On May 19, Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson -- in an apparent attempt at satire -- misrepresented the contents of a May 13 Associated Press article that reported a new initiative by state Democratic parties to raise the number of gay and lesbian delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Carlson said, "[T]he Democratic Party has announced a new affirmative action plan for gays, lesbians, and cross-dressers," and he labeled the parties' targets as "sexuality-based quotas." Yet the Associated Press reported the initiative as "numerical goals" (not "sexuality-based quotas") that "Democratic parties in 15 states and Puerto Rico" (not the national Democratic Party) had set individually. According to the AP, "Democrats are determined to ensure that gays and lesbians are part of their convention ranks."
From the May 19 edition of CNN's Crossfire:
CARLSON: Well, as part of its ongoing effort to divide Americans into a bewildering number of categories and subcategories, the Democratic Party has announced a new affirmative action plan for gays, lesbians, and cross-dressers.
According to the Associated Press, the party has set sexuality-based quotas for its delegates at this summer's national convention in Boston, these in addition to the party's usual quotas based on race, gender, disability, national origin and hairstyle.
California, for instance, will have to send precisely 22 gay men and 22 lesbians to the convention. North Carolina will have to send five, although they can be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered or, one suspects, some heretofore unthought combination of all four of those things.
Even remote, chilly Maine will have to pony up a minimum of three gays or an equal number of men who may or may not be gay but in any case wear women's clothing. Those are the rules. And if you don't find them at least mildly funny, you're probably a Democrat.
The AP article Carlson cited reported, "Democratic parties in 15 states and Puerto Rico have set numerical goals for gays and lesbian delegates at the party's national convention this summer"; further, the AP article explicitly stated, "Officials are quick to point out that the goals aren't quotas. Neither a state nor a presidential campaign is penalized if they do not reach these goals."
Tucker Carlson is co-host of CNN's Crossfire; a political analyst for CNN; a contributing editor at the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard (edited by William Kristol); and a regular contributor to Esquire. Carlson is a former a staff writer at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and has been a columnist for New York magazine and Reader's Digest. His first book, Politicians, Partisans and, Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News, was published in 2003 by Warner Books -- which is owned by CNN's parent company, Time Warner.