It seems the New York Times has gotten itself all worked up because Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attended an event in his honor at the Manhattan apartment of — gasp! — “two prominent gay hoteliers.” (Apparently one cannot simply be a ‘hotelier’ these days — a sexual identifier is required.)
It’s obvious that Times reporter Maggie Haberman thought she had found the smoking gun that would tarnish Cruz’s conservative credentials forever when she reported that he’s not a hateful bigot or something. “Mr. Cruz said he would not love his daughters any differently if one of them was gay,” she wrote, adding that “he did not mention his opposition to same-sex marriage, saying only that marriage is an issue that should be left to the states.”
CNN gave that statement the pretzel treatment and interpreted it to mean, “His remarks seemed to signal a softening of his beliefs on same-sex marriage.” A spokeswoman for Cruz said in a statement later that the senator had “stated directly and unambiguously what everyone in the room already knew, that he opposes same-sex marriage and supports traditional marriage.”
“[T]he juxtaposition of Mr. Cruz being the guest of honor at a home owned by two of the most visible gay businessmen in New York City was striking,” a seemingly shaken Haberman wrote.
If you’re a left-leaning reporter who believes that the only reason half of Americans oppose same sex marriage is because they’re hateful bigots who are acting out of raw animus, events and statements like this cause you all kinds of cognitive dissonance and consternation. All good leftist reporters believe in the deepest recesses of their hearts that mean-spirited Republicans who disagree with the push for same-sex marriage never, ever associate with gay people — unless they’re snooping around in their bedrooms.
But Haberman persisted, asking Ian Reisner, one of the hosts of the event, about the possible “dissonance” between his gay activism and being at an event for Cruz. “Reisner said that while he does not agree with Cruz on social issues, the two men do agree on national security and Israel. “Ted Cruz was on point on every issue that has to do with national security,” he said.
Though this may be difficult for some reporters to grasp, there are a lot of people for whom gay marriage is not the Great Litmus Test of the Ages (especially considering that it’s likely a done deal but for Justice Kennedy signing on the dotted line in June).
This may come as a surprise to reporters at the Times, but Senator Cruz — like most Republicans — has gay friends (and supporters) and he’s willing to engaging in dialogue with people with whom he disagrees. And guess what? This is not newsworthy.