In his response posted on the SenateSite blog, Buttars stated in part, "He [Cowan] told me the interview would be public in about a year and I would be allowed to see his work and approve my part before he released it". However, a copy of the release signed by Buttars, which is posted on Eric Ethington's blog, shows that Buttars did not receive such assurance in writing as a precondition. This was also reported by KSTU Channel 13 on February 18th.
Consequently, a lot of people who are anti-Buttars are over-reacting and automatically assuming that Senator Buttars deliberately lied, when that is a value judgment not yet objectively substantiated. Since none of us witnessed the entire encounter between Buttars and Cowan, it is quite possible that, during casual conversation, Reed Cowan may have said something offhand which was interpreted by Buttars to mean that he would have approval power. It could well be an honest mixup in communication.
But a comment posted on the KTVX Channel 4 website casts some aspersions upon Reed Cowan's intent and integrity as well:
Kimberly4211 8:09 PM
Let me be first to point out the obvious. The comments made by Senator Chris Buttars were in a documentary. He was asked for his opinion by Reed Cowan who already knew where Buttars stood on these issues. He is a conservative republican senator who stands for family values and traditional marriage. If he didn't want his opinion then why did he ask for it? Secondly, Reed Cowan use to work for Abc4news [KTVX] and gave the"story" to Chris Vanocur. Thus creating controversy thus creating publicity for Reed Cowan's documentary. A responsible journalist would have pointed out the facts. This is not responsible journalism. It sounds like Chris Buttars was set up.
Meanwhile, not only did KTVX briefly talk to Buttars, but they also sent a reporter to West Jordan to take constituents' political pulse. But while they found a considerable number of people who defended Buttars' position, if not necessarily his syntax, a greater number disapproved of Buttars attitude. Comments also continue to flood the KTVX website. KTVX video embedded below:
Also watch a KSL Channel 5 news video which is similar in content.
And finally, Senator Buttars' legislative colleagues started damage control operations. They huddled today to determine how best to handle this issue, and when they emerged, Senate President Mike Waddoups indicated he'd reached a decision and would announce it on during a 9:30 A.M. (MST) press conference on February 20th. Prospective sanctions against Senator Buttars could range from a mere reprimand to the loss of committee assignments; the Salt Lake Tribune strongly believes that Buttars will lose his Judiciary Committee chairmanship. Ironically, the Judiciary Committee initially hears all gay rights bills.
Update February 20th: Senate President Mike Waddoups announced Buttars' removal from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
An additional valuable reference is the ChinoBlanco blog, where the editor has gathered all significant news videos associated with this story under one roof. Good initiative!
Analysis: I continue to support Chris Buttars' unswerving defense of traditional cultural values and his determination to confront the ever-growing promotion and state-sponsored protection of the homosexual lifestyle. Senator Buttars' absolute refusal to grovel to the forces of political correctness is positively inspiring during an era when everything and everybody seems for sale. Compare Senator Buttars' rock-solid consistency with Governor Jon Huntsman's serpentine opportunism (the way he threw Jackie Biskupski under the bus) or John McCain's troglodytic insipidity.
However, after two major political brouhahas in two years, I must reluctantly concede that it's time for Senator Buttars to re-visit his style of discourse. The weight of one's words when in elective office is greater than as a private citizen. I seriously have to wonder how a gay resident of District 10 would feel about approaching Senator Buttars with a problem knowing that the Senator used terms like "pig sex" and "smearing of feces" in association with homosexuality. It's one thing to suggest that homosexuality may be a gateway to other sexual deviancy; it's another thing altogether to use such imprecise terminology as to suggest that all gays are perverts. The Salt Lake Gay Pride Parade in 2008 bore absolutely NO RESEMBLANCE to San Francisco's infamous Folsom Street Fair.
I suggest that Senator Buttars can perform his mission more effectively and avoid marginalization by using the English language more fully and precisely in order to better say what he really means. Words have consequences.