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Jim Webb and the Pornographers of the Right

October 29, 2006

With the truth about his neo-Confederate proclivities and stock swindles putting his Virginia Senate reelection bid in doubt, Republican George Allen turned to fiction to smear his opponent, Vietnam War hero Jim Webb. Citing disturbing content from Webb's combat novels (one of which, "Fields of Fire," appears on the Marine Corps' recommended reading list), Allen and his amen corner have implied that Webb is a misogynist, pedophile or worse.
As it turns out, poorly crafted, soft-core pornography seems to be quite the cottage industry among America's conservative chattering classes. For example, Second Lady Lynne Cheney, who offered viewers an on-screen meltdown on CNN on Friday over the Webb novels, showed she could write - as well as talk - trash with her 1981 novel of lesbian love in the old West, "Sisters." (It is worth noting that Mrs. Cheney's White House biography omits any mention of "Sisters" among her writing credits.)
But Cheney is far from the only peddler of soft core among the hard liners of the right. As the New Yorker describes at length, PlameGate villain Scooter Libby, the right-hand man for staunchly conservative Vice President Dick Cheney, seemed quite comfortable writing about prostitution, deviant sexual acts and bestiality in his bizarre 2001 coming of age tale ("The Apprentice") set in 1903 Japan. No doubt Libby's "man-on-deer" and "bear-on-girl" forbidden love scenes would make Rick Santorum and friends cringe.
Much to the dismay of the family values merchants in the American Taliban, Fox News commentator and culture warrior Bill O'Reilly offers generous heapings of adultery and pre-marital sex in his 1998 trashfest, "Those Who Trespass." And speaking of, who could forget male escort turned White House press stooge turned blogger, Jeff Gannon?


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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