Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Into It With OutQ's Michael Signorile

I'm normally a regular listener of Michael Signorile's show on Sirius OutQ Radio, but a segment of the August 31st show angered me so much that I called the program and actually got in. In the fourth hour of today's show, Signorile interviewed a radical fundamentalist pastor named Steven L. Anderson, who spearheads a tiny church in Tempe, Arizona. Anderson came to public attention recently by announcing that he was praying for President Obama's death. Then one of his "flock" (what is a "flock" but a collection of sheep?) turned up at an Obama rally with an assault rifle, winning more media attention for the church. Next, Anderson staged a confrontation with border patrol agents in New Mexico and posted the film - yeah, he conveniently had a camera in the front seat - on YouTube. In a very short time, Anderson has managed to score coverage or interviews on almost every major media outlet.

Oh, and guess what? Steven L. Anderson hates gay people. He really, really hates gay people. His views and pronoucements against gay people are vile and hateful. "All gay people should be killed." "All gay people are predators and child molesters." Etc., etc., etc. The Bible says we're bad. Faggot-this and faggot-that. Yawn.

Unless you're living under a rock on a very dark island in a far corner of the world, you've heard everything this so-called pastor has to say about gays and lesbians, all the bile, all the filth, all the insults - you've heard it all before.

Yet, following quick in the footsteps of CNN and MSNBC and a number of other news outlets, Michael Signorile gave this uneducated, ignorant, lunatic gas bag thirty minutes of airtime. Worse, Signorile's interview technique, usually sharp, somehow crumbled as the segment turned into a shouting match. Signorile allowed this uneducated, ignorant, lunatic gas bag to totally own the period with one outrageous declaration after the next, including that he hoped Signorile died "of brain cancer just like Teddy Kennedy."

Signorile got nothing new or revealing or even particularly informative out of this interview.

The pastor, on other hand, got exactly what he wanted -- attention, airtime, a national platform from which to spout his ugly pronoucements, and this time the opportunity to spout it right in the faces of Signorile's audience. You can bet that he'll be bragging about that, and in Biblical language. He went into the lion's den and bearded the beast.

On the air with Signorile following the interview, I criticized Signorile for what I considered a dismal performance. Signorile response was that he was -exposing- this pastor, that homophobes like this pastor -need- to be exposed. But Signorile, in fact, failed to expose the man. He argued with him; he shouted back at him; the two of them got frankly hysterical with each other. But did Signorile in any way really -expose- the pastor? I think not.

Signorile failed to mention for his listeners that Anderson holds no divinity degree. He holds no degree of any kind. Further, Anderson has been ordained by no denomination. His "Baptist" church is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination. Anderson is a pastor simply because he's given himself the title. Still further, Signorile failed to mention that the so-called "church" of which Anderson claims to be pastor is, in fact, a dinky class-room sized, basement level storefront next to a pawn shop in a tiny strip mall with no more than a miniscule number of members, estimated generously to be 20-50 at most.

Signorile responded to me at one point, "Don't you think it would come across as elitist to point out that (Anderson) had no degree?"

Elitist? Well, no. In fact, I don't. Facts are not elitist. They're the facts.

Cockroaches like Anderson are fed and watered by the media, and Signorile unwisely served up a full course meal to a noisome insect. Anderson has no message at all unless he has a platform or a stage from which to deliver it. Signorile, along with CNN and MSNBC and other media outlets, are handing Anderson that stage. By feeding Anderson's manic need for attention, they encourage him to more and more outrageous actions. The media - and this includes Signorile - have to take at least a portion of responsibility for allowing this scripture-spewing fool, who believes God wants all men to pee standing up, to spread his hate and inspire his followers. Signorile has not exposed Steven L. Anderson. He has enabled him.

I enjoy Signorile's show on OutQ. In fact, it's just about the only program worth listening to on that network. But with all the important issues deserving attention in our community, a thirty minute hate-fest with another garden variety homophobic Christoid was a waste.

Steven L. Anderson, 29 -- Is this the face of an angel or a closet-case?

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