The Magazine

GOING AFTER JEFF JACOBY

Nov 17, 1997, Vol. 3, No. 10 • By ABBY WISSE SCHACHTER
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Thomas ends his column by saying that, while in this case Jacoby's " offensive" column should have run, "it's a high price to pay for freedom of the press." When I asked Thomas how he came to write a piece denouncing his colleague in these remarkably strong terms, he told me he had received "six calls and one letter to the editor." These inspired him to "ferret out" the supposedly aggrieved gay Globe staffers. A previous Thomas column was based on over 200 angry phone calls to the paper about a specific news story. A paper with a circulation as large as the Globe's --493,000 -- receives several hundred letters and phone calls a week complaining about something or other. But when it comes to a matter involving a conservative's column on the need for tolerance of Christian views on sexuality and the inappropriate use of a Holocaust analogy, six phone calls were apparently enough to get Thomas to act.

Thomas's censoriousness underscores an important truth of our time: Homosexuality must not only be tolerated, it must be advocated. Anything that does not further the advocacy of homosexuality is by definition a condemnation of homosexuality and by extension all homosexuals. If you criticize any part of this orthodoxy, you show yourself to be a homophobic gay-basher. Jeff Jacoby wrote a column about intolerance -- the intolerance toward those whose views on homosexuality violate the new orthodoxy. It was titled "Where's the Tolerance Now?" His own treatment at the hands of the Boston Globe's ombudsman -- and his copy editors -- makesJacoby's argument all the stronger.