Today's Washington Post style section today has a profile of Joe Solomonese, the President of the gay activist group Human Rights Campaign. It contains this unusual sentence:
He’s not talking about conservative groups such as Focus on the Family. Solmonese is not talking about the haters.
So it’s now acceptable to refer to social conservative groups as “haters” in the pages of the Washington Post? Regardless of where you come down politically, this is deplorable journalistic practice.
UPDATE — I should be scrupulously fair here, so let's look at this in full context:
He's not talking about conservative groups such as Focus on the Family. Solmonese is not talking about the haters. He's talking about the furious: Gay activists and bloggers who think well-heeled nonprofits like HRC are too appeasing, too accepting of incremental change, too insidery. They have coined a term for their derision: “Gay Inc.”
I think from the context, it draws a clear distinction between between what is and is not being talked about. That would equate Focus on the Family and “haters” — especially since it doesn't doesn't define what “haters” we're talking about as a third distinct group, when the other two groups are defined specifically. I know I'm not the only one who read it that way.
It's also possible that the writer meant “haters” in some less offensive/slangy way. But in the midst of a story about gay rights, throwing around the word hate casually is not helpful to enhancing anyone's understanding.