Jamila Bay Causes Trouble Again


Last fall, I had lunch with my friend Jamila Bey at the National Press Club. Earlier this week, she was back there again (as she often is) covering a press conference by a group called the Coalition of African American Pastors, who were blasting Obama for being in favor of marriage equality. And she was causing trouble, as she so often — and so gloriously — does.

At about the 19:10 mark on this video, you will see her doing what every other journalist does, asking questions about their position. Since they were going on and on about the “Biblical definition of marriage,” she asked them what God’s position is on polygamy. Rev. William Owens, the founder of the group, says, “Well I think you know that. This is not about polygamy, this is about same-sex marriage.”

So she does what few journalists bother to do: Asks a follow up question. She asks him to give the Biblical definition of marriage. He says, predictably, that the Biblical standard of marriage is the union of a man and a woman. So she asked him about Abraham’s marriage, at which point he starts sputtering. And she asks him again about polygamy, which prompts more sputtering and attempts to ignore her while repeatedly saying “next question.” Then she asks him God’s position on slavery. He replies, “Are you going to stand there and just demand that I answer your questions?” She helpfully points out that this is, after all, a press conference. Questions are to be expected. So he demands that she be removed from the press conference.

Comments

  1. Michael Heath says

    Ed writes:

    At about the 19:10 mark on this video, you will see her doing what every other journalist does, asking questions about their position.

    Well, what every journalist is supposed to do is what Jamila Bey did. Too bad this isn’t the norm.

    I love her name, it put me into a remote white-sand cove somewhere in the Caribbean; drinking some alcohol-laced fruity concoction.

  2. anubisprime says

    Ahh…yep that ‘fistikated feelology’ don’t get so hot when it has to answer questions!

    The theists get around that rather embarrassing problem by a very clever technique…

    They pretend the question was never asked!

  3. D. C. Sessions says

    This is what “access” does to democracy. In several other contexts (war, for instance) the motto is “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough.”

    Well, in reporting the rule should be: “If you’re not getting tossed out from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough.”

  4. Stevarious says

    Well, in reporting the rule should be: “If you’re not getting tossed out from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough.”

    If there was anything resembling journalistic integrity (let alone journalistic solidarity) in that room after Jamila was ejected, every single reporter should have asked exactly the same question of the guy until he either answered or shut up.

  5. 'Tis Himself says

    It appears the reverend’s definition of homophobia is calling gays names like “sissies.” For me, homophobia is denying GLBTs the same rights as enjoyed by other people. So by my definition the reverend is homophobic.

  6. slc1 says

    Re Stevarious @ #6

    Actually, IMHO, the rest of the press corps present at the press conference should have walked out on fuckface Owens in solidarity with Ms. Bay.

  7. Stevarious says

    Why did the Christian preacher refuse to defend the Bible?

    Because it’s indefensible.

  8. Infophile says

    To clarify things for a couple commenters here: Ms. Bey was not actually ejected. The preacher asked to have her ejected, but this never actually happened.

  9. DaveL says

    I think when you write about Jamila Bey, you should replace the word “trouble” with “journalism”. As in “Jamila Bey Causes Journalism Again”, “Jamila Bey Gets In Journalism For Expose”, etc.

  10. Ichthyic says

    Well, in reporting the rule should be: “If you’re not getting tossed out from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough.”

    If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.

    -Hunter S. Thompson

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