The NBC journalist released a straight-washed history book on the years between 1963 and '74 back in November. No references to Stonewall, the DSM dropping "homosexuality" and taking on "gender identity disorder" in 1973, or a whole list of other events, like the coining of the term "gay", the first gay demonstrations, or the Compton's Cafeteria riot.
His response, from The Advocate:
Obviously I feel bad. It was not that it wasn’t on my mind, but it was not the defining history of the ‘60s. I was trying to do the five big pillars, which in my judgment were race, war, politics, women, and culture. There were a number of important movements that also grew out of the ‘60s and certainly gay liberation was important among them.
I struggled with the absence of any real reference to Hispanic political power. In California, for example, there was, what we used to call in those days, the Chicano movement, which organized a big anti-war demonstration and that was kind of the foundation of what became a considerable Hispanic political situation. Having said all that, I think it was a mistake not to make reference to Stonewall. And we’re going to do that in subsequent editions.
I went back through Charlie Kaiser’s book on 1968, and he makes one reference—one—about the consequences of 1968. He makes one line referring to gay liberation and the gays who began to live more openly and honestly after the Stonewall rights of 1969. That’s it. I’m not using that as a defense, but in reference to that particular period, I think it came along a little later.
My own strong feeling was that the gay liberation movement really got national attraction in the truest sense of the word later in the ‘70s, in the ‘80s, and especially in the ‘90s. Roy Aarons was a very good friend of mine in California, and when I left there in 1973, Roy was not yet out. A couple of years later he was in touch with me about the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, which he didn’t start until 1990. It was not an attempt to slight what became a very important movement, but I just had to make some tough choices. I feel bad that people feel that I deliberately slighted them—that was not my intention.
700 pages are only long enough for "five pillars"? I mean, he couldn't have even used one of those pages for Stonewall?
There wouldn't be so much of a problem if he weren't marketing this book as an exhaustive look at how the 60's shape politics and culture today. It's being marketed as "a full spectrum of opinions about the impact" of that decade, "an epic portrait of another defining era in America as he brings to life the tumultuous Sixties, a fault line in American history," and that it'll spark "frank conversations about America then, now, and tomorrow."
If it were really about those "five pillars", he should have just called the book "Five Pillars of the 60's" or something like that.
(He could also start start struggling with trying to get a real understanding of what "Hispanic" means. The word didn't change; "Chicano" refers to a specific group of Mexican-American immigrants and protesters who adopted that term and "Hispanic" refers to someone from a Spanish-speaking country, and sometimes Brazil, or their descendants. Jeez, you'd expect a pop-historian to know things like that.)
On civil rights, I thought very strongly about primarily African American rights. I mean, we had institutionalized, legalized discrimination against the fundamental rights of citizenship. Gays have never been denied the right to vote. They’re not told to go to a separate drinking fountain. They were not told they couldn’t stay in a motel if they crossed the state line. The terror the blacks lived in, north and south, that really sparked the Civil Rights Movement was a different order than what happened with gay liberation. As far as the sexual liberation, it was not, it seemed to me, as inclusive as the women’s movement, which was the first to come along in terms of sexual liberation.
Maybe because he and other MSM types are right now at Construction of the Suffering Olympics Summer Camp (the CSOSC, oh a palindrome) to push the "Blacks vs. Women" dynamic on Hillary and Obama, he sees everything that involves equality as a contest to see who can prove that they're the "most" discriminated against. That lens works very well for a straight, white man.
But what's this about leaving the gays out because the women's movement was more "inclusive"? Leaving aside the problems with calculating which was more inclusive, isn't that the exact criticism people are making of his book, that it isn't inclusive? If something that is less inclusive is worth less (I'll agree to that), then Brokaw should be applying that mentality to his own book.
Oh, well, at least he said that Stonewall will be in subsequent editions of the book. Probably tacked on, right at the end.