"People Are Fascinated By Sex Lives": Greta's Interview With "Outrage"'s Mike Rogers

I have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog — and I’m extra- excited about this one. It’s an interview with Mike Rogers: best known as “the most feared man on Capitol Hill,” a dogged investigative reporter and blogger known for outing closeted gay politicians who campaign against LGBT rights… and the star of the recent documentary film, “Outrage.”

Mike and I spoke about the hows and whys of outing; his standards of evidence; the psychology of homophobic gay people; the difference between news and gossip; why people are so intrigued by the sex lives of famous people; and why he’s best known for outing when his career extends far beyond it. The piece is titled “People Are Fascinated By Sex Lives”: The Blowfish Blog Interview With “Outrage”‘s Mike Rogers, and here’s the teaser:

I have no problem if these people want to be private — but then they shouldn’t be running for office. I wrote a post called No more “outing,” where I pledged to replace the word “outing” with “reporting.” To me, “outing” is the indiscriminate revealing of an individual’s sexual orientation. I don’t do that. I report on hypocrisy.

Do people feel that if a member of Congress is arguing against choice, and it’s found out that they had an abortion — is that something that should not be reported? If you find out that a member of Congress is supposedly a Christian, and is having an affair — should that be reported? For me, the answer is yes. It’s a very simple thing… because they are beating gay people up.

To find out more about Mike’s take on politics, sex, secrecy, and the weird places they interact, read the rest of the piece. (And if you feel inspired to comment here, please consider cross-posting your comment on the Blowfish Blog. They like comments there, too.) Enjoy!

"People Are Fascinated By Sex Lives": Greta's Interview With "Outrage"'s Mike Rogers

3 thoughts on “"People Are Fascinated By Sex Lives": Greta's Interview With "Outrage"'s Mike Rogers

  1. 1

    To drag this into the context of this blog’s other main focus, I wonder what to make of the connection between “outing” and atheism.
    When he launched what he calls “The Out Campaign” (an effort to get atheists to come out publicly as atheists) a little over two years ago, Richard Dawkins had some strong comments about outing:

    Before I go any further, I must forestall one major risk of misunderstanding. The obvious comparison with the gay community is vulnerable to going too far: to ‘outing’ as a transitive verb whose object might be an unfortunate individual not yet – or not ever – ready to confide in the world. Our OUT campaign will have nothing, repeat nothing to do with outing in that active sense. If a closet atheist wants to come out, that is her decision to make, and nobody else’s. What we can do is provide support and encouragement to those who willingly decide to out themselves.
    Link: outcampaign.org/RichardDawkinsIntroduction

    With regard to the vast majority of closeted atheists, this is presumably entirely uncontroversial: I doubt almost anyone wants to force some average schlub out of the atheist closet.
    But Rogers’ efforts prompt the question: what about powerful closeted atheists, ones who actively participate in efforts to attack or (especially) legally discriminate against us? Dawkins appears to oppose outing (or, as Rogers insists on calling it in that context, reporting on) closeted atheists even under those circumstances; is he right?

  2. 2

    I think it’s fine if Dawkins prefers that the organization he started stays away from “political outing”. It’s not the job of the OUT Campaign, they’re not equipped to do it, and their efforts are valuable elsewhere — no problem. However, if a couple whistle-blowers came forward with tapes and testimony showing that, say, Rick Warren was an irreligious charlatan just in the Jesus game to fleece the rubes, I’d have no problem with a journalist reporting on it. Not having a cyberbrain link into Dawkins’ mind, I don’t know how he’d react in that situation.

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