At some point, we forgot about why Bristol having sex was funny to begin with. The insane glee that we all derived from a teenage girl having sex before marriage became counter-intuitive—and downright creepy. We had crossed the hypocrisy bridge. We were no longer making a point about how young women should be free to choose to be sexually active. We no longer joked to show how bogus abstinence was. We joked to show that Bristol Palin was slutty, and that was enough to make it funny.
Shaming Carrie Prejean—a woman we’ve elevated through beauty pageants—for taking topless modeling photos is a very short leap for shaming gays and lesbians for expressing their sexuality. That’s why this whole thing was hypocritical in the first place—but perhaps we’re all too distracted by Carrie Prejean’s boobs to remember. We may keep posting them in the interest of “revealing hypocrisy.” But we all know the real reason they’re on the Web: It’s not hypocrisy anymore; it’s hotness.
For [Conservatives], Craig reinforced the idea that homosexuals are sick and disgusting individuals just waiting to pounce on your unsuspecting bare penis. In other words, gays can pose a very real threat to their heterosexuality, and Craig proved it. And yet, those who railed against Craig’s institutionalized homophobia were the ones who took the most immense joy in the gay jokes. So—again—reveling in jokes about Larry Craig being gay began to lose their hypocritical anchor. On some level, the hypocritical construction allows people with pro-gay political views to indulge in some homophobic ribbing of their own. They see a rare window where making fun of gay sex is politically acceptable, and they sieze it.