Yesterday’s Washington Post had an article about Hoover’s FBI poking in to former MPAA spokesperson Jack Valenti’s sexuality during the 60s, when Valenti was a White House aide. In an effort to let the freewheeling hippies of today know that, hey, this could have worked out badly for Valenti, WaPo staff writer Joe Stephens opens his fifth paragraph like this:
In the Washington of the early 1960s, allegations or proof of homosexuality could end a career.
Well Joe, some of us might remind you that in the Washington of the early now that is still an issue. Don’t ask, Don’t tell is still the millitary law of the land, Leslie Hagen has only just regained work at the DOJ and an outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate committee that he thought homosexual activity is immoral and counter to God’s law.
I get what you’re trying to convey here, Joe, and we’ve come a long way in society in the time since, but that phrasing makes it sound like being Out today won’t have an impact on your career. T’ain’t so.