Today, nationally-syndicated progressive radio host David Pakman interviewed Michael Brown, a self-proclaimed “expert” on the issue of marriage and why loving same-sex couples should be excluded from it. For those of you not familiar with Michael Brown (we’ve covered him before), he’s one of the most vile homophobes in America. He spreads his toxic bigotry on his daily radio show, “Line of Fire,” and through his catalog of more than twenty books, including his latest, A Queer Thing Happened to America, which Brown self-published in 2011 because no publishing house thought it was fit to print. Perhaps most insidiously, Brown also likes to invade LGBT Pride festivals with gangs of fundamentalist Christian theocrats who wear anti-gay T-shirts and hand out homophobic religious tracts, attempting to shame LGBT people on what is supposed to be a day of affirmation and celebration.
As usual, David’s done his homework, calmly citing, among other things, the oeuvre of prominent Yale historian John Boswell, who wrote prolifically about the intersection of LGBT issues and religion. Brown’s only response is to dismiss Boswell completely, because after all (as Brown says), he “practically died of AIDS.”
And it only goes downhill from there. When Pakman challenges Brown’s tired (and totally discredited) talking point about the immutability of the historical definition of marriage, Brown resorts to condescension. Check out the video below — he tries to lecture Pakman on how to prepare for an interview, seizing the opportunity to hawk his self-published book (which, apparently, must be a respectable source, despite the fact that no publishing house — reputable or otherwise — would print it, because it includes “1500+ endnotes and massive research.” (Hmmmm, overcompensating much?) When Pakman presses Brown further to cite the specific sources he drew upon to formulate his exclusionary “historical definition of marriage,” he suddenly chickens out remembers that he has something else to do, saying that he didn’t realize this wasn’t a “serious interview” and mischaracterizing Pakman as a ‘gotcha’ journalist out to “[set] people up for quotes.” Then, after essentially telling Pakman again to read his book before he conducts any further interviews with him, Brown hangs up.
I’ve long been appalled by Michael Brown’s putrid bigotry, but after watching his disgustingly smarmy performance on today’s episode of the David Pakman Show, I’m also aghast at such a blatant, cowardly display of ageism. I highly doubt Brown would have behaved nearly as dismissively to a journalist closer to his own age, but apparently, when it’s a young person handing his you-know-what to him, Michael Brown has no problem resorting to ageist, ad hominem attacks.
Kudos to David Pakman for keeping his cool, sticking to his guns, and being persistent in his attempt to hold Michael Brown accountable for his distortions of the truth. Watch the video below — you won’t believe it.