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A controversial question from 'notorious' reporter

As all of us who are radio talk-show hosts and whose columns are syndicated, I have rather strong critics in an assortment of media.

That became evident in the critiques of seven different periodicals after the White House daily news briefing on Monday, Dec. 5, during which I asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:

“The Family Research Council and CNS News both reported a 93-to-7 U.S. Senate vote to approve a defense authorization bill that, ‘includes a provision which not only repeals the military law on sodomy, but also repeals the military ban on sex with animals, or bestiality.’ Does the commander in chief approve or disapprove of bestiality in our armed forces?”

Instead of replying that President Obama surely does not approve of bestiality being legalized in the armed forces of which he is commander in chief, his spokesman, Carney, replied:

“I don’t have any comment on – I don’t have any comment on that. Let me go to another question.”

I tried to ask if the president thought there would be no concern about this from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

To which Carney replied: “Let’s get to something more serious.”

Other reporters took advantage of the opportunity to poke fun both at Carney and at me.

“You sure you don’t want to ask Lester another question? Give him another opportunity?” one asked Carney.

“I’ve learned my lesson,” Carney replied.

Yahoo! News, one of seven news organizations that reported this White House news briefing exchange, noted the following:

“At White House press briefings, you don’t normally hear questions about bestiality. Today was not normal.

“On Monday, Press Secretary Jay Carney fielded an unusual question from WorldNetDaily reporter Lester Kinsolving.

“Kinsolving, a talk radio host, is notorious for his grilling of White House press secretaries, and Carney knew what he was getting into when he called on him.

“‘Can you believe it?’ Carney asked a laughing press corps after calling on Kinsolving. ‘I’m in the holiday spirit.'”

There was also the website Free Republic, which reported:

“The question about bestiality came from WorldNetDaily reporter Lester Kinsolving – a longtime White House correspondent whose questions about homosexuality and sodomy have made him infamous. Kinsolving’s question concerned an accidental deletion in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that bans sex with animals. Carney declined to comment and told reporters, ‘Let’s get to something more serious.'”

While this periodical called me “infamous” (and Yahoo! used the term “notorious”), they were willing, commendably, to report further news about this issue as follows:

“The White House press corps may have giggled – but one animal rights group thinks bestiality is no laughing matter.

“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter objecting to the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s unserious treatment of a question about sex with animals in Monday’s briefing.

“‘In watching last night’s news briefing, we were upset to note that you flippantly addressed the recently approved repeal of the military ban on bestiality,’ the group wrote in the letter to Carney. ‘With respect, this is no laughing matter. Our office has been flooded with calls from Americans who are upset that this ban has been repealed – and for good reason. As we outlined in the attached letter sent yesterday to the secretary of defense, animal abuse does not affect animals only – it is also a matter of public safety, as people who abuse animals very often go on to abuse human beings.'”

Then, from Minnesota’s Republican congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann came the comment that this U.S. Senate vote to legalize bestiality in the armed forces is:

“Absolutely abhorrent, reprehensible … Now we’ve embraced barbarism!”

Candidate Bachmann made that comment on Glenn Beck’s GBTV program, to which Beck added:

“I can’t believe we’re living in a world (where that is) written in a bill that the Senate has voted on.” To which Bachmann replied: “Have we lost our minds? We’re talking about the military! Our military men and women!”

Alan Colmes, on his “Presents Liberaland,” also reported that the U.S. Senate agreed to repeal Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, on CNS News:

“It’s all about using the military to advance this administration’s radical social agenda.”

On the air of my talk-radio program on WCBM Baltimore, which has Internet callers from across the nation – and where I often agree to disagree agreeably with callers – almost all of the callers were grateful that I asked that question of Press Secretary Carney.

I’m also grateful that presidential candidate Bachmann (and, I surely imagine, all other candidates) was so deeply concerned about this issue, as were so many others.