So from the media perspective, the fallout from Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore’s 11th-hour decree that probate courts around the state should not begin marrying same-sex couples this past Monday, is a predictable response from the big national media not missing a chance to pile on good ol’ Alabama.
Here’s a look at some of the better offerings:
“Why Roy Moore’s gay marriage gambit isn’t just Alabama being Alabama,” — The Washington Post.
“Who is Roy Moore?” — The Washington Post
“Is Alabama’s Anti-Gay Judge on the Right Side of the Law?” — Slate
“Alabama’s ‘Ten Commandments Judge’ Defies the Feds Over Gay Marriage” — Time
“Alabama Judge Defies Gay Marriage Law” — New York Times
“JUDGE ROY MOORE GOES TO NULLIFICATION HEAVEN: ALABAMA & SAME-SEX MARRIAGE” — Esquire
“Same-sex marriage standoff in Alabama” — CBS News
“For Alabama Chief Justice, Soldiering in the Name of God Nothing New” — New York Times
“Scenes of Same-Sex Marriage, and Rejection Across Alabama” — New York Times
“Alabama’s Roy Moore: I blocked gay marriages because father-daughter weddings were next” — Raw Story
You get the idea. Headline after headline describing Moore’s actions as leading anti gay marriage efforts in Alabama. Lost in the confusion was the fact the state did actually have same-sex marriages performed this past Monday.
As al.com/Alabama Media Group continues its trend of getting further and further off the reservation when it comes to what passes as news or even opinion, the Roy Moore fiasco seems to have taken things to a new low.
On Feb. 8, columnist Kyle Whitmire wrote a column entitled “Is Roy Moore protesting too much” in which he poses the question of whether Moore is fighting against gay marriage because he is actually a closeted homosexual.
Whitmire also offered a readers poll asking “Is Roy Moore a closeted homosexual?” The poll was taken down off the site after being up less than a day.
In his column Whitmire writes:
Will Judge Roy Moore be removed from the bench? Is it whether Moore is doing this for show? Yes. By which I mean, no. There is no question. He is definitely doing this for show.
Running for governor? Maybe, but he tried that once already, and he lost. Nope, there is only one question left for me.
Is he a gay?
I’m sorry, but think about it. No really. At least Google it. How many politicians who have stomped their feet over this issue turned out to be … sexually bipartisan? There have been many.
What’s one Moore?
Not to defend Roy Moore — I think he’s abusing his position completely in this situation — but from a journalistic standpoint it’s hard to imagine a legitimate news source just arbitrarily speculating about a politician/judge’s sexuality. It comes off as nothing more than using the power of the pen — buying ink by the barrel as we used to say — to embarrass and harass someone with whom we disagree.
If Whitmire believes Moore is abusing his position as Chief Justice, I have to wonder how he feels about the way he is using his own power as a newspaper columnist?
There’s really only one question left for me. Are there any editors left at al.com?
Keeping ‘em honest
An atta-boy to James Watkins of the Fairhope Times website for keeping an eye out for whether the state’s open meetings laws are being properly followed by some city committees.
At a work session of the Fairhope City Council Monday evening, Council President Jack Burrell reminded councilors of the Alabama Open Meetings Act requirements, after hearing an informal complaint from Watkins.
Watkins had complained about the way some of the council committees ran their meetings. In particular, he was concerned about meetings involving the city’s recreation board and the Education Advisory Committee, for which councilors Diana Brewer and Michael Ford are representatives, respectively.
Watkins refused to go into further detail about the allegations, but assured Ford that he knew what he was talking about.
Ford told Watkins he had wished he had come to him directly about the issue.
Burrell reminded councilors to be careful in those meetings about talking business once the meeting has adjourned.
Recommendations made during committee meetings must come before the entire council body before a final decision can be made.
Bee-bopping then gone
A reader tells me he recently stumbled across a cool new station at 100.3 FM that played non-stop cool jazz.
“I thought, WOW, I must be in a different city, but I was somewhere in Mobile, AL. It was almost free of any ads or announcements. I had my doubts that it would last long enough to become a pre-set on my radio and guess what … I was right,” he said.
After a bit of investigation, this reader said he got a message back from the station explaining they were running the jazz station for testing related to their HD radio stations. So if you heard it and were wondering what happened, that’s it. No word on whether the jazz shall return.