Another “Where’s the outrage?” moment

Why haven’t we heard more about this until recently?:

Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson apologized this week for using a Spanish-language slur for gay people, even as he suggested it smacked of politics that news of his “maricón” moment is surfacing now, more than a year later.

The New Mexico governor used the term as part of a joke instigated by talk show host Don Imus during a March 29, 2006, segment of his “Imus in the Morning” syndicated radio program, simulcast on MSNBC.

Almost exactly one year before Imus was to lose his show for using a slur to describe the Rutger’s women’s basketball team, the shock jock used the Spanish word “maricón” in an on-air exchange with Richardson.

“Bernard on the staff here has been claiming you’re not really Hispanic so– that you’re just claiming that for some sort of advantage or something” Imus said to Richardson, tongue clearly in cheek. “You can just answer this yes or no and this will answer that question. Would you agree that Bernard is a maricón?”

Without missing a beat, Richardson replied in Spanish, “Yo creo que Bernardo, sí — es un maricón si él piensa que yo no soy hispano. [General laughter] Was that good enough or what? [General laughter]”

“That’s good enough for me” Imus replied.

Most gay Latinos interviewed for this story agreed with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation that the word “maricón” means “faggot” in Spanish. So, translated to English, Richardson had replied: “I believe that Bernard, yes – he’s a faggot if he thinks that I am not Hispanic.”

This is why (emphasis added):

Sixteen months ago, Richardson’s Imus appearance flew under the media radar, and the Democrat has never publicly acknowledged or apologized for using the word. That has bothered Denver, Colo.-based Christopher Hubble, a member of the spiritual activist group Soulforce and a blogger.

Hubble was listening to the Imus show that morning, and afterward alerted Shana Naomi Krochmal, then GLAAD’s media strategist for the Southwest region.

“I was shocked that an elected official would think he could use a derogatory epithet simply because he is speaking Spanish and is perhaps assuming we don’t understand what he is saying” Hubble wrote later in an email describing his reaction at the time.

Krochmal told Hubble she would pass the email along to Monica Taher and Carlos Macias, GLAAD’s “excellent Spanish-language media advocates.” Taher would say later in an interview for this story that another GLAAD employee decided instead to go to Equality New Mexico with the information.

“The statewide organization [in New Mexico] asked us not to contact [Richardson] because that would jeopardize the domestic partnership bill that the governor was supporting and working on at that time” Taher said.

Alexis Blizman, executive director of Equality New Mexico (EQNM), acknowledged that she asked GLAAD not to “go after” Richardson because of his strong gay rights record, but said the domestic partnership bill was not under consideration at the time.

Translation: You scratch our backs, and we’ll overlook your gay-bashing. Political blackmail at its most blatant, because you know if he didn’t have such a ‘strong record’ on gay ‘rights’ issues, they’d have been all over the comment like a cheap suit.

Kinda reminds you of rad-feminists during the Clinton years – selling their souls for a man who was and is not only an adulterer, but who is also a notorious disrespecter and user of women – just because he was pro-abortion:

In the July 20, 1998 New York Observer, [Time’s Nina] Burleigh recounted her rise to fame after she wrote in Mirabella that she’d like to be “ravished” by Bill Clinton and then told the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz how she’d be willing to perform oral sex on Bill Clinton to thank him for keeping abortion legal:

“When he [The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz] called back, I decided my only defense would be to give him a quote that would knock his socks off. I also wanted to test the Post’s new ‘sizzle’ — the paper’s post-We Broke the Lewinsky Story advertising hook. So when Howard asked whether I could still objectively cover the President, having found him so attractive, I replied, ‘I would be happy to give him a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.’ I recognized Howard’s visceral response to my words by his sudden intake of breath and the spurt of pounding fingers of keyboard. I’d never been on that side of a good quote before. It was better than sex!”

Wed. AM Update: The story makes it to the LA Times – their blog, anyway.

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