April 28, 2006, - 11:43 am
By Debbie Schlussel
A far-left website is falsely claiming I chose not to include Mark Bingham, an American hero and other passenger on United Flight 93, in my review of “United 93” because he was gay and was chosen as the gay Advocate’s Man of the Year in 2001.
Puh-leeze. That’s absurd. When I wrote my review, I actually (and apparently, mistakenly) thought Tom Burnett (whose name and photo I did include) was the gay one.
It’s one thing to be opposed to special rights for gays. It’s yet another to deliberately discriminate against someone because you don’t like who they’re sleeping with, not something I do. The writer making the phony allegation not as familiar with my work as he/she/it claims to be (see this less important example, in which I supported gay male fashion designers against feminist whiners).
Actually, I do not care about his sexuality. It is completely irrelevant to the brave actions of Bingham and others on the flight who likely saved the White House or U.S. Capitol (and those inside) from sudden death. Bingham–and many others whose names I did not mention–were heroes on that flight, plain and simple. They were targeted solely because they were mostly Americans flying over American soil in planes with full tanks of gas. And as we know, gays are especially hated by Islamic fundamentalists such as the terrorists on United 93.
I simply had room for three photos and–in a rush to write the review as quickly as possible after a late evening screening–put in the names most familiar to me of those whose heroic actions on United 93 were portrayed most prominently in the film and whose plans to go down fighting were told to family members in telephone conversations. There were others, in addition to those I mentioned, about whose exact actions we do not know, but who also did heroic things. I did not mention the name of every male on the flight. And, again, I mistakenly thought Burnett, whom I did mention, was the gay passenger.
Bingham called his mother, Alice Ann Hoglan, to say good-bye and give her details of what was happening on board. While we do not know as much about his likely role in foiling the hijackers, I certainly include Mark Bingham in the group and, as far as we know, his actions were as heroic as anyone else’s.
Bingham’s brave mother, Ms. Hoglan, can be e-mailed here. I’m sure she would appreciate your words of support and comfort on this auspicious weekend of the release of “United 93” in theaters, as we approach 9/11’s fifth anniversary.
Tags: Alice Ann Hoglan, Debbie Schlussel, gay Advocate, Mark Bingham, telephone conversations, Tom Burnett, United 93, White House, writer