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The Extremist and The New Yorker: Will The "Bully Pulpit" Piece Dampen Bryan Fischer's Climb To Political King Maker?

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The New Yorker Takes A Good Look t Brayn Fischer
The New Yorker Takes A Good Look t Brayn Fischer
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It takes a lot of truth to rattle the likes of Bryan Fischer. 

With the much-publicized resignation of Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney's openly gay national security spokesman, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association crowed that it was he and his "pro-family community" who prompted it. 

"Wow!" he said. As he read aloud a breaking bulletin from the Washington  Post , he began repeating one of his favorite slogans: "Ladies and gentlemen, there's our winnable war!" As congratulatory calls started rolling in, Fischer said, "I was the first one on the conservative front to raise an issue about this. This is absolutely huge, ladies and gentlemen. . . . He resigned because of pressure that was put on the Romney campaign by the pro-family community." -   The Bully Pulpit, Jane Mayer

It was this posturing, more than his bullying, however, that catapulted him to the front pages. 

In her profile of Fischer titled   Bully Pulpit , journalist Jane Mayer points out that Fischer's obsession with  Grenell's sexuality prompted other Christian Right leaders (notably, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council) to chime in that Grenell was a security risk because, even though he had been in a committed relationship for many years, Grinell was gay, and therefore prone to have many indiscreet sexual encounters.

After other conservative pundits took up Fischer's cause, Grenell resigned from the Romney campaign. The resulting controversy has helped make gay rights one of the defining social issues of the 2012 campaign.

There have been a great deal of articles written about Bryan Fischer, most notably here, in   OpEdNews, from disowning Native Americans and the   OWS to his disingenuous   "love" of homosexuals. By now, everyone knows that Bryan Fischer has been one of the most ardent demonizers of gays, feminists, Muslims, Native Americans, single moms and, well, the list goes on and on. It was just a matter of time when a respected and sophisticated journalist would take him to task with an in-depth profile: a profile that portrays a man so unyielding in his views, so rigid, that he alienates friends and family. It is the profile of a martinet who only thinks of himself as right and everyone else is wrong.

And he's incoherently furious.

Citing only the amount of exclamation points (6 in a ten-page piece), Fischer excoriates Jane Mayer and her profile as "shoddy, poorly written, unprofessional" full of "flat-out lies" and goes on to point to his own writing for the Idaho Statesman as far superior to anything like the piece. This, after giving the impression that the New Yorker is only a "highbrow publication of the elite the upper east side of Manhattan...the real tony elites that think they're so much better than you and me." 

Therein lies the first blunder in an ill-conceived rant: Fischer talks down to his own audience by assuming that they do not know of, nor have ever read, the New Yorker, a publication in existence since 1925 and the circulation of over 1 million of which   

is read nationwide with 53% of its circulation in the top ten U.S. metropolitan areas. According to Mediamark Research Inc., the average age of the New Yorker reader in 2009 is 47 (compared to 43 in 1980 and 46 in 1990). The average household income of The New Yorker readers in 2009 is $109,877 (the average income in 1980 was $62,788 and the average income in 1990 was $70,233).

Bryan Fischer's own audience fits comfortably within the New Yorker's demographics.

The next blunder was to demean the journalist Jane Mayer, whose credentials are far beyond anything Fischer could have hoped to discredit: as one of the most respected journalists in the country, Mayer's experience in writing leading articles for The New Yorker as well and the Wall Street Journal, have put her at the forefront of politics for the past ten years. She was also The Wall Street Journal's first female White House correspondent, a point that could factor into Fischer's animosity, since Fischer's misogyny is very well known:

In 2005, the congregation that Fischer founded kicked him out. "It was the gender issue again," Fischer told me. "Because of my Scriptural convictions, I wasn't able to budge. A female friend of the wife of an elder wanted a leadership role. I felt those roles should be reserved for men. . . . When I objected, they said, "You're fired.' It was very abrupt. I didn't know what I was going to do next. It was very painful."

Fischer only lightly refers to "communication" between the two, when the article indicates that Mayer's contact with Fischer was definitely in person, and that communication with Fischer friends and adversaries were definitely one-on-one.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books éČ" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
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