Margaret Cho gets the Whoopi treatment

Published July 22, 2004 2:28PM (EDT)

Whoopigate may rank up there in significance with Travelgate or Filegate from the Clinton era, but, like all good scandals, it's still costing people their jobs. The latest left-leaning celebrity to lose a gig because of fear of the Right's righteous indignation? Comedian Margaret Cho, who was slated to work the crowd at GLBT unity rally in a Boston nightclub during the Democratic National Convention. Though not technically affiliated with the Democratic Party, one of the event's cosponsors, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), worried that Cho's edgy routines might damage John Kerry, who is now in the thick of a values battle with President Bush. So the unity organizers uninvited Cho.

There's no word yet on whether the Stonewall Democrats Convention in Providence, which starts today, will also rescind Cho's invitation to headline their conference. But one thing is certain: Blog devotees are already pissed. On Daily Kos, a prominent political blog that reported the story, several readers have already posted open, angry letters to the HRC. An example of one of the lesscolorful:

To Whom It May Concern:

I will keep this short.

I learned growing up as a gay man that I would not give any power to those out to bring me down. Evidently, the leadership of the HRC did not learn the same lesson. Otherwise, you would not have canceled Margaret Cho's participation in your Unity 2004 event in Boston on Monday, July 26th. I have always seen your organization as an ally in my fight to build and maintain my dignity. This decision has made me question whether you guys still have balls.

I'm very disappointed and angry. When you examine your souls, I'm sure you guys probably feel the same way. Do the right thing and re-invite Margaret. To paraphrase that line ubquitous after 9/11: if you don't, the other side wins.

John Campanelli

Delray Beach, Florida

Cho has already felt the wrath of the "other side" this election year. She received racist hate mail after she performed at a party in January, for example. It's good to know that people can still get so worked up about dirty jokes.

By Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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