'Radio show host, blogger under fire for gay slur'
Conservative quits Guinta campaign
Anti-gay comments by conservative blogger and radio show host Doug Lambert have drawn fire from all corners - from his radio show co-host to Congressman Paul Hodes.
Lambert, who called Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley a 'faggot,' has lost his newspaper column in the Laconia Daily Sun, his radio show and his position with Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta's congressional campaign.
Lambert, who was a Belknap County captain for Guinta, resigned from the campaign over the weekend, a decision Guinta said he supported. 'That type of dialogue has no place in politics or in our country,' Guinta said. 'There is no excuse for the words he used to portray Ray Buckley or anyone for that matter.'
Lambert made the comments after the conclusion of his radio show, called 'Meet the New Press,' on Saturday. Though the show was off the air, it was still streaming onto the internet through a live web camera. James Pindell of NHPoliticalReport.com saw the video, which has since been removed, and posted a transcript of the remarks on his website. The comments were also played at a press conference of the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition yesterday.
After the show ended about 11 a.m., co-host Skip Murphy said they should shut off the live feed, and Lambert looked into the camera, saying, 'Speaking of gays, Happy Birthday Ray Buckley.' Lambert then did a dance and continued, 'Yeah, you faggot. That's right I said it, and I meant it. You are reprobate. How the people, the Democrats - I think of some of the gray-haired ladies and older people from the old party - would stand behind you is beyond me. You are a disgrace to yourself, to humanity, to mankind and to your party. Other than that, Happy Birthday Ray and many more - not.'
By Saturday afternoon, Lambert had posted an apology on his blog. 'What I said is something that never should have been said in any kind of a public setting, or, quite frankly, in a private one either,' Lambert said. 'There is no excuse for the tone or language I used to characterize Ray or anyone for that matter.'
Yesterday, Lambert told the Monitor that there was no excuse for his remarks. Lambert said he was 'goofing around' without thinking that anyone was watching the camera but that he made 'ignorant, childish statements.'
'I apologize profusely, and I'm not surprised at any of the reaction,' Lambert said. 'I feel awful at what I've done to both Ray Buckley and the gay community and people at the radio, paper, everywhere.'
Ed Engler, editor and publisher of the Laconia Daily Sun, said he told Lambert that the newspaper, for which Lambert was an unpaid columnist, would no longer publish his columns. The columns have been running weekly for six or seven years, Engler said.
Nassau Broadcasting, which owns WEMJ 1490 AM, the station that hosted 'Meet the New Press,' announced yesterday that it was terminating the show immediately. 'Nassau terminated the show based on highly offensive and unacceptable comments made by Mr. Lambert during an off-air segment of the show,' New Hampshire regional manager Rob Fulmer wrote in a press release.
Lambert said he accepts the consequences of his actions and will return to life as a private citizen. He will continue to blog on his site GraniteGrok.com. 'I issued an apology and hope to be granted forgiveness as I've done myself in my life, but I understand if it's not given,' Lambert said.
Murphy wrote on GraniteGrok that he believes Lambert did 'a really dumb thing' but accepts his apology for putting their years of work at risk.
At a press conference yesterday, Mo Baxley, executive director of the Freedom to Marry Coalition tied Lambert's remarks to the Republican Party. She accused state Republican Party Chairman John H. Sununu of keeping silent after the incident. She said Sununu practices the same 'politics of hate and fear' expressed by Lambert, noting that Sununu has described the state's same-sex marriage bill as 'garbage' and accused Democrats of trying to 'impose a San Francisco agenda on New Hampshire.'
Asked whether the attention to Lambert would magnify his recognition in New Hampshire, Baxley said that although most Granite Staters are not familiar with Lambert, Republican Party activists know him and have appeared on his show.
'He's a player and activist in the New Hampshire party,' Baxley said.
However, state GOP leaders have been equally outspoken against Lambert's attacks. State Republican Party spokesman Ryan Williams called Lambert's statements 'completely inappropriate, offensive and hurtful.
'We strongly condemn the use of such vulgar language and outrageous personal attacks,' Williams said.
Former state Republican Party chairman Fergus Cullen wrote an op-ed to the Monitor stating, 'There is no place for such language or such views in today's Republican Party.'
Republican state Sen. Jeb Bradley and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne both released statements condemning the remarks. Bradley called the remarks 'completely inappropriate and hurtful' while Lamontagne called them 'offensive and wrong.' Bradley was interviewed by Lambert by phone on the Saturday radio show, and Lamontagne appeared on the show in person, though he was not in the studio when Lambert made the comments.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte condemned the remarks, as did Hodes, the Democratic Senate candidate. 'This isn't a matter of 'political correctness,' ' Hodes wrote in a statement. 'This is hate speech, and it can incite violence.'
This is not the first time Lambert, of Gilford, has incited controversy. In August, Lambert stood outside a Democratic event and held a poster of Obama with a blood red mouth and the words, a takeoff on a Batman phrase, 'Some men just want to watch capitalism burn.' Lambert frequently gets close to political candidates and films them with a webcam, often confronting them with pointed questions, then posting the videos on his blog.
According to the Laconia Citizen, Lambert wrote on his blog about black comedian Wanda Sykes, after she made a comment about Dick Cheney, 'May she choke on a chicken bone or a watermelon rind.'