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We Have No Need To Know

By LC Van Savage

There’s a dear friend in my life, a publicist, a man I’ll call “T” who has very famous clients, a good man, smart, considerate and quite well connected. We chat nearly every night via email just to say hello, for him to give me some great inside dish, and to get caught up on what happened during our day. Now be assured, my days are not quite as exciting or glamorous as T’s are. I don’t very often have enormously wealthy and famous people asking my advice on how to best steer their careers. Hardly ever, in fact.

T emailed me the other night from LA telling me he couldn’t stay on long because he was about to have dinner with a world famous journalist I’ll call “C” here. This guy is very well respected in his field. People pay close attention to him and his opinions and writings. I like him a lot although my knowledge of C is strictly from the tube and newspapers and of course, from his books.

I decided to check him out on the Internet, to read C’s biography, learn about him, find out where he was born, if he had siblings, how he became the world-famous pundit, author, anchor person, columnist and commentator he did. What I got was a little of that, but mostly I got page after page of debate as to whether C is gay. Gay! Can you imagine? These people who were on these websites “demanded” to know, insisted he come out and tell the world, that he somehow owes Americans this information. He does? Why? Well then folks, since this personal sexuality stuff is such a hugely important item that everyone has a need and right to know, I guess I am now obligated to come out of the closet myself in this column. Here goes. Brace yourselves. I am straight.

Those websites about C were downright shocking. Please someone tell me why this man has to “confess” or “admit” to his being gay if in fact he is? What on earth has it got to do with his reporting abilities? He went to Iraq so we could all get a look at how those people, American military and Iraqis both, are suffering in ways far too horrible for us to imagine, forcing us to face those too real and too awful occurrences. This remarkable journalist C is making his life matter, he’s contributing, he’s educating and informing us, and we have the “right” to know with whom he sleeps? We do? Gee, I really never knew that rule.

So tell me, did Walter Cronkite ever once have to defend his sexual preference? I sure never heard about that. What about Tom Brokaw? Did he? How about Diane Sawyer? Barbara Walters? Peter Jennings? I searched the Internet on these people and didn’t find any questions about their sexual persuasions, so why does C have to defend himself or discuss this intensely personal issue with the media? Why does he have to endure being asked such things? When he went to Iraq 4 times to report on the real goings on there, did it matter if he was or was not gay? When he wrote the books he wrote, when he went to Walter Reed hospital to try to right the hellacious medical wrongs perpetrated on our very own wounded military personnel, would he have done a much better job of it if we, the American people, had had our prurient desires to know finally satisfied about his sexuality? Do all people of all nations behave this way? My readings tell me that for a modern, forward-moving, wealthy nation, we Americans are in many ways still back in the racist, homophobic, Puritanical days of three hundred or more years back. Why? Who actually cares? Well, obviously someone does or this stuff wouldn’t be Big News.

I also read that many nations from away laugh at us over these shameful concerns of ours, shake their heads at the adolescent narrowness and stupidity of our focus. For them these are all non-issues. What has a person’s sexuality to do with his accomplishments? And why ever is it even on the Internet as if it’s a matter of deep, urgent, national importance? Why does this matter? I simply don’t get it.

Please, tell me, is the most important focus of this good man’s life who he takes to bed and not the enormously important contributions he so willingly has given to all of us, to educate and teach, to enlighten and most of all, to help? Tell me! Can you? Will you? I really do want to know this. Here’s my email:

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Reader Comments

Name: John I. Blair Email:
Comment: LC, Excellent column this month! My highest praise on your speaking out on this issue so eloquently.



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