Allen, Webb, truth, fiction

A right-wing group calls on the Democratic challenger to leave the U.S. Senate race over "XXX" fiction.

Topics: 2006 Elections, War Room, Jim Webb,

The Traditional Values Coalition is calling on Jim Webb to withdraw from the Senate race in Virginia because of what it calls “XXX-rated writing” in some of his novels.

Never mind that Webb’s novels are fiction — or, as TVC’s executive director puts it in the group’s press release, “fiction.” Never mind that the book singled out in TVC’s press release — Webb’s “Lost Soldiers” — was praised at the time of its publication by Republican Sen. John McCain, who said it “captures well the lingering scars of the war” in Vietnam.

Never mind that the scene from “Lost Soldiers” that TVC quotes in its press release was plainly meant to be disturbing. In it, two men are walking along a mud path when they see “a shirtless man,” his face “devastated with wrinkles,” his eyes “so red that they appeared to be burned by fire,” pick up his happy naked son, “turn[] him upside down, and put the boy’s penis in his mouth.” The right-wing Cybercast News Service says the passage sounds like a “child sex scene,” but that hardly seems fair, at least based on the pages of “Lost Soldiers” we’ve seen. This isn’t exactly a member of Congress jacking off while instant-messaging a teenage boy. The scene in Webb’s novel takes place in a setting of grim desperation, a foul-smelling neighborhood of open-air hog slaughter pens where the people who aren’t walking “listlessly” “sit motionless under outdoor stalls, some numb from opium and others merely enduring the heat.”

You Might Also Like

And never mind that leading lights on the right have written a fair amount of smut for smut’s sake. There’s a “pouting sex kitten,” an “exotic mistress” and “after-bout inhalation” in Newt Gingrich’s “1945. ” In Lynne Cheney’s 1981 novel “Sisters,” the female heroine sees two women in a lesbian embrace and feels “curiously moved, curiously envious of them.” And in Scooter Libby’s 1998 book, “The Apprentice,” a 10-year-old girl is placed in a cage with a bear that has been “trained to couple with young girls.”

We must have missed the press release where TVC equated Cheney and Libby and Gingrich with Mark Foley. In the meantime, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has issued a press release of its own. The DSCC notes that the things George Allen stands accused of doing — calling S.R. Sidharth “macaca,” using the”N-word,” spray-painting racist graffiti in high school — “are real, not written in a novel.”

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 1

    Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada


    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 2

    Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia


    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 3

    Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.


    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 4

    Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

    Robert R.,

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 5

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy


    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 6

    Taj Mahal, Agra, India

    Sergio Coelho,

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 7

    Siena Cathedral, Siena, Italy


    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 8

    Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 9

    Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France


    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 10

    Lost City of Petra, Jordan

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>