By Frank Schaeffer
978 761 2408
You should resign. You’ve either gone senile or become so over-confident that your true nature has been revealed. By making a cruel joke at the expense of Obama appointee Amanda Simpson you have done something as unacceptable as using the N-word in a joke. Bigot is as bigot does.
I’m 57, straight, married, father of three, grandfather of three, a progressive independent voter and an Obama supporter, having formerly been a religious right leader (raised by a famous evangelical) before I quit evangelicalism and right wing politics in the 1980s and became a novelist.
But I’m disgusted by you taking a cheap gratuitous shot at transgender Obama appointee Amanda Simpson (appointed to the position of Senior Technical Adviser to the Department of Commerce.)
President Obama appointed Ms. Simpson to a government advisory post, an obscure meat and potatoes post at that. And now she’s the punching bag for the usual right wing religious bullies including James Dobson. In this context you didn’t just make a mistake. You showed you’re a bully too.
I say that as a fan who has loved your anti-TV, anarchic TV since you first went on the air. I say that as a writer who hates to slam doors with media because I need media interviews to help sell my books! It is one thing to pick on elected officials, but what’s anyone like you invading the privacy of a mid-level appointee adviser for?
Transgender people are a minority within a minority. To single out Ms. Simpson for mockery and ridicule and to put her picture all over the airwaves is a callous and disgusting act. It is the act of a wealthy, famous man picking on what (in biblical terms) might be referred to as “the least of these.” Simpson is eminently qualified and entitled to respect and privacy. More importantly she is a human being struggling at a moment in history when violent threats against gay and transgender people are building.
When the thugs at Fox News troll for hate-filled goons -- as they did in the case of the events leading up to the killing of Dr. George Tiller (sadly) we understand why. When hate mongers like Dick Cheney say America is "less safe" because of our elected president we know why he’s lying. When James Dobson urges discrimination against a human being like Ms. Simpson since she’s transgendered we know where he’s coming from.
But -- to not put too fine a point on it -- where the hell does a philandering multimillionaire media idol with a whole TV network to defend his image get off picking on a defenseless individual because of her gender?
To use an old fashioned phrase: Letterman you are a not a gentleman.