I happened to see this last night on mute with closed captioning subtitles and knew that it was great. It’s even better with sound.
I think there’s something to take heart in about this beyond the simple fact that it’s a nice, and CORRECT sentiment well-expressed. The fact of the matter is that this moment seems extraordinary because of the rarity with which mainstream media figures and/or journalists come out publicly in favor of gay rights. BUT, at the same time, because a mainstream media figure is willing to come out publicly in favor of gay rights is a signal, however subtle, and however slow acting, of the tonal shift of the entire issue. As my friend Scott was always fond of saying, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, and I think that’s true. Unless America slides into a nightmare totalitarian state, the march of progress always continues forward, at least in the larger sense. That doesn’t mean that there is never any backsteppipng or sliding, or that the march isn’t sometimes painfully slow, but tolerance spreads. We can argue about how it’s insane that even in 2008 there was still concern over whether a black man could be elected president, and that’s a fair argument to have, but at the same time, a black man was elected president, so things are at least heading in the right direction. I guess my point is just that the passage of Prop 8 was a sad reminder of the work that’s still to be done in this country, but at the same time, Keith Olbermann’s urgency on national television in favor of fundamental equality in a fight in which he has no personal stake is a reminder that the work does continue. We’re doing it.