As a one critic wrote in 2002:
When a black public person like Harry Belafonte calls another African-American a slave to white masters, you see what I mean. When defenders of feminism call someone who files a sexual harassment lawsuit “trailer-trash,” you get the picture. When a gay man can write a column asserting that another man is a “nasty faggot,” it’s hard to think of how much lower the discourse can get. When liberals denigrate the president as a “boy” or as a “sissy,” to quote Maureen Dowd, homophobia doesn’t lurk far behind.
I remember a brief interaction I had with one Barbra Streisand long, long ago when the Paula Jones suit had just been filed. I asked Ms. Streisand what she thought of the suit. “Oh, she’s just a little kurva,” she replied, referring to Jones. That’s a yiddish expression for “whore.” Charming.
Again, the simple test here is the following: If a conservative had used these expressions, would it have been denounced by liberals? The answer, obviously, is yes. Imagine if George Will had called Colin Powell a “house slave.” Imagine if Pat Buchanan had called Barney Frank a “nasty faggot.” Imagine if Trent Lott had called Hillary Clinton a whore. Do you think they’d be invited on “Larry King Live” to further elaborate on their comments?
Of course, that was a few Andrew Sullivans ago.