Autumn Sandeen over at Pam's House Blend complained about a segment of Glenn Beck's opinion show on CNN:
BECK: But anyway, Dave, what is the-what is the controversy? One of the guys called another guy a naughty name.
GLOVER: Yes. Basically you have Isaiah Washington, who's one of the stars of the show, who referred to one of his co-stars during a heated argument as a derogatory term for a gay man that starts with "F", rhymes with maggot. Did it a couple more times after that. And do you like how I did that?
BECK: Do you know that "The New York Times" wouldn't even print-I mean, we can say the word. We're having an adult conversation here. Wouldn't even print the word "faggot."
BECK: Wouldn't print it. I find that amazing.
She seems to argue that Beck was out of line in using the word "faggot" in that context. I don't think he was, and I honestly don't understand why the entire community is getting its panties in a bunch over a word. Sure, the word represents an offensive, disrespectful concept. But Beck wasn't even using the word to refer to that concept.
Anyway, I posted a comment in response, which I will reproduce here:
Are there more uses of the word you haven't posted here?
Frankly, I don't find his use of the term in the snippet you posted at all offensive. They were having a discussion on the meaning and usage of a word, not using the word to insult GLBT people.
Do I dislike it when people use the word in a derogatory sense? Absolutely -- it makes my skin crawl. But it's quite possible to be just as derogatory and offensive toward gay people without using that word at all. It's also possible to discuss the word "faggot"--as I am doing--without harboring any ill will whatsoever toward GLBT people. (I'd hope I don't harbor any; I am one. :p)
A word is a sound, or a collection of visual symbols. Nothing more. The meanings we assign to such things are entirely arbitrary. There is nothing inherently "bad" or "wrong" about words themselves, *no matter how evil the concept they represent may be*. Mr. Beck was discussing the word itself, not using it for the concept it represents.
Unless there is more to the transcript than you posted, I don't think you have any basis for claiming offense. If there IS more, I'd like to see it, so I can revise my comments appropriately.
Flame on. =P [But if you got to this post from somewhere not on my friends list, be aware that I do not tolerate abusive or disrespectful comments in my journal, whatever your position happens to be.]