Last year IBT Media co-owner Johnathan Davis and his business partner bought Newsweek from the Daily Beast. Earlier this month the 80-year old title returned to print with an article that has been met with controversy as its main subject denies being “the face of Bitcoin,” as Newsweek’s cover story about the virtual currency declared. In fact, the man claims to have never even heard of Bitcoin until a reporter contacted him. But the real story, for us here, is the revelation that Davis, an evangelical with ties to a fringe pastor, apparently believes that homosexuality can be cured.
Via the Guardian:
Davis said in an interview that their work and faith were separate, and that he wanted “the journalism to speak for itself” both at their new magazine and at the International Business Times, a news website that was IBT Media’s flagship title until it bought Newsweek. Similarly, he dismissed the notion that readers should be troubled by the little-known fact that he has personally endorsed the view, espoused by the so-called “ex-gay” movement, that gay people may have developed their sexuality as a result of being sexually abused as children, and can be cured by therapy to make them heterosexual. In a Facebook post in February 2013, Davis described as “shockingly accurate” an op-ed article written by Christopher Doyle, the director of the International Healing Foundation (IHF), which works to convert gay people. Davis said it “cuts like a hot knife through a buttery block of lies”.
Christopher Doyle, of course, is the well-known “ex-gay” crackpot and NARTH backer that has been featured on JMG many times over the years. In just one of his many outrageous claims, earlier this year Doyle declared that American gay activists are to blame for the religion-motivated murders of gay men in Africa. The Guardian asked Davis about that Facebook post:
When asked if he believed that gay people could be cured, Davis said: “Whether I do or not, I’m not sure how that has any bearing on my capacity here as the founder of the company. I’m not sure how it’s relevant. People believe all sorts of weird things. But from a professional capacity, it’s unrelated.” The post was then removed from his Facebook page.
After the Guardian story was published, staffers at IBT Media received the below statement from Davis.
I want to reiterate to all of you that our company, myself included, has and always will respect diversity in our workplace. This is reflected not only in our daily work but also in our hiring and personnel practices. Our team members are hired and retained based solely on their ability to perform the task. We welcome and support a diverse range of opinions and values. We believe this diversity is critical to success as a world-class journalism organization, and also creates a richer and more productive culture and environment for all of us.
Davis and his wife have fringe evangelical entanglements that go far beyond an endorsement of Christopher Doyle. Hit the first link and read the Guardian’s excellent story.