David Blankenhorn, a valued contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, has embarked on a doubtless quixotic quest for fair treatment at the hands of the New York Times. His letter to the paper’s “public editor” details, with characteristic clarity and courtesy, his thuggish treatment at the hands of columnist Frank Rich.
Blankenhorn committed what has become the unpardonable sin in contemporary liberal culture: He publicly defended the heterosexual institution of marriage and his reasons for believing that a mother and father for every child is an ideal worth upholding in law and culture.
The author of The Future of Marriage and Fatherless America and founder of the Institute for American Values, Blankenhorn testified as an expert witness in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal court challenge to Proposition 8, by which the voters of California amended their state constitution to bar recognition of gay marriages.
His letter to the Times is worth reading not least for the lineup of scholars and commentators who testify to the value and seriousness of his contribution. Even if the views of eminent conservatives like Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard and Leon Kass of the University of Chicago carry no weight with Rich, one can’t help wondering whether Democratic policy intellectual William Galston of Brookings or the gay writer Jonathan Rauch could tempt that master of self-righteousness to reconsider his dismissal of Blankenhorn as a bigot and an ignoramus.