Gay activist Dan Savage gave one of two keynote addresses at the April 13 National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association. He insulted the students, used profanity and trashed Christianity; many walked out. Savage was there to protest bullying.
This story, broken by Breitbart.com over the weekend, initially led the National Scholastic Press Association to defend Savage’s speech. They commended him for his “level of thoughtfulness,” saying it is important for journalists to “listen to speech that offends you.” Now this group, along with the Journalism Education Association, has said that Savage’s speech fell short of the standards of civil discourse and has apologized.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on this outcome:
The first mistake was inviting a man who has a long history of making the most vile, disgusting and bigoted remarks. What did these people think he would do? Act civilly? The second mistake was the initial defense of Savage’s hate-filled rant by the organizations that invited him. If what he said rises to the level of “thoughtfulness,” then toilet speech has been sanctified. The third mistake was made by Savage himself: he tried to weasel out of this by saying that his vicious comments on the Bible are “being spun as an attack on Christianity.” Next time he ought to trash the Koran and then explain to Muslims that it has nothing to do with attacking Islam.
The only ones who acted admirably were the students who walked out in protest. They showed a lot more “thoughtfulness” than the adults who ran the conference. Ironically, Savage’s bullying of Christian students was done in the name of protesting the bullying of homosexuals. When it comes to bullying, Savage has no peer. We hope the Obama administration, which has welcomed him to the White House, takes note.
Contact Dan Savage: firstname.lastname@example.org