In a bumbling effort to outline his latest right-wing persecution fantasy, Newsbuster Ken Shepherd inadvertently makes the case against Newsbusters’ central premise of a “liberal media”:
“Suppose there were a Republican state legislator in Georgia, who also happens to also be an ordained Baptist minister, who sent a letter to the owner of the Atlanta Falcons–on official state legislature letterhead no less–demanding he keep his players from speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage. The media firestorm would be predictable.”
As the astute reader can guess, this is exactly what did happen, but in Maryland, not in Georgia, and with a Democratic legislator, not a Republican one. Maryland Democratic delegate Emmet C. Burns, the Baptist minister in question, sent an outrageous letter to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti complaining that Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is campaigning against a ballot initiative aimed at overturning a Maryland law that allows for same-sex marriage:
I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player. Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.
Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base.
I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.
Please give me your immediate response.
Burns, who has a long and ugly anti-gay record, is on the state’s Economic Matters committee, charged with regulating, among other things, the Baltimore Ravens, which makes his tirade particularly sinister.
So an anti-gay pol tries to silence a supporter of gay marriage using utterly inappropriate strong-arm tactics. And where is the “media firestorm”? Shepherd is so lost in the usual right-wing persecution fantasy – he’s insisting there would be outrage if this was a Republican legislator – that he accidentally makes a significant point:
“…while there has been media coverage since the story broke in the middle of last week, it’s mostly been in print and online sources. A search of Nexis found no reporting by the broadcast network newscasts on this controversy.”
So much for the “liberal media.”