Barney Frank Turns DADT Shower Question Around On Conservative Reporter

With Don’t Ask Don’t Tell dead for all intents and purposes, we might as well all talk about things that don’t make it seem like we’re still in a previous decade. However, Nicholas Ballasy, a reporter for conservative CNS News recently managed to catch up with Rep. Barney Frank to ask about the “implications” of the repeal, namely, whether or not army showers are gonna get all gay and stuff. While Frank initially bristled at the question, he gave the guy the benefit of the doubt and turned the questioning around, making for an interesting little interview.

Frank had some good lines (pointing out that gays need to shower as they aren’t “dry cleaned,” was particularly entertaining) but the big moment came when he began questioning Ballasy, asking if he thought that gays should have separate showers all over the country like in public gyms. Ballasy tried his best to avoid the trap but didn’t succeed particularly well.

“FRANK: Do you think that gyms should have separate showers for gay and straight people? I’m asking you the question because that’s the logic of what you’re telling me. You seem to think there’s something extraordinary about gay men showering together. Do you think that gyms should have separate showers for gay and straight people?

BALLASY: I’m just quoting the recommendation. I’m just-

FRANK: Don’t be disingenuous. You’re quoting those that you think may cause some problems. You’re entitled to do that. But you shouldn’t hide behind your views. Rather talk about the difficulties. And I’m asking you, in response to that, do you think that there ought to be separate showers in gyms.”

Just in text, it doesn’t seem like Ballasy had a problem here. The interview wasn’t about him. However, in terms of confidence, it looks like Frank just steamrolled him. And, when you’re asking pointed questions like the ones Ballasy was asking, the desired result is most likely the very opposite. Let this be a lesson to all the reporters out there.

Interesting as the video is, the way it was covered is even more interesting. The gay blog Towleroad described it as
“BARNEY FRANK EVISCERATES CONSERVATIVE REPORTER” while Gawker was slightly less hyperbolic with “Barney Frank Makes a Fool Out of Conservative Reporter.” Both seem to be a bit of an exaggeration, but this video certainly reads as a win for Frank.

Meanwhile, CNS’ headline reads “Barney Frank: Straight Soldiers Must Shower With Gays, But Not Women With Men.” Smart considering that was the one question Frank didn’t give a fully satisfying answer to.

Check out the video from CNS below:

(h/t Gawker)

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