Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 2 February 2006

The gay press reacts to press 'schoolboy' humour

I just obtained my copy of the February issue of Attitude yesterday and generally agree with what editor Adam Mattera had to say about the recent admission by Simon Hughes that he is a homosexual, and in particular his comments about an interview Hughes had with The Sun associate editor Trevor Kavanagh:

"The Sun is a bit out of touch. It couldn't get away with this sort of stuff if it was a racial slur, but still it can do something like ‘another one bites the pillow', which is outrageous really.

"When it covered the Elton and David wedding it was the same sort of thing, and when the guy who played Sulu in Star Trek came out it had ‘Beam me up botty'.

"It's a kind of insidious homophobia. It's just chipping away, constantly perpetuating ideas that, ‘Oh, they're all limp-wristed hairdressers who have anal sex all the time'."

The Sun managing editor Graham Dudman riposted that the newspaper had received no complaints from the Liberal Democrats or from Hughes:

"The number of complaints we received about our coverage of Simon Hughes's confession you could count on one hand. It wasn't homophobic, it wasn't nasty, it wasn't offensive, it was funny.

"They're both jokes, plays on words. If people haven't got the sense of humour to be able to see that, then I suggest that they ought to lighten up a bit."

I don't read, far less purchase, The Sun newspaper, but even I can see that some of their headlines are quite clever plays on words and are often quite 'funny' - it's just that it is often the same one or two identifiable groups in society who seem to be the subjects of their 'humour'. I already wrote about the Simon Hughes story here, and linked to an interview Trevor Kavanagh gave to the BBC here.

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