From Media Matters/Equality Matters. This week, the Rev. Bill Owens supposed civil rights leadership and the financial ties between “Bishop” Harry Jackson and NOM.
A new report out by Equality Matters points out that while both CNN and MSNBC have made efforts to combat and cover the growing problem of anti-LGBT bullying, Fox News has consistently railed against efforts to reduce anti-LGBT bullying and the network and is virtually silent when it comes to actually reporting on cases of bullying-related suicide and instead portrays anti-gay groups and individuals as victims of alleged intimidation and bullying by gays and lesbians.
Fox’s Routinely Criticizes Anti-Bullying Efforts. Fox has a history of criticizing anti-bullying efforts as overreaching and unnecessary.
- Fox Ran Five Segments In September Attacking New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Law. According to an Equality Matters analysis**, Fox News devoted five segments in the month of September to criticizing New Jersey’s new anti-bullying law for allegedly being too expansive.
- Fox Ran Multiple Segments Attacking California Gender Diversity Lessons. Fox News ran multiple segments criticizing a California public school for introducing students to lessons on gender diversity. One Fox guest objected to the lesson by stating: “Bullying is such an excuse because kids do not bully each other based on gender.” [Equality Matters, 5/27/11]
- Fox Repeatedly Attacked California’s FAIR Education Act. Fox News repeatedly attacked California’s FAIR Education Act, which requires public schools to recognize the contributions of LGBT historical figures. Fox guests called LGBT history lessons “irrelevant” “propaganda.” [Equality Matters, 7/15/11]
Fox Promoted Stories That Depicted Anti-Gay Groups And Individuals As Victims. Fox News promotes stories that depict anti-gay groups and individuals as victims of alleged intimidation and bullying by gays and lesbians.
- Fox Ran Nine Segments On Vanderbilt’s Non-Discrimination Policy. According to an Equality Matters analysis***, Fox News was the only major network to criticize Vanderbilt University’s non-discrimination policy, which prohibits religious groups from excluding LGBT students. Fox ran six segments about the university’s policy between September and October.
- Fox Interviewed A Texas Student Who Was Suspended After Stating That Homosexuality Is Wrong. [Fox News, America’s News HQ, via Equality Matters, 10/4/11]
- Fox Interviewed Anti-Gay New York Town Clerk. Fox interviewed Rose Marie Belforti, a New York town clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs. [Fox News, Happening Now, via Equality Matters, 9/29/11]
The New York Times is reporting that Media Matters is launching a new division of its organization devoted to LGBT equality called ‘Equality Matters’ which will be run by former Clinton adviser Richard Socarides and edited by intrepid Advocate reporter Kerry Eleveld, who is leaving that publication in January
While a range of groups are working to advance gay rights, the movement has lacked a national rapid-response war room of the sort that can push back against homophobic messages in the media and the political arena and keep the pressure on elected officials, said David Mixner, a gay author and activist.
“I think the lesson we have learned over the last two years is that you’ve got to be tough,” Mr. Mixner said, “and you’ve got to keep people’s feet to the fire.”
The organizers of Equality Matters say that is their intent. Mr. Socarides and the founder of Media Matters, David Brock, said they began planning Equality Matters several months ago. They quickly persuaded Ms. Eleveld, who covered the Obama campaign and has covered Washington for the last two years, to join them.
“I’ve spent the past two years with a front-row seat to history, and the longer I sat there the more I felt drawn to participating,” Ms. Eleveld said in an interview.
Part of GLAAD’s, (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Mission Statement is “holding the media accountable for the words and images they present” But they have been long absent on doing anything at all in pushing back against homophobic messages in the news media arena seemingly content to keep themselves to patrolling sitcom’s and movies. We desperately need an organization that will take on homophobia in the news and political area. Case in point news programs such as CNN and MSNBC and print outlets giving Hate Groups such as AFA and FRC public platforms to express homophobic ideas while lying and using made up statistics and evidence. Where has GLAAD been during all that?
We as a community need an organization such as Equality Matters and I for one welcome them.