Of course there were protests. Vice President Al Gore, in a speech to the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, said that when the TV character played by Ellen DeGeneres “came out” as a lesbian, “millions of Americans were forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light.” But the protesting seemed to be against the vice president’s having conferred a sort of legitimacy on homosexuality instead of being, as it should have been, against his having conferred a sort of legitimacy on television. What does it matter, after all, what the vice president thinks of homosexuality? Even if he becomes president, he will do what seems politically possible at the time (employment non-discrimination and more AIDS research, probably; gays in the military and gay marriage, probably not). But where moral leadership, at least against the propaganda function of the goggle-box, was...


New to The New Criterion?

Subscribe for one year to receive ten print issues, and gain immediate access to our online archive spanning more than four decades of art and cultural criticism.

Popular Right Now