|Chris Johnson (Photo by Michael Key)|
by Fred Kuhr
Anti-LGBTQ Trump supporters recently set their sights on Washington Blade political reporter Chris Johnson.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII applies to sexual orientation and gender identity. In other words, it is now illegal to fire someone just because they are LGBTQ. A month prior, in anticipation of the decision, Johnson — who is a member of the White House press corps — challenged current White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on her opposition to marriage equality as well as the administration’s views on the Supreme Court case.
“McEnany followed the lead of her three immediate predecessors in the job, avoiding the question and acting exasperated in the process,” reported Blade editor Kevin Naff. “[Then] after the briefing, Trump’s toadies in the right-wing twitterverse and blogosphere jumped into action, attacking Johnson with personal insults and anti-gay slurs. The instantaneous attacks came by the hundreds.”
Names deployed in attacking Johnson included “Chrissy,” “light in the loafers,” “gaystapo clown,” and “faggot.”
“This was no coincidence,” wrote Naff. “Trump has an army of mindless sycophants ready to defend him from any hint of challenge or criticism. From the big guns like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to the bloggers at Breitbart and RedState and many more lesser-known figures, Trump deploys them to trash, threaten and intimidate anyone in the media deemed critical of his administration.”
Naff made the connection between the attacks on Johnson and Trump’s often-stated position that the press is “the enemy of the people.”
“Make no mistake,” Naff noted, “we have a White House that openly threatens reporters, disdains the First Amendment, and emboldens its supporters to insult and intimidate journalists at outlets large and small.”
Naff praised Johnson, who he called “a pro,” adding that all those working in LGBTQ media “have a pretty thick skin.”
“Kudos to Johnson and the other members of the White House press corps, who are working at personal risk to merely ask questions of this corrupt administration,” he added.
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