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.
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
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
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
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.