Bohemian Club Piece in Washington Post Misses The Story: How the Bohemian Club and Grove Have Quietly Been a Bastion of Progressive Politics Under Everyone’s Nose(Including Graydon Carter and Vanity Fair)16 June 2011
Graydon Carter and Vanity Fair attempted to slip 300+ pound reporter Alex Shoumatoff
(dressed as golf caddy) into Bohemian Club several years back. He is shown here
after being arrested and handcuffed. Now the Washington Post is missing the story
as well about the progressive nature of the organization.
The Bohemian Club takes a lot of bashing for its privateness and for the widely mistaken belief that the organization is a bastion of right-wing Republicanism. In reality, while the Club’s main focus is the arts, music and theater, the Club promotes a broad spectrum of viewpoints at its private lectures at the Bohemian Grove every July.
This week, the Washington Post blog posted a story about the Club and, unfortunately, missed the main points about the men’s group, other than to repeat old hearsay and use the infamous Alex Jones video that shows the annual ‘Cremation of Care’ ceremony that starts off the two week festivities at the Grove every July. Jones believes the ceremony has sinister connotations. In reality, it’s a rather pedantic operatic theatrical production that ends with fireworks and chants of “Midsummer Sets Us Free!” Hardly a satanic ritual–as alleged by Jones–by anyone’s (who is not a nutjob like Jones) standards.
But here is the story that WaPo completely missed: Judge Vaughn Walker is a longtime and revered member of The Bohemian Club. Think about that. The man who singlehandedly changed the face of equal rights in America is a Bohemian! And he’s not the only progressive force within the Club. While a registered Republican and fitting into the media’s stereotypical depictions of the Club, it certainly goes to demonstrate that the organization is hardly a bastion of right-wing Republicans. By most local reports, it has a equally solid Democratic presence. Not only that, but it has long supported Gay membership, far ahead of others.
In recent years, several journalists, desperate to report the goings on, have attempted to break into the Club’s two-week encampment at the Bohemian Grove. Most recently, a History Channel crew was arrested and jailed, but more famously, the overweight and pompous reporter Alex Shoumatoff, sent by Vanity Fair’s editor Graydon Carter, was arrested in all his fatuous glory by attempting to slip into the Grove disguised as a golf caddy. The Sentinel was the first to break the story and run pictures of the jailed (or rather beached-like-a-whale Shoumatoff). Rumor has it that Graydon Carter sent Shoumatoff to spy on the Club because he has been unable to get an invite or membership himself.
In any event, as the summer begins and the news media, as well as left and right-wing bloggers, weigh in on the upcoming Bohemian Grove meeting, it would be nice if, instead of repeating the same old stereotypes, they took a fresh look at the progressive nature of some of its members and not lump the whole organization into a single category.
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