Karl Rove and Sean Hannity are connecting an Obama advisor to a controversial organization in an attempt to force his resignation. On Hannity's Fox News show Tuesday, former Bush adviser Rove claimed that Kevin Jennings has engaged in "high-profile, in-your-face advocacy of things like NAMBLA and gay rights and queering elementary school curricula." NAMBLA is the North American Man Boy Love Association that works to remove age of consent restrictions.
At issue are remarks Jennings made praising gay rights activist Harry Hay at the GLSEN Mid-Atlantic Conference on Oct. 25, 1997. "One of the people that's always inspired me is Harry Hay," said Jennings. It's no secret that Harry Hay has been connected to NAMBLA.
Since Glenn Beck has been credited with the resignation of Van Jones and crusading against ACORN, Hannity has felt the need to replicate Beck's success.
The first segment of Hannity's Tuesday and Wednesday shows were devoted to Jennings. In his most sensational voice, Hannity opened Wednesday's show: "Tonight -- shocking new allegations about President Obama's safe schools czar. Does Kevin Jennings support the group NAMBLA?"
Hannity and Rove never offered any evidence directly connecting Jennings to the controversial organization. Media Matters reports that Jennings' praise of Harry Hay had nothing to do with NAMBLA.
Jennings reportedly said he was inspired by Harry Hay, "who started the first ongoing gay rights groups in America ... the Mattachine Society." Peter LaBarbera, president of a group that seeks to "expos[e] and counter the homosexual activist agenda," published a transcript of Jennings' 1997 remarks at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's mid-Atlantic conference that LaBarbera said was reprinted from The Lambda Report. In that speech, Jennings reportedly said, "One of the people that's always inspired me is Harry Hay, who started the first ongoing gay rights groups in America. In 1948, he tried to get people to join the Mattachine Society." Jennings' remarks include no mentions of NAMBLA.
The blog Zomblog chronicles Hays' connection to the group and calls on Jennings to release a statement condemning the activist.
Kevin Jennings, we know you do not support this kind of statement, and you are not "inspired" by the kind of activism Harry Hay exhibits here. For the good of the gay community, PLEASE condemn this publicly and emphatically.
This video is from Fox News' Hannity, broadcast Oct. 6, 2009.
This video is from Fox News' Hannity, broadcast Oct. 7, 2009.