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Author Topic: A Hidden Life- Frontline  (Read 2417 times)

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Offline alisenjafi

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A Hidden Life- Frontline
« on: November 14, 2006, 10:09:10 PM »
Has anyone else caught the PBS show Frontline- about Jim West - it was amazing. Offering a mature  view and the history of Jim West right wing mayor of Spokane Washington, whom backed many anti gay legislation, and then was busted  for abuse of power by offering very young men jobs-as he cruised gay.com

The show covers all the angles from his self hatred of himself as a gay men to the reaction of all the communities of his constituency.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hiddenlife/

After watching the show I came away feeling that his disease is much worse than ours.
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline MSPspud

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2006, 10:10:35 PM »
Funny, I am totally watching this as I'm posting. 

Offline libvet

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2006, 10:33:42 PM »
Ugh....Jim West.   I didn't vote for him as mayor (I voted for his opponent).  I didn't vote for his recall either.

He deserved to be removed from his position, but quite honestly, it felt more like a vote to remove him was more about him being gay than about his utter vile hypocrisy.

That's the ONLY election in my life I have decided not to vote.   I just couldn't bring myself to engage in what I say as a metaphorical gaybashing.

I can't abide closeted gays who use homophobia as a platform to further their own career and I am disgusted by the man.  If the real issue had been his hypocrisy, I'd be out getting petitions signed, but the major forces behind his recall was from people who wanted to remove him because he was gay.

Michael

Offline alisenjafi

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2006, 10:38:36 PM »
Check out the website because there is a part where the producers ask what was the  nature behind his recall. PBS never ceases to amaze me.  A few weeks back they were doing a show on chimps overcoming discrimination because they are infected with HIV.

I hope we are seeing the end of this self hatred, and empowerment on the backs of discrimination. I also wonder how much of the cancer was karma.
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline MSPspud

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2006, 10:15:41 PM »
In a messed up way, I felt bad for the guy from what was presented on Frontline.  It made it seem that he wasn't so much an anti-gay advocate but would just following along on votes to cover up.  Don't get me wrong, I despise this sort of stuff and I'm not a fan of denial.  Perhaps I'm just giving him the benefit of the doubt b/c I am a generation younger.  It's funny though, if I think of Haggard, I don't feel this way.  I think that guy's a son of a bitch. 

I just don't get being in the closet or lack of self-knowledge.  I came out at 15 in a redneck town (Green Bay) and did just fine. 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2006, 10:18:28 PM by MSPspud »

Offline Dragonette

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2007, 12:05:01 PM »
I just watched it on Israeli TV today... and so I searched to see if someone mentioned it on the forums.

The program left me feeling very very sad and with some insight on what it must mean to be gay in smalltown america, especially I felt that Jim West was, ultimately and finally, a person with great integrity. These so called journalists, who lured him by impersonating an 18 year old, they are disgusting. This guy he is duality and we all have that gay or not, but all those people who pursued him and try to stick allegations on him (because gay to them = child molester or that's how they want it to be, how disappointing - and unsurprising - that the FBI didn't find anything), and literally spilled his blood while going on righteously, they should go to hell. Why the gay community denounced him, I can sort of understand, because of all the anit-gay legislations, but it is a fucked up world to live in if someone has to choose between going to politics, or to church, and being an outcast, and that was basically his choice until the newpaper's "expose" [which was completely unethical and immoral, but also really really crappy journalism].

"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline libvet

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2007, 12:57:18 PM »
I just watched it on Israeli TV today... and so I searched to see if someone mentioned it on the forums.

The program left me feeling very very sad and with some insight on what it must mean to be gay in smalltown america, especially I felt that Jim West was, ultimately and finally, a person with great integrity. These so called journalists, who lured him by impersonating an 18 year old, they are disgusting. This guy he is duality and we all have that gay or not, but all those people who pursued him and try to stick allegations on him (because gay to them = child molester or that's how they want it to be, how disappointing - and unsurprising - that the FBI didn't find anything), and literally spilled his blood while going on righteously, they should go to hell. Why the gay community denounced him, I can sort of understand, because of all the anit-gay legislations, but it is a fucked up world to live in if someone has to choose between going to politics, or to church, and being an outcast, and that was basically his choice until the newpaper's "expose" [which was completely unethical and immoral, but also really really crappy journalism].





I find it hard to believe that anyone really feels any pity for Jim West being exposed.  He wasn't a person with great integrity.  He was, at best, a competent mayor, but he was also a two-faced lying jerk who fucked around on his wife, played the role of gay-bashing legislator, and offered city jobs to his sexual partners.  I can understand feeling pity for his battle with cancer.

Spokane isn't really all that small of a town.  There are nearly 200,000 people living in the city proper, and when taken in context of the general area is the hub of business for around half a million people.

I applaud the Spokesman-Review for exposing his hypocrisy and double life.  He chose to enter public life as a politician, he was not drafted.  He chose to chastise the Governor for banning discrimination against gays in hiring.  He chose to vote for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.   He chose to co-sponsor a bill that would have banned gays and lesbians from working as teachers and called for actively screening applicants for homosexuality and firing them if it became known they were gay.  He chose to vote against sending out pamphlets in 1986 telling people about safer sex and how to avoid contracting HIV and referred to safer-sex information as something one buys in dirty book stores.

Jim West was a lot of things, but a man of integrity he was not.   He was liar and opportunist and a hypocrite and his ethics were certainly questionable.

I'll save my pity for people who don't use anti-gay bigotry as a platform while hiding in the closet.   
« Last Edit: July 08, 2007, 01:00:27 PM by libvet »

Offline RapidRod

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2007, 01:36:11 PM »
libvet, are you openingly gay and open about having HIV?  Does your family and friends all know that you are gay and living with HIV?

Offline Carolann

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2007, 02:29:25 PM »
They never were able to find any credible evidence that he ever molested children, and this was a big reason why people voted him out. I don\'t think the man was a full on pedophile, but he was definitely walking a thin line by talking to 17 year olds online. The guy that accused him never mentioned him in 25 years, but was able to recall the sheriff.

The only actual crime that they did have evidence on was his abuse of power, which a majority of politicians dabble in or flagrantly partake in because we allow it and is the nature of the political beast.

I am not defending him. He certainly caused gays a lot of pain. He used hatred of homosexuals to further his career, and that is unforgivable. I can understand being closeted, but why fight to deny any group their rights as human beings?

I do believe the paper acted in an unethical way, by continuing to accuse him of molestation when no credible evidence was ever presented. Many inocent people are ruined with false allegations like these, and this is also a disgrace for any journalist who insists they are ethical.

No, he should not have ever been Mayor, but the motivation behind his recall was homophobia, which many idiots out there erroneously equate with pedophilia. The damage that intolerance causes the gay community is immeasurable.

CA

Offline libvet

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2007, 03:46:55 PM »
libvet, are you openingly gay and open about having HIV?  Does your family and friends all know that you are gay and living with HIV?

1) Everyone knows I'm gay.  Family and friends and co-workers. 

2) Not everyone knows I have HIV, nor is it any of their business.  I wouldn't go around telling people I had diabetes or cancer either.  There are some people that know, others don't.

3) I'm not in the public arena and if I was, I certainly wouldn't go around cutting funding for HIV services or education and championing discrimination against GLBTs.  I didn't choose to become a politician, he did.  Politicians lose a measure of privacy....that's a fact.  Generally speaking, when a politician champions certain causes such bigotry against gay people while simultaneously having gay sex on the down low, then I have no pity for that person and I say more power to people who outed him.

Now if you have evidence that I have promoted legislation that would curtail the rights of the gay community or cut services to people with HIV in this country, then by all means, feel free to expose me to the world for my hypocrisy.  Until then, you are setting up a strawman.

Offline libvet

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2007, 03:58:55 PM »
They never were able to find any credible evidence that he ever molested children, and this was a big reason why people voted him out. I don\'t think the man was a full on pedophile, but he was definitely walking a thin line by talking to 17 year olds online. The guy that accused him never mentioned him in 25 years, but was able to recall the sheriff.

The only actual crime that they did have evidence on was his abuse of power, which a majority of politicians dabble in or flagrantly partake in because we allow it and is the nature of the political beast.

I am not defending him. He certainly caused gays a lot of pain. He used hatred of homosexuals to further his career, and that is unforgivable. I can understand being closeted, but why fight to deny any group their rights as human beings?

I do believe the paper acted in an unethical way, by continuing to accuse him of molestation when no credible evidence was ever presented. Many inocent people are ruined with false allegations like these, and this is also a disgrace for any journalist who insists they are ethical.

No, he should not have ever been Mayor, but the motivation behind his recall was homophobia, which many idiots out there erroneously equate with pedophilia. The damage that intolerance causes the gay community is immeasurable.


As I said in my post many months ago, I did not vote in the special election to recall Jim West because I saw it as a referendum on his homosexuality (quite honestly, I heard very very few people even mention the allegations of pedophilia) rather than his hypocrisy and lying to the public and abuses of power.   

Spokane is a fairly conservative community.  It voted solidly for Bush in 2004.  Nethercutt for the Senate (although thanks to the senate being statewide race, Nethercutt lost). McMorris for representative. Rossi for governor.  8 out 10 state legislature seats for our area went to republicans.

Once it became known he was gay, his political career was finished.  Ironically, he fell victim to the very bigotry he used as part as his platform.   It's too bad really.  He wasn't particularly incompetent, but he made an active choice to pander to bigots when he didn't have to and you are correct, that is unforgivable.

Offline Dragonette

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2007, 03:59:10 PM »
mmm, what I meant was, in the end, when the shit hit the fan, he had integrity, in the way he fianlly dealt with being outed, and what I saw from the press was a lot of hypocricy and a kind of witchhunt. There was no 17 year old, there was an impostor posing as one, and when JW didn't catch the bait, they tried it as a 18 year old, and then began a long correspondence, and then online sex (apparently, JW masturbated online with the impostor, but nothing explicit was even written). There was a lot of mudthrowing and implying stuff, none of it was true. Except, that he did chat online and tried to hit on a fake 18 year old. And like he said on the film, that is really no one's business.

I am sure he did things wrong esp. as a republican, be he didn't deserve this humiliation. If he is making wrong legislation, they should be fought in legitimate means and not in this low dirty way.They actually didn't expose anything, they created a scenario and drew him into it. In other words he got punked... And imagine that somebody would be posing on this forums as a poz, just to expose someone who is using and remains closeted, that's just rotten, and no one deserves that, no matter what he votes for or against. The war against bigotry shouldn't be fought with the same means, is what I think, and I don't think the media or the majority of the public could've cared less about gay rights or HIV, they just enjoyed the mud throwing. As far as journalism goes they proved nothing and had nothing except that this man (who I think was already widowed) enjoyed chatting, flriting, and maybe jerked off once or twice in front of the computer, oh, and said that he was 47 or 48 when he was actually 51, quite a scoop...

But you know I am not American, and I respect that you resent him based on his political actions, but this was my impression from the film. I think Frontline tried to be objective and certainly gave the media and "the rest of the world" a chance to present their case againt him in detail, and gave him some chance to stand up and defend himself, and I think, in the end, he did that more convincingly than they attacked him, and that's what I meant about the integrity. This guy, if he remained alive and a mayor, may have had a chance to change and do something positive for people like him, but we will never know because he was sick and he was trampled on until he died basically, not that I am saying they killed him, but that crusade against him surely lessened his chances of recovery.

modified to replace hate with resent.. English as a second language can be too blunt somtimes
« Last Edit: July 08, 2007, 04:03:22 PM by Dragonette »
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Bucko

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2007, 04:05:28 PM »
First regarding the PBS Frontline program:

It's a real douchebag parade. I don't think there was a single participant (except for the history teacher) who had a shred of decency about themselves. Jim West was an illustration of self-hate. Bill Morlin saw nothing unethical in hiring out his "investigator" to do what he himself claimed was inethical. The college student who claimed to have no desire to out someone but who did...ugh! It all made me want to take a hot soaking bath.

The only decency about any of this is the hopeless optimism I have that perhaps, in 20-30 years someone will see this program and wonder how such a thing was even possible

And I'd also like to just take a sec and thank Libvet publicly for doing so much heavy lifting around here in his eloquent expression of the political views so many of us share. Reading his posts frequently make me feel as though any addition I'd make would be entirely redundant.

Brent
(Who's a lefty from way back)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline Dragonette

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2007, 04:26:37 PM »
a real douchebag parade. I don't think there was a single participant (except for the history teacher) who had a shred of decency about themselves.

so true... but even the history teacher mentioned faking it and posing as straight I think, by saying anti-gay things or going along with them earlier in life (if I am not confusing with someone else on the film). The  difference is he had the courage to grow out of it, and was not in the spotlight and the pressures of politics. As for the media, they were just vultures.

In the end is just a sad sad story. He did wrong for sure, but probabaly because he was scared shitless to do otherwise. And he contributed actively to the cycle of secrecy and shame from which he suffered directly.

Hopefully there is hope, even in ultra-orthodox Jerusalem there is now an openly gay council member (and this in a city where 3 people were stabbed during last year's gay pride).   

And Carolann just to set the record set I do in fact agree with you, nevertheless I felt very sorry for him, I guess it's my mirror neurons firing in the form of human compassion, like when you see someone get hurt on the screen and you cringe, just can't help it. I certainly don't feel sorry for the former persident of Israel who just last week walked off with a plea bargin from multiple rapes and assults on subordinates, even though it has been common knowledge for years that he is a serial sex offender... Besides being a pompous ass and a crappy president...
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2007, 05:37:14 PM »
This was shown in Australia some months ago.

West came across as such a poor wretched thing during the recall election, abandoned by all and left to the tender mercies of his political opponents. Which is exactly what he wanted people to think.

The man was a treacherous douchebag and his death is to be welcomed.

MtD

Offline libvet

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2007, 06:19:49 PM »
This was shown in Australia some months ago.

West came across as such a poor wretched thing during the recall election, abandoned by all and left to the tender mercies of his political opponents. Which is exactly what he wanted people to think.

The man was a treacherous douchebag and his death is to be welcomed.

MtD

Ah...matty, you always make me laugh.  I didn't wish death on the guy, but I admire your bluntness.

I do tend to agree that Frontline did portray him much more sympathetic light than he really deserved (we are talking about a guy who was investigated a few years back for leaving threatening phone messages on someone's answering machine and who was downright hateful toward gay people even after he was...ahem..."brutally outed"...as though the average gay person was trash and he was some kind of saint).

I think what made him slightly sympathetic was his battle with colon cancer which happened to coincide roughly with the public revelations about his little secret.

I've never been one to approve of wholesale outing, but I've been a strong defender of outing people who actively try to make life harder for gay people to further their career the way West did.   Not to turn this into a thread on outing, but I never understood why some people in the gay community think we should be bound to keep the secrets of people who are publicly anti-gay. 

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2007, 06:32:23 PM »
Outing is a potent and legitimate political weapon which should only be used against closet queers (like West) who side in oppression with our enemies and privileged traitors like Mary Cheney.

MtD

Offline thunter34

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2007, 06:32:41 PM »
Matty didn't say he wished the guy death, only that his death was to be welcomed.  Big difference.  

I agree with you, Libvet.  I don't tend to approve of just outing people in the general sense, but I do if they promote an anti-gay agenda.  I don't see the subject of outing as being a hijack of this thread as that seems to be a very on-topic issue in the thread.

AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2007, 06:33:59 PM »
If Jim West was alive today Matty the Damned would cheerfully wish the sleazy traitor dead.

MtD

Offline thunter34

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Re: A Hidden Life- Frontline
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2007, 06:42:13 PM »
If Jim West was alive today Matty the Damned would cheerfully wish the sleazy traitor dead.

MtD

There it is....thaaaaaat's what I was waiting for.   ;)
AIDS isn't for sissies.

 


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