...

Thanks for all the info. Kenneth! I hope it is showing here in the heartland, but you never know. If it is I will be going to see it!

RE: McGreevy, Don't want to offend anybody (LOL), but I couldn't finish his book! I just stopped reading and wish I hadn't bought it! Of course I speed read it for all the salacious parts, but it's not a book I your $.