So imagine that a prominent advocate of traditional marriage was exposed for having sex with someone he was not married to. Let's say he had an affair with the wife of one of his employees. Let's say he was married at the time but was divorcing his wife. Can you imagine what the media coverage of such a story might look like?
It's just an interesting thing to consider in light of the Gavin Newsom scandal. Here's the story the San Francisco Chronicle broke:
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's re-election campaign manager resigned Wednesday after confronting the mayor about an affair Newsom had with his wife while she worked in the mayor's office, City Hall sources said.
Alex Tourk, 39, who served as Newsom's deputy chief of staff before becoming his campaign manager in September, confronted the mayor after his wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, told him of the affair as part of a rehabilitation program she had been undergoing for substance abuse, said the sources, who had direct knowledge of Wednesday's meeting.
Like all salacious political scandals, the story ran on Drudge and in numerous papers. But reader Diane Fitzsimmons noticed something interesting about the coverage. The vast majority of stories didn't mention that Newsom wreaked havoc across the country by instituting same sex marriage in his city. Reuters had the notable exception.
Newsom's importance to the gay marriage movement cannot be understated. He was the The Advocate's person of the year in 2004. Salon ran a story asking if Newsom cost the Democrats the 2004 election. Fitzsimmons writes:
Mr. Newsom was making a statement of belief on the way he thinks marriage should be handled when he opened the door for same-sex marriage in his city. He was telling the world the way marriage should be.
I view his advocacy the same as I would that of James Dobson or Ted Haggard, who are known for their statements regarding marriage and the way they believe it should be.
If a religious figure such as Mr. Dobson or Mr. Haggard were caught in such an action as Mr. Newsom, I believe the newspapers would bring up their statements/advocacy regarding marriage.
Fitzsimmons wonders if the media didn't mention Newsom's advocacy of same-sex marriage because he's not a religious leader. I'm not surprised, but I think it's an interesting question. For my part, I just think it's newsworthy to note why Newsom is different from your average mayor.