Another pro-gay PBS summer

Posted: Jun 25, 2001 12:00 AM
You can count on some things in life. The sun will come up. The Washington Redskins think they have another winning team this year. And in those lazy, hazy days of summer, PBS will take your tax dollars and air another offensive agitprop film promoting the righteousness of homosexuality. It's becoming an annual taxpayer-hazing tradition of the series "P.O.V.," funded by PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, and a little radical subsidized boutique called the Independent Television Service. Ten years ago, scores of PBS stations refused to run or delayed airing Marlon Riggs' "Tongues Untied," a salute to black homoeroticism, complete with F-words and grotesque caricatures of male sex organs. By that standard, this year's effort -- a film called "Scouts' Honor" -- was a calm walk in the park. "Scouts' Honor" didn't need to have words beeped out, and it didn't get graphic about gay sex. But it was a remarkable salute to Steven Cozza, a 16-year-old kid whose idea of fun is demeaning the Boy Scouts of America at gay pride rallies. What did the Boy Scouts do to this boy? Nothing. He's doing this because he's been egged on by his ultraliberal dad to take a wrecking ball to an American tradition. Let's be clear about a couple of things here. When he started this, Steve Cozza was a 12-year-old child without the intellectual development to make an intellectual case on his own. And that makes his father, in my book, a rather wretched person for his cowardly manipulation of his child. In picking the film "P.O.V.," Executive Producer Cara Mertes told one reporter, "I think one of the reasons Steven Cozza started this movement was to send his notion of rights for the gay population, but also to share his wonderful experience with the Scouts. It's a really beloved organization, and this has been really difficult for people to decide where to come down on." Steven Cozza started no "movement"; his childish antics are simply being bolstered by the likes of PBS, which put 50 pounds on the scale in favor of those who think the beloved Boy Scouts are a gruesome gathering of gay-hating bigots. Not even reviewers from liberal newspapers are buying the PBS "balance" canard. "Conservatives may bristle while watching it," acknowledged the Washington Post. "This isn't a news documentary, but a sympathetic examination of the personalities involved in trying to change the Boy Scouts' rules," reported the New York Times. The film's objective is to provoke the maximum amount of sympathy for Steven Cozza and other leftist anti-Scout activists, period. Other than placing Cozza with his role model, a gay church camp counselor, or watching Cozza making jokes about nuns at a Metropolitan Community Church event, this film has no serious brush with religion. Neither does it ever seek to explore whether Cozza lives up to the Scout Law promise to be reverent, something ignored by sympathetic reviewers. Instead we get statements from the likes of Times TV critic Julie Salamon, who writes of another of the film's heroes, gay ex-Scout Tim Curran: "Like Steven Cozza after him, Mr. Curran was an attractive spokesman: articulate, good-looking and non-threatening, except to those who were automatically threatened by his being gay." This crackpot-alarmism is the direction one takes to sidestep the issue. People who do pay serious attention to what the Bible says
can be "automatically threatened" by homosexuality. Practicing it is a very serious sin, along with many other sins that all-too-human believers struggle to avoid. Sin threatens to separate us from God for an eternity. But the "progressive" parade at PBS laughs at fear of sin, for they think that Heaven will be just like their vision for the Boy Scouts, where everybody gets in because their God is first and foremost inclusive. To the maker of "Scouts' Honor," Tom Shepard, there is no conservative or liberal. There is only forward or backward, enlightened or ignorant. He boasts of the political potential of his film: "The Boy Scouts could be a really useful organization in the new century. Are they going to cling to these antiquated policies of the past or jump on board with contemporary society?" Shepard and the producers of "P.O.V." celebrate the "voiceless," chatter about "pluralism" and "democracy in action"; but when it comes to putting a serious debate on TV, they won't give their opponents the time of day. In an hour, we see maybe a minute of fleeting snippets of Pat Buchanan, Rev. Lou Sheldon, and anonymous talking heads opposing the film's heroes. But they are props, there only for viewers to see the kind of insensitivity the "good guys" are up against. Sadly, it needs to be said once again: You paid for this slop with your tax dollars.