When Anderson Cooper is visibly unable to comprehend the absurdity of an interview subject, it is very fun to watch. Last night: Michigan's assistant attorney general and his obsessive, hate-filled attacks on the University of Michigan's gay student body president.
A 2002 graduate of the university, Shirvell was also an anti-abortion activist while on campus. There is a lot of raving bigotry afoot, but here's a good summary of what has taken place on "Chris Armstrong Watch," a blog Shirvell set up in April to oppose the university's first openly gay student body president:
Among other things, Shirvell has published blog posts that accuse Armstrong of going back on a campaign promise he made to minority students; engaging in "flagrant sexual promiscuity" with another male member of the student government; sexually seducing and influencing "a previously conservative [male] student" so much so that the student, according to Shirvell, "morphed into a proponent of the radical homosexual agenda;" hosting a gay orgy in his dorm room in October 2009; and trying to recruit incoming first year students "to join the homosexual ‘lifestyle.'"
Shirvell is particularly piqued by Armstrong's push for gender-neutral housing. He also pickets Armstrong's house (with a video camera!) and blogs about his friends and his friends' parents.
In the interview, Cooper gives him the definition of cyberbullying (via the state of Michigan) and of "bigot" (via Merriam-Webster).
It turns out that cyberbullying is a pet cause of Shirvell's boss, Mike Cox, who has thus far refused to be interviewed on the topic and only issued the statement, "Mr. Shirvell's personal opinions are his and his alone and do not reflect the views of the Michigan Department of Attorney General. But his immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear." Amazingly, none of this is considered grounds for firing. As The Michigan Daily points out, "This type of hatred makes Shirvell unsuitable to remain a government official. It will affect his ability to objectively interpret laws - which is the job of the attorney general's office."
Incidentally, Cox recently filed a brief in California's gay marriage case, in support of Proposition 8 and against gay marriage.
Perusing the blog reveals another bizarre element of all this: Shirvell's throwing in pseudo-progressive language, along with his traditional social conservatism, to trash Armstrong, calling him racist and privileged. ("It's time for Chris Armstrong and his crew of privileged, disrespectful, law-breaking, racist, anti-Christian, radical homosexual fanatics and "allies" to disassociate themselves from U of M's student government. Period.")
Also, his blogging style appears to have been influenced most strongly by Perez Hilton.
Don't tell him that Perez's sole redeeming quality is his own radical homosexual agenda.