Rumors in high places
Houston journal editor false outs Obama's top Supreme contender
The White House on Friday ripped a conservative blogger who edits a Houston Baptist University religious journal for alleging that President Obama’s top candidate for the Supreme Court would be the first openly-gay justice in U.S. history.
One problem: Solicitor General Elena Kagan is not a lesbian. An Obama administration official came right out and said so.
The blogger, Ben Domenech, posted the item on Thursday. Yes, this national scandal started on the conservative Web site of a Houston Baptist University religious journal editor.
CBS later yanked the column after the White House complained and Domenech admitted in an email to Dan Farber, editor in chief of CBSNews.com, that he had merely repeated a rumor without verifying the information. Farber called it “irresponsible speculation on the blogger’s part.”
Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director who is working with the administration on the high court vacancy, castigated CBS. "The fact that they've chosen to become enablers of people posting lies on their site tells us where the journalistic standards of CBS are in 2010," she told the Washington Post. She said the network had given the platform to someone who was "applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers."
Domenech is editor of a Web site called the New Ledger, from which the CBS column was reprinted. He also edits The City, a journal featuring "leading voices in Christian academia and elsewhere on the critical issues of our time," according to the Houston Baptist University Web site. It is published three times a year.
On the New Ledger site, Domenech admitted he was wrong but defended himself. "Look, it’s 2010 — no one should care if a nominee to any position is gay," Domenech wrote. "The fact that conservative Senators John Cornyn and Jeff Sessions have recently expressed openness to confirming an openly gay nominee to the Court is a good thing. Senators should look at things that actually matter — evaluating a nominee’s decisions, approach to the law, their judgment and ability — to see whether there are actually good and relevant reasons to oppose the nomination."