- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2009

OPINION/ANALYSIS:

Mario Lavandeira, the mean-spirited impresario behind the celebrity- obsessed mega-Web site PerezHilton.com, was left scratching his pink-tinged pompadour last week, wondering aloud in a campy cry-baby YouTube classic why, after being physically assaulted in public, he is now universally scorned and widely considered the villain of an incident that left him appropriately “black eyed.”

Aside from the basic rules of karma, here’s why: The calculus of political correctness is like roshambo, the “rock-paper-scissors” game. Different identity groups hold specific levels of power over others when their battles play out in the media. To wit: Black beats white. Gay beats white. Black beats gay.

Don’t ask why. It just is.

For those not paying attention to this tawdry tale, Mr. Lavandeira, aka Perez Hilton and the self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media,” referred to Will.I.Am, the black frontman of the platinum-selling Black Eyed Peas, by an anti-gay slur at an after-party of the MuchMusic Awards in Canada.

This interlude was born of the L.A.-based hip hop trio’s displeasure over critical comments about their recent album on the Perez Hilton Web site. The affair later culminated in the band’s black manager, Polo Molina, reportedly slugging Mr. Lavandeira after an evening of silly ego- skirmishes between the two parties.

Even though it is obviously worse to punch someone in the face than to hurl an inartful slur, Mr. Lavandeira made the fatal mistake of choosing to verbally berate a man with darker skin than he. By the next day, the event was publicized around the world and Will.I.Am and Mr. Molina were being universally treated as heroes.

What Mr. Lavandeira does on his Web site goes beyond satire or biting criticism. It is cruelty of the worst kind. No taunt or insult is too low. Using primitive drawing skills, he and his crew even scrawl vulgar pictures on the faces of their victims.

If you feel dirty reading this, imagine how I feel writing it. But the deed of pushing “Perez Hilton” off the public stage is a necessary one. And we must do it as a united rainbow: Black, white, gay, Hispanic, transgendered, Republican, Democrat, celebrity, Eskimo and Aleut alike.

One major celebrity follower, and a celebrity in her own right, refused to go on the record to describe her deep concerns about Perez Hilton.

“He will destroy me,” she said bluntly. The corollary to this response is stars currying favor with Mr. Lavandeira in order to escape his wrath. Expressing solidarity on his big issue of “gay marriage” is the safest route to his hardened heart.

Which leads us to the greater story that is not being told: “Perez Hilton” is suffering the delayed effects of what he did last month to former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean.

While Mr. Lavandeira was busy plotting and executing the Christian beauty contestant’s downfall, much of America was silently taking account of the beauty contest judge’s relentlessness in destroying a woman whose crime was politely expressing the same opinion on gay marriage held by the president for whom Mr. Lavandeira campaigned.

Mr. Lavandeira was not satisfied with simply making sure Miss Prejean lost the Miss USA pageant. He needed to humiliate and destroy her publicly. He not only called her a term used to describe a female dog but also used a word that, by comparison, is akin to a nuclear attack. Yet no media outrage followed.

Which takes us back to the rules: Black beats white. Gay beats white. Black beats gay.

The general public has taken note and, in showing solidarity with the Black Eyed Peas, has retroactively displayed displeasure with Mr. Lavandeira’s reprehensible actions toward the beauty contestant as well as his countless other offenses.

If there is a person behaving more destructively in popular culture than Mario Lavandeira, I cannot think of one. He has used cruelty as a crass mechanism to build up his own celebrity and has utilized political correctness to protect himself while using it as a weapon to dehumanize those he doesn’t agree with.

Mr. Lavandeira has used his sexual orientation as a shield to deflect criticism. But in the process he has hurt the cause of gay rights. That is why the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation took the Black Eyed Peas’ side. When GLAAD is at the forefront of a movement that actively scorns “hate” - or, as the bumper stickers call it, H8 - it’s impossible to defend the behavior of a gay activist who so actively practices it.

If as a society we are to continue making strides towards tolerance of all people, GLAAD has taken an admirable step in condemning hate’s most avid practitioner of hateful speech. While the Black Eyed Peas showed us that we can fight fire with fire, “Perez Hilton” has exposed the paradox of the activist left’s tolerance movement: You can’t fight H8 with H8.

• Andrew Breitbart is publisher of the news portals Breitbart.com and Breitbart.tv. His latest endeavor, Big Hollywood (http://bighollywood. breitbart.com/), is a group blog on Hollywood and politics from the center/right perspective.