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Transcript: Michael Rogers and Kirby Dick on The View

by PageOneQ

Description (TRANSCRIPT BELOW): Kirby Dick, director of the film "Outrage," and Michael Rogers, the film's lead subject, appeared on ABC's The View to discuss the film. "Outrage" documents closeted anti-gay politicians and the efforts to expose their hypocrisy. In addition to Rogers, the blogger who outed Larry Craig almost a year before his arrest for soliciting sex in a Minneapolis airport, the film features Sirius Radio host Michelangelo Signorile, Steve Clemons of the Washington Note, DC City Council Member David Catania, Former HRC Director Elizabeth Birch, and the late Rodger McFarlane, a community leader for over 25 years.

Begin: Footage from film Outrage

JOSE VARGAS (Washington Post): I remember when I first moved here, thinking how gay it was.

TOM SHERIDAN: Sometimes I think Washington is more gay than San Francisco is.

ELIZABETH BIRCH (Former Executive Director, Human Rights Campaign): Capitol Hill is packed with gay staffers. There are so many of them.

DAVID CATANIA (DC City Council member): You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a gay staffer.

JOSE VARGAS: There is a running joke that gay men make Capitol Hill run on time. They don't have a wife or children to go home to, so they can work really long hours.

RICH TAFEL (Founder, Log Cabin Republicans): To this day, I have not seen anyplace like it. It's probably the most gay place. Unfortunately, it's probably still the most closeted place.

End: Film clip

JOY BEHAR: The makers of the controversial new film, a documentary, "Outrage," say their goal is to yank secretly gay politician who campaign against gay rights out of the closet and expose them as the hypocrites that they are. Please welcome the director of "Outrage," KIRBY DICK, and activist for gay rights, MICHAEL ROGERS. Welcome guys.

Let's start with Kirby. Tell us what you were trying to accomplish with this film. What's your goal?

KIRBY DICK: Well, the film is about hypocrisy, it's about the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who vote anti-gay and in the process harm the lives of millions of American gay and lesbian citizens. And this is a story that hasn't been told; the mainstream media hasn't covered it. So, the first thing I wanted to do is get the story told.

JOY BEHAR: You picked Michael as your central catalyst.


JOY BEHAR: Why him?

KIRBY DICK: Well, Mike Rogers is the most important reporter on this issue in this decade. He's been covering this for a long time. In fact, he was the person who outed Larry Craig nine months before he was arrested in the bathroom. So he was way ahead of the curve.

JOY BEHAR: How did you know that Larry Craig was gay?

MICHAEL ROGERS: I'm a reporter. Just like any other story I seek for my website, I do research, I meet with sources, I talk to individuals, I look at evidence, I hear corroborating stories from people across the country and then report on them.

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: Those are still allegations at best. He has, and many of the people in the film have denied being gay. Do you worry about them coming back and trying to sue you for outing them?


JOY BEHAR: Why not?

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: What protects you then?

MICHAEL ROGERS: The best defense for a lawsuit like that is the truth, so that's not a worry at all. I have a 100% record. Any journalistic outfit is set up to potentially be in that position. I have to be triple, 100, 250% sure and that's what helps me maintain my 100% record over five years.

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: Some people feel in trying to out mainly Republicans who you think are closeted in terms of their voting record is a way of bullying people into voting a certain way. I mean, there may be some closeted gay members in Washington that just may think, ok, this is my personal life, but for the country, this is what I think is best. Do you see it as bullying at all? Are we then to ask our legislators and judges to only legislate, vote and judge based on their personal emotions and beliefs and actions?

KIRBY DICK: No. I don't think it's bullying at all. It's reporting. The important thing here, if a politician is out and he's voting anti-gay, then the entire public knows what's going on. But if he's closeted, they don't know and that's the importance of reporting. That's what good reporters do on any issue.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: But basically, though, because I 'm not a big fan of outing people. I don't think it's right. I don't think anybody has the right to make that decision for you. But that's how I feel. Let me ask you, so if you have somebody who is voting their conscience, maybe they're not out. Have you taken time to sit down and say to people why did you vote this way or why are you doing this? Because I think sometimes people vote their religion, as we were saying earlier, or they have different convictions and I wouldn't want people to think they're just voting to be boneheads.

JOY BEHAR: That's a good question.

MICHAEL ROGERS: First of all, no politician gets to decide what story is written about them. When we talk about religion, for example, every congressional website in the country lists the religion of congress members.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: But they've shared that.

MICHAEL ROGERS: But they are being out when it affects their vote. I agree with you. I'm actually anti-outing, too, Whoopi.


MICHAEL ROGERS: I'm pro exposing hypocrisy. When people live their private lives, anybody in the country --

JOY BEHAR: So if Larry Craig had voted for gay rights, for gay marriage, you would have left him alone?

MICHAEL ROGERS: I could care less.


ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: Is that why do many liberal Senators in Washington left alone and not outed, you'll let them remain in the closet if you think they are?

JOY BEHAR: If they vote the way you want them to, you'll leave them alone? [applause]

MICHAEL ROGERS: Let me answer Elizabeth's question because it's a very important question. Kirby in the film is very careful. It's not a conservative, it's not a liberal, it's not a Democrat or Republican issue.

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: Hypocrisy on both sides.

MICHAEL ROGERS: Hypocrisy is hypocrisy and I just think people have to honest. The basis of this country is that the people who make the laws have to live under them.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: Just like Whoopi says, she didn't agree with outing people. Sometimes it's a very private struggle. But we have a clip of you with a reporter. It got a little bit heated on this. Can we see it?

JOY BEHAR: The movie is good.

Tape Roll of Doug McKelway and Mike Rogers on "Let's Talk Live"

DOUG MCKELWAY: You're hurting people.

MICHAEL ROGERS: You're saying being gay is wrong.

DOUG MCKELWAY: No, I 'm not. Absolutely not. And I -- take that back.

MICHAEL ROGERS: Well, when you point a finger at somebody.

DOUG MCKELWAY: I'm about ready to do a lot more than point my finger at you.

MICHAEL ROGERS: What would that be?

DOUG MCKELWAY: I'd take you outside and give you a punch across the face because that's not what I said and that's not what I mean.

END: clip


WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Maybe he meant he was going to ask you out. What was that about?

SHERRI SHEPHERD: By outing someone…it could be a personal struggle for them. You could possibly be wrecking somebody's life. How do you defend that?

MICHAEL ROGERS: I defend it as in, for example, in the case of Larry Craig, he voted consistently to discharge lesbian and gay members from the military. If he can do that as a veteran of the military, that's not living under the laws you want to legislate. That's called tyranny [applause] where the people who set the rules don't have to follow them. That's just unacceptable. The film shows the difference. It shows the exact cases of how are people being hypocrites.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: I 'm curious because the gays in the military or someone not in the military, we live under that kind of tyranny all the time – people are making laws and sending people who are kids they are sending and adults never have to go. But we're talking now, if you're against gay marriage and you vote your heart and say, no, I don't believe this is right, is this someone who you would expose, if they said they did not believe in gay marriage, if they were gay?

MICHAEL ROGERS: If they're being honest about who they are and explaining what informs their vote to the American people, then I have no problem with their activity.

JOY BEHAR: So if I am against gay marriage and they're cruising the bars with guys, then you have to call them on it. That's what this movie does.

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: In some ways, it is a form of bullying people to have them match their personal lives with what they think is best for the country and I think that is going down a dangerous path. We would have a very different legal system if that were the case across the board.

MICHAEL ROGERS: They are bullying us.

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: You'll be in work for a long time because there is a lot of hypocrisy everywhere. "Outrage" is in select theaters now. When we come back, the woman who says oral sex is the new goodnight kiss for girls.


Originally published on Friday May 22, 2009.

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