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October 11, 2010

Paladino: I Didn't Say That, I Didn't Write It, And No One On My Staff Did Either

On the "dysfunctional homosexual" line: He didn't actually say it. This is known fact. It was in his prepared remarks, and Newsday erroneously reported he said it. He didn't. When he got to that part, he just skipped over it.

So where did the line come from? Well, apparently the remarks were prepared by the conservative Rabbi whose congregation he was speaking to:

I reported earlier that Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo said the remarks were prepared by hosts who'd invited the candidate to Orthodox Jewish areas of Brooklyn, and Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who was helping him navigate the area, backed that up to the Jewish Week's Adam Dickter. Levin is a conservative figure in the community who's strongly anti-gay rights and anti-abortion.

However, there were other lines in the speech - saying Andrew Cuomo set the wrong example by marching in the gay pride parade, where the focus is not solely marriage equality, and saying kids shouldn't be "brainwashed" into thinking a gay lifestyle is "valid" and "equally successful" - that were criticized. Dickter's headline referred to the speech broadly as "anti-gay."

Yeah, well, I don't think any of those latter lines are bad at all. The gay community has to understand that, contra their desires, they will not likely be wholeheartedly embraced by traditionalists, and should stop insisting that that be the goal or the bar for "tolerance." Unless they gay community thinks that 70% of the country is "anti-gay" (and a lot of the gay community does think that, of course), this goal has to be considered perhaps one to shoot for one day, but it can't be made the standard for determining who's "anti-gay" or not.

So, does this explanation get Paladino off the hook? Answer: Yes. I don't get this whole business of delegating campaign communications to outside parties he hopes to court -- and I hope he abandons this bizarre experiment with outsourcing forthwith -- but assuming he's telling the truth, and it does appear confirmed he is, then he had nothing to do with this statement, except hold a piece of paper containing it in his hand.

Which is the same level of culpability of the newspaper reporters who seized on the unstated statement.

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posted by Ace at 07:40 PM

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