Jewish Journal


August 29, 2010

Why no one cares that Ken Mehlman is gay


Ken Mehlman’s revelation that he is gay hasn’t received quite the media reaction I would have expected. Mehlman, after all, was chairman of the Republican National Committe and President Bush’s campaign chief in 2004. Surely that’s worth a little more newsink than it has received:

The Washington Post, a mainstay of political coverage, devoted one paragraph to the news in the “Reliable Sources” gossip column on an inside page of the Style section. On the Web, the Post covered the announcement in its “Politics and Policy” blog. The New York Times placed a nine-paragraph story on page A-16 of its Washington edition. The Wall Street Journal did not have a story in the print edition but ran a brief item on a blog covering the private equity industry. Mehlman is now executive vice president of KKR, a New York City-based private equity firm. The announcement appeared in RealClearPolitics.com’s “More Political News” section, after an item on protests Thursday by a flotilla of New England fisherman off the Obamas’ vacation island.

One theory I have for the scant interest: Mehlman isn’t Larry Craig or Mark Sanford. He’s not an elected politician. And he’s Jewish.

Or it just might be that, as Bill Maher claims in the four-year-old clip above from “Larry King Live,” that plenty of people in Washington already knew that Mehlman was gay.

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