When I had first heard the Mary Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President, was pregnant, I thought to blog on it. But, I hesitated for two reasons. First, other bloggers had already said pretty much what I wanted to say. Second, it seemed to me that Mary’s pregnancy indicated that, after her time in the limelight, she and Heather wanted to settle down to a private, domestic life. And it wasn’t really my business to comment on her private life.
Now, some gay activists are in a huff that the Vice President called CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “out of line” for asking him to comment on a statement made by Focus on the Family, a socially conservative organization, critical of his daughter’s pregnancy. Roberta Sklar, spokesman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLFT) said that such questions were “completely appropriate.”
I disagree. Reader Peter Hughes sent me a link to this post where Tim Graham asks, “When has a Democratic national candidate’s sons or daughters ever been the subject of a national controversy?” He notes how the MSM assiduously “avoided the story of Al Gore’s teenage son Albert Gore III, caught driving 97 miles per hour on an interstate highway, an offense on the public record, just two days before the 2000 Democratic convention.”
While CNN ignored this story, the network played up the story of the President’s daughters citation for underage drinking in 2001.
It seems it’s fair game to discuss the private lives of the children of Republican leaders, but not those of Democratic ones.
To be sure, the Vice President did, in the interview, express his delight that he’s “about to have a six grandchild,” but simply refused to answer a question about the implications of a lesbian becoming pregnant. Basically, he just didn’t want to politicize his daughter’s pregnancy.
It seems that Blitzer wanted to expose some tension between the White House and the socially conservative group. And while I would have loved to see the Vice President take on Focus on the Family, he wanted his daughter’s pregnancy to remain a private thing, a joy for his family and not a public thing, a source of national controversy.
And while Graham did note the double standard, he thought the question was “fair,” even if meant to cause trouble. Preferring to keep his family life as private as possible given his position, the Vice President did not take the bait. And, I believe, he did the right thing.