Well, you gotta love Fox News. At least they're predictable. Which is to say, the Fair and Balanced folks wouldn't know the truth if it bit 'em on the ass. Oh sure, Bill-O can sexually harass his producer, Rush can send his housekeeper out to buy him dope (and I won't even mention Fox owner Rupert Murdoch's penchant for putting photos of topless teen-age girls on page 3 of his UK tabloid The Sun), but when it comes to the Democrats and a bit of harmless fun...these Fox folks stand for morality!
So I'm just innocently putzing around the house, writing an episode of The Dirty Boys Club that involves space-alien brainsucking, when I get an e-mail from Gina de Vries, and it turns out that, unbelievably enough, the big guns in Murdochland have deigned to take notice of my (and the lovely Dr. Carol Queen's) little old show, Perverts Put Out! in a BIG EXPOSE O' FILTH! Now, my immediate feeling was that of a hobbit just pottering around in his home in the Shire, only to have Sauron, or maybe Ann Coulter, swoop mercilessly down.
But then, the American obsession with celebrity being what it is, I was elated. At last, my promised 15 minutes of fame! Or notoriety, Or something. OK, they didn't mention my name, but there it was! A page from this very website you're perusing now, dear reader, being seen from coast-to-coast and maybe even in in Albania, too, for all I know.
Thing is - no shocker here - what the Fox report apoplectically spews is simply not true, except in the most convoluted sense. See, it says right under the alarmed-looking blonde, "Stimulus Bills Go to Fund Pornography." And then "NEA Funding Erotic Film and Stage Show." So the clear implication is that the NEA or Obama or Nancy Pelosi or Satan or somebody is regularly sending a nice big check my way, right?
Except - oh, Fox, HOW COULD YOU? - t'aint true.
Which is to say that the very idea of anybody in Washington, except maybe the DC Madam, ever possibly sending a single dollar to us is hysterically funny. Sure, CounterPULSE, which we pay occasional rent to, may indeed receive some federal money. But "funding pornography?" Get a grip. Fox, you desperate right-wing wankers...
What's not funny, of course, is that the good ol' Republican morality-pushing right - home of Larry "Too Wide Stance" Craig, David "Send me a hooker" Vitter, John "Mom, bribe my mistress" Ensign, and Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford - is at it again, trying to re-ignite the rather tired Culture Wars.
Way back when, I made it a point to see all the notorious NEA Four (Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller), who in 1990 were the subject of a congressional witch hunt. (Not surprisingly, three of them are gay.) And now, gee whillikers, I myself get to be accused, on national TV, of being "reprehensible" and "destroying the culture of this country." Oh, joy.
And what are we actually talking about here? CounterPULSE will get a grant equal to .0003% of the total of NEA grants. Yes, folks, that's what's got Greta Van Susteren's panties in a bunch: three ten-thousandths of one percent of NEA money (none of which, I repeat, is going to PPO!). Big scandal! National emergency! Demagoguery, anyone?
Well, yeah, and how about that rotten old Library of Congress, housing such foul works as Naked Lunch and Tropic of Cancer, eh? On the taxpayers' dime!
But in all fairness to Fox, they didn't ignore my side of the story. They didn't ASK for my side of the story, despite there being a handy e-mail link on the webpage they showed, because they're just so effing fair and balanced.
So what to do? Jeez, I have no idea. I mean, I'm as willing as the next queer to have an on-air chat with Rachel Maddow, but I have no idea how to arrange that. Anyway, I'd hate for a delightful enterprise like CounterPULSE to suffer merely because they rent space to us four or five nights a year, and I'm thinking that at this point, a day after the "scandal" broke, it looks like it's gotten pretty much zero traction. "Let it die a rancid death" may well be the best approach.
But hey, at least if I get called before Congress, it'll be an excuse to go down to Macy's and buy some new clothes.
And now, if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go cook up some more ways to destroy American culture.