Cameroon, newspapers outed 50 public figures. In Sweden, a website lists
129 gays and calls for their deaths.
In Runamuckastan, the leading newspaper ran “photos” of gay
men in tiaras murdering babies and making wine spritzers with the blood.
Okay, Runamuckastan doesn’t exist, but Cameroon and Sweden do. In
those countries, the old media (newspapers) and the new media (the internet)
are going after gays with a zeal that would make William Randolph Hearst
Three Cameroonian tabloids named over 50 prominent politicians, musicians
and athletes as being homosexual. These papers are mounting a genuine anti-gay
“Men making love to other men…is filthy. It may be normal
in the West, but in Africa and Cameroon in particular, it is unthinkable,” the
publisher of L’Anecdote, Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, told Reuters. “We
could not remain silent. We had to ring the alarm bell. We don’t
regret it and we have to do it again…in spite of numerous death
threats that me and my journalists have had.”
Oh, you brave man, Jean Pierre! A veritable Ernie Pyle, risking your life
in the trenches of the culture wars. It seems to me that the people most
at risk of harm are those you saw fit to name. Whether they’re actually
gay or not.
The public service these tabloids performed just happened to do their circulations
a power of good. News sellers ran out of the papers and took to selling
“It has been a long time since our circulation exceeded 5,000,” L’Anecdote
editor Francois Bikoro said in the Times of London. “Since we began
dealing with homosexuality, it has gone up to more than 20,000.”
On behalf of homosexuals everywhere, we’re not the slightest bit
happy to have helped.
Many of those named in this witch hunt have denied being gay. Some have
threatened legal action. Small wonder: homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon,
punishable by up to five years in prison.
One of the figures named during the frenzy is former tennis star, now a
singer, Yannick Noah, a Frenchman with Cameroonian roots. I remember during
his sporting heyday Noah was considered quite the playboy. Now, we gays
know that one way to hide being gay is to flaunt a faux heterosexuality.
If that’s what Noah was doing all those years, he went above and
beyond the call.
As the Times quoted journalist Tansa Musa, “There are going to be
a lot of very surprised women, both in France and Cameroon.”
Undoubtedly there were many folks in Sweden surprised at the existence
of a website called “The Sodomites.” According to 365Gay.com,
the site lists 129 well-known gays, including actors, politicians and priests.
The site also offers up their addresses and calls for them to die.
Just the sort of use the inventor of the internet had in mind, I’m
The death threat comes in the form of Bible verses, notably Leviticus 20:13,
which goes, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both
of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their
blood will be on their own heads.”
So much more poetic than a simple “Kill the queers!” And much,
much more pragmatic. Sweden has a strong law against promoting hate, but
as long as the ugly sentiments are expressed via Biblical quotes, the country’s
top prosecutor said he can’t do a thing.
When I studied journalism, the school didn’t offer a course on using
the media for vile purposes. I’m starting to think I should ask for
my money back.
Or I could fill my educational gaps by studying the work of that late media
giant named Joseph. Pulitzer? No, Goebbels.