Really, Ezra Klein?

I‘ve been very excited to see how Ezra Klein’s new startup at Vox Media develops but I have to confess to being absolutely baffled by his decision to hire Brandon Ambrosino, who is little more than a gay Uncle Tom who has made a career out of being the “good” gay guy who will back up everything the bigots say about the “bad” gay people.

A 23-year-old graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, Ambrosino has earned his name as a journalist—and his coveted spot at Vox Media—by being the gay writer who comes to the defense of gay-rights antagonists. He most recently stirred up a storm by proclaiming, at The New Republic, that homosexuality is a choice and that he has chosen to be gay. Time magazine gave him space to call gays the realbigots for piling on Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson, who had equated homosexuality with bestiality and said gays weren’t going to heaven (still, Ambrosino says he wouldn’t mind going fishing with the guy). At The Atlantic, Ambrosino threw his hat in the ring for the founder of his alma mater, who blamed September 11 on gays and accused them of trying to “recruit” children; Ambrosino says liberals like Bill Maher have slandered the Moral Majority founder and says, in Falwell’s defense, that the guy with the “big fat smile” probably wouldn’t have had him stoned to death if he’d known about Ambrosino’s sexuality. Ambrosino also defends the views of ex-gay therapists and same-sex marriage opponents, whom he says aren’t motivated by bigotry. In The Baltimore Sun, Ambrosino went after the guys in “butt-less chaps and high-heels” at gay-pride marches who earn society’s prejudice with their “hypersexual antics”: “I think there is a subversive power in living out my gay life in a way that seeks to emphasize the common ground I share with straight communities,” he wrote. “I don’t want to participate in an event that seeks to highlight how countercultural I am.” Unsurprisingly, the religious right has been thrilled to find an acolyte among the fallen.

Gay intellectuals like Andrew Sullivan or Jonathan Rauch may occasionally ruffle queer folks’ feathers for going against the grain when it comes to hate-crime laws, say, or the right of for-profit businesses to turn away gay customers. But Ambrosino should not be thought of in this mold. Whereas Sullivan’s and Rauch’s positions are thoughtfully staked out and stem from nuanced views about the role of government, Ambrosino’s iconoclasm amounts to heedless self-promotion. His gross distortions of mainstream gay views and stunning lack of fluency in the basic language of gay equality reveals him to be little but a feckless provocateur.

A gay man who defends Jerry Falwell after he included gay people in a list of bad people who caused Muslim extremists to attack us on 9/11 need not ever be taken seriously again, especially by liberals.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Trebuchet

    …(still, Ambrosino says he wouldn’t mind going fishing with the guy).

    I initially read that as “going fisting”. Probably says more about me than it does about him.

  • scienceavenger

    Time magazine gave him space to call gays the real bigots for piling on Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson, who had equated homosexuality with bestiality and said gays weren’t going to heaven

    This new GOP meme of “If you accuse others of racism/bigotry, that makes you the racist/bigot” is the most infantile of a competitive field of idiotic memes. Those foolish enough to utter it need to be slammed hard and laughed at as much as possible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    “says, in Falwell’s defense, that the guy with the “big fat smile” probably wouldn’t have had him stoned to death if he’d known about Ambrosino’s sexuality.”

    Yeah, Falwell May have blamed gays for 9/11, called them perverse, and opposed equal rights for them at every turn, but at least he didn’t want to stone them to death. Way to set that bar so low a slug could crawl over it.

  • colnago80

    I note that Matthew Yglesias has also joined the Vox outfit. Yglesias, the philosophy major turned economic pundit.

  • Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I call such men “Uncle Mary.” And it enrages people to a frenzy unlike most other things I can think of. Too bad. Because it’s absolutely accurate. They are that bad.

  • screechymonkey

    colnago80 @4: Hopefully Yglesias’s writing will improve now. I used to enjoy reading him, but he’s clearly been mailing it in at Slate for the last six months or so, probably because he knew he was on his way out.

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    So he’s like a gay S.E. Cupp?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Hey, Ambrosino must be one of the Kool Kidz if Andrew Sullivan likes him!

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    I’ve never been a fan of Ezra Klein (or Andrew Sullivan for that matter) so this decision doesn’t come as a shock to me.

  • colnago80

    Re Pierce Butler

    Andrew Sullivan is a gluton for punishment. He continues to belong to the criminal conspiracy known as the Raping Children Church, despite its antipathy to homosexuals and it’s covering up the rape scandal relative to alter boys.

  • scienceavenger

    @7 Except he’s really gay.