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HGTV cancels home-flipping series with anti-gay hosts

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Outing” — the one-time fashionable practice of revealing that a person is a homosexual — is back, this time as payback against opponents of the original outers. And it is every bit as invidious and ugly as it was when the roles were reversed. This time there is also a distinct sense of hypocrisy since the new outers claim tolerance to be one of their defining traits.

The most notorious of these witch hunts made headlines last November when the gay rights organization GLAAD went after entertainment station A&E over the views of the Robertsons, brothers who star in the reality series “Duck Dynasty.” After much gnashing of teeth and frank assessment of its return on ratings, A&E ultimately decided to retain the series, despite the anti-gay leanings of the Robertsons.

On Monday, the latest round of stuff hit the fan. Right Wing Watch, a group and blog “dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement,” breathlessly reported that the hosts of a house-flipping series scheduled to begin in October on home decoration channel HGTV were once again too unenlightened for cable TV.

In April, HGTV explained in a press release that “in each episode, the brothers would find a fixer-upper and "transform it into their forever home — with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry between the brothers along the way."

But after Right Wing Watch wrote that “at least one of the Benhams is not just a real estate dealer but also a dedicated right-wing activist in the mold of his father, Flip Benham, who has headed the abortion-clinic protest group Operation Save America ever since it split from the militant anti-choice group Operation Rescue,” HGTV tweeted this.

Less than 24 hours later, the review had been completed. The network followed up its initial tweet with another tweet.

Right Wing Watch, group and blog “dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement,” broke the story on Tuesday, reporting breathlessly:

[A]t least one of the Benhams is not just a real estate dealer but also a dedicated right-wing activist in the mold of his father, Flip Benham, who has headed the abortion-clinic protest group Operation Save America ever since it split from the militant anti-choice group Operation Rescue.

There are all kinds of troubling questions that swirl around “protests” like this, including whether advocacy for so-called “reproductive rights” is destined to become the next cultural shibboleth.

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