Last week Vice President Al Gore gave a speech to the Hollywood Radio and Television Society. In it, he spoke of the “deep responsibilities” Hollywood carries due to its great influence on American culture and society. He praised “Sesame Street” for the lessons it teaches children, and “All in the Family” for forcing Americans to confront prejudice and bigotry. He then praised “Ellen” for portraying a normal, working woman, who also happens to be gay. Given the reaction from folks like Dan Quayle and the Christian Coalition, it would seem Gore said something blasphemous.
Gore almost immediately was denounced by conservatives for pandering to Hollywood’s leftist elites and being out of touch with the agenda of the middle-class American family. Ellen’s character isn’t a criminal, is drug-free, works for a living, leads a normal life and is gay. Do critics realize their hypocrisy? They are condemning Ellen for being herself.
Quayle calling Gore a panderer is like the pot calling the kettle black. Isn’t it pandering when Quayle stands before a conservative audience and denounces the Clintons, Hollywood, gays, liberals, Democrats, single mothers, affirmative action, Roe v. Wade, activist judges and anyone else who doesn’t think the exact same way he and his cohorts do? At the very least, Quayle should give Gore credit for not making a fool of himself during his speech by spouting off some ridiculous claim or fudging sentences. Quayle gave late-night talk show hosts plenty of ammunition for jokes; Gore simply praised someone for being publicly true to herself.