Friday, October 03, 2008

In sheep's clothing

When I scanned this article in this morning, I found the answer to a question that had been puzzling me since Monday. That's when I read this OpEd piece in the San Jose Mercury News. It purported to explain the author's support for Prop 8, which would eliminate the right of marriage for same-sex couples, despite his being a "liberal Democrat."

Great story. Too bad it turns out not to be true. As noted in the article, the author appears to be a paid right-wing shill. However, MN readers weren't told that. Here's what they were told:
David Blankenhorn is president of the New York-based Institute for American Values and the author of "The Future of Marriage." He wrote this article for the Los Angeles Times.
Nothing about his conservative connections. Nothing about him not really being a liberal. That kind of misrepresentation makes me mad, so I wrote this letter to the editor:
The Mercury News needs to do a better job of fact-checking its OpEds. If you had, you would have found that self-professed "liberal Democrat" David Blankenhorn, who wrote the Monday's oped "Protecting Marriage to Protect Children," is not who he says he is.

In fact, Blankenhorn appears to be a paid shill for several right-wing advocacy groups. His "think tank," the Institute for American Values (of which he is president), has raked in millions of dollars from ultra-conservative Republican foundations, including the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundation, and the Randolph Foundation.

As noted in an article in today's, the Institute for American Values is just one of a "network of right-wing Republican think tanks that promote a variety of causes," including the elimination of gay marriage, abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research, and the inclusion of prayer and creationism in public schools.

Clearly, this guy is no liberal, and I kinda doubt he's a Democrat. I'd say you got played.

I hope you will issue a correction on your OpEd pages to clarify Mr. Blankenhorn's allegiances, so those who took his assertions at face value can be aware of his hidden agenda.
I kinda doubt the Mercury News will run a correction, but I figure it can't hurt to ask.

Full Disclosure: I have volunteered for the No on Prop8 campaign. We're holding No on Prop 8 phone bank sessions at my church. I even have a No on 8 yard sign. (And if David Blankenhorn had disclosed his biases, I wouldn't have felt the need to write this post.)

P.S. So maybe you're wondering, "Why should I care?" Maybe, like me, you're straight and married. If you're asking yourself that question, please read this letter, written by a member of my church to her family and friends.

Tags: No on Prop 8, prop8, California

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