By Jonathon Van Maren
Douglas Murray’s new book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity is so full of bang-on observation that on nearly every other page I stopped to find myself nodding: That’s exactly it. Murray (who was kind enough to join me on my podcast when the book was first released) packed so much in 256 pages that it is hard, as a reviewer, to know which points to zero in on. I’ll be writing a few columns on Murray’s book, but I’d like to start by Murray’s incisive observation on our current media climate:
Perhaps is requires someone who is gay to say this, but there are times when such ‘news’ reporting doesn’t feel like news reporting at all. Rather it seems that some type of message is being sent out either to the public or to the people whom the media believe to be in positions of power. This goes beyond ‘This will be good to you’ and nearer to the realm of ‘See how you like this, bigot.’ There are days when you wonder how heterosexuals feel about the growing insistence with which gay stories are crow-barred into any and all areas of news.
As an example Murray, takes a look at the New York Times on an average day—October 16, 2017. The lead story in the business section, he notes, was “Gay in Japan and No Longer Invisible.” In Japan, people treat homosexuality with “indifference rather than hate,” and in response, Murray observes drily, the “New York Times had chosen to splash a story over two pages, as their lead Business feature, about how a man had come out in a company with no negative consequences in a country that had no special problem with gays.”
And that wasn’t all, either. “Turn one page and the story continues,” Murray notes, “this time under the headline ‘Companies in Japan More Welcome to Gays.’ By which point the casual reader may well have satisfied their interest in the position of gay men in Japanese companies and begun casting their eye guiltily to the opposite page and the ‘Culture’ section. And what is the lead story and main headline there? ‘A Broader Stage By Love.’” This story is about the proliferation of gender-neutrality and other LGBTQ storylines over at the New York City Ballet, where, “to the amazement of nobody, it turned out that several of the male leads…are themselves gay.”
Now, Murray goes on to say, there “is nothing wrong with a newspaper of record deciding to devote its Business and Culture pages as well as much of its opinion and news pages to stories about being gay. But it sometimes feels as though there is something else going on in all this. The use of gay special interest stories for purposes other than those of actual news: perhaps making up for lost time, or perhaps just rubbing things in the faces of those not yet up to speed with the changed mores of the age. Either way something strange and vaguely retributive is in the air.”
Murray has put his finger firmly on something that many of us have noticed, but few people have been able to articulate: That the nonstop obsession with all things LGBTQ2S+etc is, to put it mildly, disproportionate. And Murray is also correct that progressives are doing this in order to cram their worldview down the throats of the deplorables. As late night host Jimmy Kimmel quipped at the 2018 Oscars about Call Me By Your Name, a romance about an older man’s gay relationship with a 17-year-old boy that picked up four Academy Award nominations: “We don’t make films like ‘Call Me By Your Name’ for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.”
Listen to my conversation with Douglas Murray here: