Governor Janet Napolitano (a.k.a., "Manet") criticizes "don't ask, don't tell," Howie Fischer's head doesn't explode.

Damnit, Manet, won't you ever come out?

Just watched a late night repeat of the Friday journalist roundtable on AZ PBS Horizon (you guessed it, there was nothing else on), with Howie Fischer hosting and making sure to hit everything he wrote about this week for Capitol Media Services. One of the issues on the table, Janet "Manet" Napolitano's criticism of the military's policy of "don't ask, don't tell," which Manet supposedly has a right to bitch about because she commands the Arizona National Guard.

Though Manet wasn't on set, you'd think she'd just showed up and squeezed out a smelly but deadly air biscuit. Why? Because, of course, Napolitano is the living epitome of "don't ask, don't tell." That is to say, most journalists don't ask, and whenever someone does, she doesn't tell. Or at least hasn't told in quite a while. She was asked point-blank years ago when she was running for Governor the first time 'round, and she claimed she wasn't a lesbian, though you'd have to be pretty friggin' gullible to swallow that bag of Cheetos whole.

Last year, I attended one of Manet's usual Wednesday press conferences and asked if her Clintonesque stance on the gay-marriage ban Prop 107 was hypocritical considering that most people in Arizona assume she's a closeted lesbian. (She was against the Prop., which eventually failed, but claimed to also be against gay marriage.) Stunned that anyone had the temerity to pose the query on the eve of her landslide election, she replied, in disbelief, ""No. No, and I'm offended by that question."

"Offended"? What's the matter with being gay, or with gay people marrying, for that matter? Doesn't bother me. But apparently it bothers Nappy, and maybe that's why she hasn't come out yet, even though I've argued that she has more than enough political capital to emerge from the cupboard. I also think it's hypocritical as hell for her to stake out these fence-riding positions on gay-issues, when, if given her druthers, she'd likely adopt a far different stance.

For the time being, who does she think she's foolin'? Maybe middle-aged news hound Howie Fischer, who writes, seemingly without a clue, that this past Wednesday Manet "stopped short of saying [the policy] should be repealed — and that gays who are not `closeted' should be allowed to serve."

Howie then dutifully reports,

"To me, you ought to be focused on, 'Are the people there and are they doing their job?'" Janet said. "And don't ask/don't tell, to me, that doesn't tell you that." Instead, she said the focus should be on ensuring soldiers can do their jobs.

Isn't it obvious that the woman is so compromised by her not-so-hidden (wink-wink) sexuality that she can't even take a stand when her conscience tells her she should? If Manet was flyin' the rainbow flag, I doubt she would have "stopped short" of calling for the repeal of don't ask, don't tell.

It's sad. Take the July 4 incident recently where our openly gay music editor Niki D'Andrea got her groove on with the Guv. Though there have been rumors in the past, you wonder if Manet gets to have a private life, a girlfriend, or a long-time companion. What annoys me, though, is how disingenous the whole situation is, with doods like Howie avoiding the issue altogether, and with Manet counting on Howie and other journalists not to go there.

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