Newsday columnist accused of faking antigay remarks

BY admin

April 08 2004 11:00 PM ET

The Reverend Lou Sheldon, head of a conservative lobbying group, accused Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin of making up quotes attributed to him in Wednesday's column. In the column, Breslin wrote, "'Homosexuals are dangerous,' Sheldon assured me one day.... 'They proselytize. They come to the door, and if your son answers and nobody is there to stop it, they grab the son and run off with him. They steal him. They take him away and turn him into a homosexual."' Breslin, a Pulitzer Prize winner, dismissed the allegation, saying the quotes came from a 1992 interview. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, said he has "never met Jimmy Breslin, never had the conversation described in his column today, and never said those sentences to anyone in my life." He said the column, in which Breslin refers to Sheldon as "a fruitcake," is intended "to demonize me."

Breslin said the conversation with Sheldon took place at the Republican National Convention in Houston in 1992. Breslin quoted Sheldon, whom he called "the little minister," about homosexuality and pornography in an August 18, 1992, column from the GOP convention. The quotes from 1992 and from Wednesday are not the same, but Breslin said there was a larger exchange. "It was delightful to meet someone that far-out and loony, and I wrote a column about it then, so how can he say we never spoke?" Breslin said by phone. "Of course he met me. He knows it, and I know it." Sheldon said he was at the convention but does not recall speaking to Breslin.

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