'Outrage' Features Charlie Crist. Also Local 'Alternative' Guy.
So yes, Thomas Francis, I'm in the new film Outrage about hypocritical gay Republicans. And no, I offer no proof that our governor is gay.
Just a lot of compelling evidence.
The Academy Award-nominated documentarian Kirby Dick -- who has compiled an excellent body of work -- came to my house to talk about my reporting on Jason Wetherington and Bruce Carlton Jordan, the pair of Katherine Harris campaign staffers who told numerous witnesses they had affairs with Gov. Charlie Crist. The filmmaker interviewed me and retraced some of reporting on those stories for the movie.
I'll never shy away from that reporting. There is no question that both Wetherington and Jordan boasted of having affairs with Crist and there is no question that both men had met the man. One woman, Dee Dee Hall, even gave a sworn statement detailing Jordan's claims about his relationship with Crist.
But the fact remains that it's possible both men were lying. It may not seem likely, but it's possible.
I found other evidence, though none of it is conclusive. For instance, one of Crist's old friends, prominent St. Pete restaurateur Rick Calderoni, told me flat out that Crist was gay. Crist used to hang out at Calderoni's well-known bar, the Green Iguana. But Calderoni, who is gay, couldn't prove it either; he just said he knew it and that a lot of other people knew it, too.
As well-known outer Michelangelo Signorile put it, there is no "smoking dick" here. But it's compelling stuff that's worth reporting. I think Kirby Dick's work here is very important and I'm looking forward to seeing the film (at least all those parts that don't incude me). It debuted last night at the Tribeca Film Festival. I'm hoping not to be misunderstood in the translation, but I've already been mischaracterized in one early report.
From IndieWIRE's report on the movie:
Yet, Crist carried on an affair with Jason Wetherington, a young staffer working for Katherine Harris, who was the Florida Secretary of State who ruled her state's electoral votes for George Bush in the contested 2000 election before being elected to Congress, according to an alternative newspaper journalist interviewed in "Outrage." When Crist sought higher office, Wetherington promptly left the state.
I am, of course, the "alternative newspaper journalist" mentioned here. And I've never claimed that Crist had an affair with Wetherington. I simply reported that Wetherington, at the time a rising young star in Republican circles, boasted to multiple people that he'd had an affair with Crist which is demonstrably true. Big difference.
But it's no big deal (as long as it doesn't get to be a habit). If Outrage can help eradicate some of the Republican Party's ridiculous -- and yes, even outrageous -- hypocrisy on this issue, then it will all be worthwhile.
(I'll be talking about the film and interview Barry Epstein's 10 a.m. radio show this Friday morning on 1230 AM. Or you can listen live here.)