I’ve written often in these columns about the stifling and paralyzing effects of political correctness on our culture. Political correctness is a deceit. It is a lie. It is an Orwellian form of propaganda. It is censorship. It is a giant elephant at the cocktail party in your living room that nobody will see, nor smell, nor hear, nor speak of, despite its trumpeting, stinking, imposing presence before your very eyes, ears and nose.
And so it is, with much of the coverage of two recent murder cases in Washington, D.C.—the murder of D.C. school principal, Brian Betts, and that of a promising young attorney, Robert Wone. They are arguably two of the richest mother lodes of both tabloid titillation and murder mystery in Washington, since Chandra Levy turned up missing. But so much of the reporting of these cases fails to uncover the real hidden truths. Most reporters are sticking to a non-controversial script. Why? Because homosexuality is involved. Because reporters are hiding behind the elephant, the safety of acceptable, politically correct interpretations. It would be unthinkable for most of them to broach the subject of gayness and it’s possible role in these two horrific killings. But it’s there in plain view—just like the elephant in the living room that many simply can’t talk about.
The first murder case involves the killing of an admired junior high school principal, Brian K. Betts, who was found dead in the bedroom of his suburban Silver Spring, Md., home last month. He had been shot. The days following his murder, the media positively gushed with over-the-top coverage of this fine young junior high school principal, who’s reputation for tireless work, caring, and molding his young charges at junior high schools in suburban Maryland and later, in D.C., was widely known.
In the early stages of the investigation, there was never a mention in the media of his risk-taking side. Reporters knew of it. Homicide detectives had seen evidence of it on the computer they took from Betts’ home. It was only after the story literally could not be factually told without divulging his dark side, that reporters began doing so. Even then, they omitted some key questions.
It turns out that this fine shaper of teenage hearts and minds had a fondness for the high-risk, high-thrill behavior of cruising; cruising the gay bars and gay Internet chat rooms for sex. The brilliant lesbian feminist writer Camille Paglia has written extensively about “cruising” and how the PC press is utterly silent about cruising’s role in so much of the dysfunction of the gay community.
In the aftermath of the murder of Matthew Shepard, Paglia wrote these three courageous paragraphs about cruising.
—“Thanks partly to the flock of posturing Hollywood personalities who swooped in on the case, Shepard’s death was immediately transmogrified into a moral parable of sweet, saintly gay boy set upon by bigoted thugs and crucified for his homosexuality. But the truth seems to be (from the scanty evidence thus far) that Shepard was attracted to his assailants because they were thugs. Does anyone really believe that Shepard, educated in Switzerland, thought those two, barely literate hoodlums were gay or that he left the bar with them for cozy tea and conversation?
It used to be called “rough trade” — the dangerous, centuries-old practice of gay men picking up grimy, testosterone-packed straight or semi-straight toughs, sometimes moonlighting as hustlers. Before Stonewall, urban newspaper obituaries were coded for such typical scenarios as “the 49-year-old unmarried antiques dealer was found bound and gagged in his ransacked, lavishly furnished apartment.” These grisly spectacles are unheard of in lesbianism, where incidents of assault and battery seem dully limited to actual lovers (women can’t cut the apron strings, even when masquerading as S/M chains).
Gay activism, by tilting too much toward politics, has ended up obscuring basic psychology — which novice gays like Shepard desperately need. Rainbow flags and upbeat slogans about “tolerance” are not going to help a frail, confused young man in dark encounters with sociopaths. Gay activism is as spiritually undeveloped and lacking in common sense about human nature as feminism was in the period of date-rape hysteria in the late 1980s and early 1990s (one of the long battles that my reform wing of feminism finally won in the U.S., though date-rape propaganda still seethes in backwater British feminism). “
To its credit, the gay press in D.C. was reporting even before the mainstream media, that Betts was well known to a small core of gay-bar patrons in the city. And police evidence now confirms that Betts found what he thought was a pick-up on the night of April 15, when he invited one or more 18-year-old African-American teens he had met in a gay chat room (each with lengthy criminal records including gun and sex charges) into his home. The rest is history. But the question that no reporter in Washington is now asking is this: The invitees to Betts’ home were each 18 years old—“barely legal”—to use the enticing parlance of one highly trafficked Internet porn site.
So the question is this: could it be that the respected junior high princi-“pal” had a fondness for young ones? Maybe even too-young ones? I suspect that whoever is doing forensic examination of Betts’ home computer may know the answer to this. Perhaps it will come out in trial. Granted, in any Internet chat room, people are often not who they claim to be. The “fresh ‘n’ hot 18-, 16- or 14-year-old” with whom one is “chatting” may well be a horny 62-year-old, or a cop doing his duty, maybe even a horny cop who’s found a sexually pleasurable way of doing his duty.
Given Betts’ unique role as a principal in a junior high school, shouldn’t authorities be exploring whether Betts was in contact in some chat room with real underage teens? Wouldn’t parents and administrators at all the schools where he worked want to know this, given the thousands and thousands of teenaged students who experienced Betts pedagogy through the years? Betts would likely be alive today were it not for his risk-taking behavior. He cannot defend himself, but these are logical questions that may never be answered. And they might not ever be asked because of the elephant in the room: the PC protection afforded him by mainstream media and the culture, at large.
The same elephant is taking up residence in the coverage of another gay-linked D.C. murder, that of Robert Wone. For a fascinating primer on this obstruction of justice case, check out the Wiki entry.
Even if it were not for the minor celebrity of one defendant, Victor Zaborsky—the creative voice behind the “Got Milk” campaign of the International Dairy Foods Association (consider the double entendre of that one)—the case is notable for the outrageously plodding pace of police and prosecutorial work. The trial is under way only this week—four years after the murder. One wonders if the sordid tales of gay sadomasochistic sex and the necessary broaching of these unpleasant subjects may have played some role in the reticence of authority figures to pursue it quickly and aggressively. Indeed, the casework began to slow noticeably after the D.C. Police’s Gay and Lesbian Task Force took over the investigation some days after the body was discovered. But beyond that, the reporting of the story is a case study in the PC self-censorship of reporters, some of whom are jumping through hoops to avoid the slightest mention that the three accused “domestic partners” were in fact a gay threesome with a reputation (and the tools and toys to prove it) for extreme sadomasochism.
One item in the defendants’ possession: an electric device that can produce ejaculation in a man who is under anesthetic or otherwise incapacitated. An autopsy of Wone, a straight man who had sought a friend’s guest room in town to sleep after a long day at work, revealed the presence of his own semen on his genitals and also in his rectum. The autopsy also revealed there was no struggle as he was stabbed repeatedly. There was almost no blood, despite the severing of a major artery that should have resulted in profuse bleeding. The mouthpiece he used for teeth grinding in his sleep was firmly in place. And there were puncture wounds from a hypodermic needle on several locations of his body—puncture wounds that the prosecution may try to prove were the result of the administration of a some sort of date rape or anesthetic drug.
Most telling are the affidavits from the first responders, who had seen scores of murder, stabbing and shooting scenes. One noticed a profound lack of emotion on the part of all three defendants. “The observed conduct of Victor Zaborsky, Dylan Ward and Joseph Price made the hair on the back of paramedic one stand up.” Another EMS with more than 15 years of experience “saw a large hole in the victims chest, big enough to fit your fingers into, but there was no blood whatsoever on the victim on the floor or anywhere else in the room. Indeed, it appeared as if the victim had been stabbed, showered, redressed, and placed in the bed.”
As I write this, the trial of the three men charged with obstruction of justice in the murder of Robet Wone is in its third day. There is no telling how it will end. His widow has filed a $40 million civil suit against the three defendants. But that case has been put on hold until the criminal trial is over.
The larger question is: When will reporters and the mainstream media begin to broach the difficult and politically incorrect questions that surround these types of murder. In the larger world, the powerful voice of society often speaks to individual violators of cultural norms. It shames them. It punishes them. It speaks with prison sentences, with editorials, with sermons at church, with new laws, with rallies and slogans. It speaks in a million different ways with the purpose of keeping the culture functioning, growing, of literally keeping people alive. For the gay rights movement to truly come of age and mature, to advance beyond its selfish motives, its must be a truth teller. It must be an activist even when it stands to lose from the truth, not just when it stands to gain from it.
There are courageous gay men who’ve done this is the past. One is them is Gabriel Rotello, who wrote the book, “ Sexual Ecology.” In it, he puts the blame for the rapid spread of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s squarely where it belonged: on gay behavior, coupled with the natural, reliable and predictable behavior of microscopic organisms. To paraphrase one remarkable passage in his book, he describes how in the mid-1980s in a particular neighborhood of New York City, public health officials became alarmed at an outbreak of a peculiar stomach sickness that caused terrible diarrhea and vomiting in numbers never seen before. There were quiet fears among those officials that the city’s water supplies had been poisoned or some how compromised with bacteria. But all the victims were gay men. Meticulous detective work by the Health Department ultimately revealed the cause of the stomach bug was the prevalence of analingus in the neighborhood’s gay community.
Because Rotello was a gay man, not some Bible thumper or conservative ideologue, the gay rights movement did not immediately disparage his book. His book was full of admonitions. He wrote that microbes are opportunists. They take full advantage of their environment. And if their environment is a bathhouse, where men with weakened immune systems from hard partying and multiple rendezvous’ with other men during sleepless nights, the microbe will thrive. The bathhouses, the movie theatres, and gay clubs were veritable Petrie dishes for the spread of the virus. Rotello’s motive in shedding light on all this was not to shame gay men about their behavior, it was to save lives.
Similarly, There are four gay men who are now blogging about the Robert Wone murder trial. (I assume they are gay, their bio describes the four as “friends, partners, and exes.”) Craig Brownstein, David Greer, Michael Kremin and Doug Johnson are doing a brilliant job documenting the events and circumstances of Wone’s killing in the blog, whomurderedrobertwone.com.
They appear to be including all information that comes their way—from autopsy reports, to neighborhood innuendo, no matter how unflattering, or politically incorrect it may be. Like Rotello, they’re shedding a disinfectant light on an environment where death happened. And like Rotello, their honest work may help to save lives.
Anchorman a well-known news anchor from a top-10, big-city station. The Daily Caller has elected to redact his identity to protect his anonymity.