Last Wed, Nov 1, the Right Wing News website knows as 1819 News published a hit piece that outed F.L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland. He was an Alabama mayor and also a pastor. By blowing up his private life for no real legitimate news reason they in effect hounded him into self-destruction.
Two days after the very public exposure and the ridicule it brought, he took his own life.
Who are 1819 News?
They are a far right news site dedicated to reporting events that are specific to Alabama, hence the name 1819 News because that’s the year that Alabama was founded. Founded by Jeff Poor, who used to work for Breitbart, and also previously worked for Tucker Carlson, the site has history that stretches all the way back to ancient historic Oct 2021.
The Hit Piece
The Hit piece on Mr Copeland was an example of an outlet totally ignoring journalistic norms and integrity.
They revealed that ‘Bubba’ Copeland wore women’s clothes and also described himself as a “transgender curvy girl”.
Were they going after him for hypocrisy?
Their reveal would be justifiable if he had been personally targeting the LGBT community, but no, that was not the case. They simply decided to stalk him and then expose his personal life, and so they have killed a man simply because they did not like what he chose to wear.
He had broken no laws, nor had he indulged in any hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community, nor had he initiated or been part of any policies that discriminated against others. He was targeted because of the “crime” of not conforming to narrow minded bigoted views.
Copeland was approached by 1819 News prior to publication and asked to comment. He explained himself to them as follows …
“Just my wife knows about it,” Copeland said. “It’s a hobby I do to relieve stress. I have a lot of stress, and I’m not medically transitioning. It’s just a bit of a character I’m playing. … I don’t go out and seek solicitation or anything like that.”
He continued, “It’s something that I don’t intermingle with the other. It’s private. I don’t do it in the public or anything like that. … It’s just a fictional character I made up to relieve stress.”
Copeland also declined to offer any explanation to the citizens of Smiths Station or his church parishioners about his so-called hobby. He said he believed his activity was “not relevant” and only relegated to the privacy of his home. He repeatedly referred to his activity as akin to “dress-up” and “cosplay.”
“It’s just a hobby that I have inside my own home that has not traveled outside of my home,” Copeland said. “I have not done anything outside of my own home besides post or publish anything on the internet, and that does not affect anything with inside my jurisdiction.”
He continued, “What I do in private life has nothing to do with what I do in my holy life,” Copeland continued. “Does this have any effect on me being mayor, that I sometimes put on a dress or sometimes put on makeup? Does that have anything to do whatsoever with me being mayor or being a pastor?”
He also begged 1819 News to not out him, but no, they went ahead and did that anyway.
The Response was a Media Shitstorm
When approached by other media outlets, he would explain …
“The article is not who or what I am,” Copeland told his congregation, according to the newspaper. “Yes, I have taken pictures with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt at humor because I know I’m not a handsome man nor a beautiful woman, either. I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private and personal life that has (become public). This will not cause my life to change, this will not waver my devotion to my family, serving my city, serving my church.
“I’m thankful for the grace of God … I have nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of things that were said were taken out of context.”
Since he was also a pastor, this reveal triggered the self-righteous to pile in. The Alabama Baptist State Convention and Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions issued a statement …
“We have become aware of the alleged unbiblical behavior related to the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Phenix City.“…
Well yes, there it is, that code word “unbiblical”.
It basically translates to, “I’m a bigot, but I don’t want to admit that, so I’ll use my religious interpretation as a shield to hide that“. I’d place good money on a bet that without exception, all who deploy the word “unbiblical” will at some point in their lives have fallen short of the values they claim to uphold.
In fact, it can be argued that deploying the term “unbiblical” to attack people is itself “unbiblical”. So yes, my accusation that their deployment of “unbiblical” is itself “unbiblical” and renders me to also be deemed “unbiblical”. However, I don’t claim to cleave to “biblical standards”, because like many of you reading this, I embrace empathy and compassion, not narrow minded unthinking dogma.
The public ridicule and torrent of utter rejection that resulted from his private life being blown up by 1819 News proved to be too much for this poor man to cope with, and so he very tragically took his own life last Friday.
It’s utterly heartbreaking.
George Takei nails it … “The closet is a hard place to be, and outing anyone can be very harmful. We need a society where it’s okay to be who you want to be so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Is that so hard to imagine?” …