Take a look at the headline for this AP article:
The phrase "Pope defends family" in this headline implies two things: That "family" does not include gays, and that "family" needs defending from them. (And, looking at the article more broadly, it also implies that a divorced parent and his or her children are not a "family," either -- and neither is a couple including a woman who has had an abortion.)
The Pope didn't "defend family." He articulated his view of what constitutes a family and what threatens it. A headline stipulating to that view is pretty much the opposite of impartial journalism.
Don't see the difference? Try to imagine the AP using the headline "Speech defends family" for an article about a speech in which someone embraces gay marriage, single-parent households, and reproductive rights.
In his October 25, 2010 broadcast of The Savage Nation, nationally renowned homophobe Michael Savage did his best to blame the contraction of throat cancer on gay men:
Did you hear this? Oral sex between men is bringing about a rise in men's throat cancer, as well as a few other risk factors. Would you like to hear what they are? Would you like to hear this? Oh, that's right, how about marijuana? Oral sex amongst men and marijuana smoking seem to be correlated in the increase of men's throat cancer. It's a horrible type of cancer. Horrible. Just horrible horrible horrible!
Although ABC News did release an article regarding a study that links oral sex to certain cancers, the article never attributes this to gay men, as Savage does. In fact, the article never mentions oral sex between two men at all. The study does say that oral cancers as well as those in the neck and head can be caused by Human Papillomavirus (or HPV), which is, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just as common in women as it is in men. In addition to contracting HPV through oral sex, the article claims that the virus can also be transmitted through other means, like open-mouth kissing, or sexual intercourse. The article never mentions sexual orientation at all.
Fox & Friends this morning provided further evidence of their willingness to tolerate any kind of hateful, bigoted rhetoric, as long as it advances their agenda. Today's example: Catholic League President Bill Donohue who appeared on the program to whine about perceived anti-Catholic prejudice in the New York Times. Donohue cited past artistic reviews, and a picture of the musical Divine Sister to support his claim.
If it had just ended with a well-known guest complaining about a so-called "liberal," anti-Christian "bias" in the media, this segment would be no different from Fox & Friends' normal campaign against any media outlet that isn't a political arm of the GOP. But, Donohue went further, using his appearance on a major news program to spew anti-gay bigotry. Donohue claimed that "if everybody practiced what the Catholic Church teaches in terms of sexuality, you wouldn't even have people dying of AIDS," and, after pointing out that the Catholic Church spends money "servicing people dying of AIDS," complained "and yet we continue to get it by these gay bigots."
Donohue went on to claim that the Times "hate[s] the Catholic church's teachings on sexuality," presumably because "it's a gay-friendly newspaper." Here is the interview, posted in its entirety just so you don't miss any of Donohue's vitriol:
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Continuing its long history of publishing anti-gay rhetoric and smears, The Washington Times wrote in an October 22 editorial titled, "Queer eye for the G.I." that the White House is "ram[ming] its radical homosexual agenda through the military." The Times further stated: "The destructive force unleashed by the Pentagon's collaboration with the leftist agenda is apparent from the circus created when homosexual activists like Dan Choi sashayed over to the Times Square recruiting center to make a political point in the short period in which the Phillips order [to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"] was effective."
From the editorial:
Pentagon officials have been pretending that they have not already made up their minds on this issue. Generals have issued blanket denials that the conclusions for the forthcoming working group report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" have already been decided. It appears that as the White House rams its radical homosexual agenda through the military, too many generals and admirals are willing to sell their brothers in arms down the river if it means they can keep a shiny set of stars on their epaulets.
The destructive force unleashed by the Pentagon's collaboration with the leftist agenda is apparent from the circus created when homosexual activists like Dan Choi sashayed over to the Times Square recruiting center to make a political point in the short period in which the Phillips order was effective. Leftists are only interested in political points and symbolism here. Providing defense to the nation in the most effective way possible is the furthest thing from their mind. Treating military recruitment primarily as a diversity issue opens up a closet full of absurdities. On what basis, then, would the military discriminate against the elderly? Why can't grandpa become a paratrooper? Should the military not reject someone merely because he is handicapped? Why not a wheelchair-bound infantryman?
The judiciary's chieftains suffer no ill consequences when the unintended consequences of their decrees prove to be ruinous. That's why answers to the thorny questions of public policy belong to the elected branches of government. Military leaders also need a reminder that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is still the law of the land, regardless of the personal desires of the commander in chief.
WorldNetDaily's backlash against a judge's order to stop enforcement of the military's ban on gay and lesbian troops in the military continues with an October 19 column by WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving.
Kinsolving denounces the idea that the judge would "force the acceptance of openly announced buggers into the barracks," writes that it is a "very dangerous and disease-ridden judicial decision," and adds: "The recruitment of self-announced homosexuals would also cause a major medical problem given the sexual orientation's high rates of AIDS and syphilis."
Kinsolving ignores the fact that comprehensive medical testing is typically a part of any pre-deployment health screening process in the military. Screening guidelines and policies can be found here. Moreover, U.S. military regulations require continued testing of all active-duty personnel every two years for HIV, and experts in nations that have lifted their bans on open service by gay men and lesbians have said that the rate of HIV infection among the troops has not increased.
Kinsolving goes on to ask his readers to "imagine a Marine Corps general – whose combat record includes numerous battle honors for extraordinary courage -- issuing the following orders" on segregation of homosexual and heterosexual inmates. He doesn't explain what one's combat record has to do with following orders that exist only in Kinsolving's imagination. He also asserts, "Forcing any heterosexual midshipman to room with any self-announced homosexual midshipman would be an appalling denial of basic rights."
As you might suspect from the above, Kinsolving has a longtime obsession with homosexuality, repeatedly denouncing what he calls the "Sodomy Lobby." But his employer is just as anti-gay as he is, so he fits in just fine.
Last week, Judge Virginia A. Philips ordered the military to immediately stop enforcement of the ban on gay and lesbian troops serving openly in the military; last month, she had ruled that the statute is unconstitutional. Over the weekend, WorldNetDaily published a column by Dave Welch alleging that Phillips "fired a judicial IED directly into the effectiveness, readiness and moral of our military in a time of war makes this, in my non-legal opinion, an act of treason."
In fact, as we've noted, at least 25 nations, including U.S. allies like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Israel, allow gay and lesbian troops to serve openly. In a February 2010 report, the Palm Center reviewed the experience of those nations and found: "Research has uniformly shown that transitions to policies of equal treatment without regard to sexual orientation have been highly successful and have had no negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness. No consulted expert anywhere in the world concluded that lifting the ban on openly gay service caused an overall decline in the military."
Welch goes on to declare Phillips a "domestic enemy" and calls for her impeachment.
From Welch's column:
We had ONE judge again overrule the legislative and executive branches, as well as our military leadership and the will of the people.
Regardless of the issue, what we again have by a Clinton-appointed radical is complete and utter rejection of the U.S. Constitution, the separation of powers and rule by the "consent of the governed." The fact that U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips fired a judicial IED directly into the effectiveness, readiness and moral of our military in a time of war makes this, in my non-legal opinion, an act of treason.
The raw arrogance represented by this Virginia Phillips should result in impeachment. She has proven herself not only unfit for judgeship but is in fact a "domestic enemy" of the very kind our military members take an oath to defend against.
In addition to the usurpation of authority, the blow against the values that represent the fabric and foundation of this county is even more egregious. Even the social engineers with much influence in our Defense Department understand caution is in order before throwing away centuries of historical military precedence.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins recently suggested that gay youths who committed suicide after being bullied were actually responding to their "despair" after being told by gay-rights groups that "they are 'born gay' and can never change." The FRC has long sought to minimize anti-gay bullying and attacked those who seek to stop it.
The Washington Post has spent much of the week under fire for its decision to celebrate "National Coming Out Day" by publishing an anti-gay screed by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on its On Faith microsite, a decision it said was an effort to balance out a Live Q&A it hosted for Dan Savage, who is leading a campaign to reduce suicide among gay youths. Perkins' homophobic rant has even been criticized by the Post's own Jonathan Capehart.
Sadly, the Post's hospitality towards anti-gay bigots is not limited to Tony Perkins. Nor is that hospitality a recent development: In April, the Post hosted a Live Q&A with Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg. As I noted at the time, the Post's decision to host Sprigg was troubling:
[T]he Post's decision to host Sprigg is alarming … Peter Sprigg says "gay behavior" should be outlawed. And Sprigg has said "I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society."
It seems safe to assume the Washington Post would not provide a forum to someone who says the practice of Judaism should be outlawed, or that he would prefer to "export blacks from the United States." So why does the Post host anti-gay bigot Peter Sprigg?
The answer to that question is becoming all too clear.
As you probably know, the Washington Post has been taking some heat for declaring that gay suicide is a two-sided issue, in which a live chat with Dan Savage discussing homophobic bullying and ways to prevent gay youths from committing suicide needed to be balanced by Tony Perkins' anti-gay hysteria. And it seems as though Perkins' falsehood-laden, homophobic rant in the Post was not viewed favorably by the Washington Post's own editorial board member, Jonathan Capehart.
In his blog post, he seeks to explain White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett's admittedly poor choice of words in suggesting being gay was a "lifestyle choice." Capehart recently interviewed Jarrett and asked her about the "rash of nationally reported suicides of gay youth." While expressing her concern about these tragedies, Jarrett laments that these were "avoidable deaths," in which the youths were "driven to commit suicide because they were being harassed in school and driven to do something that no child should ever be driven to do. And in many cases, their parents are doing a good job, their families are supportive." She then mentions meeting the family of a gay Minnesota youth who recently committed suicide following relentless harassment from his peers. She said of his parents: "These are good people. They were aware that their son was gay. They embraced him; they loved him; they supported his lifestyle choice. But, yet, when he left the home and went to school he was tortured by his classmates."
Jarrett took a lot of heat for her wording, and the following day, Capehart allowed her to explain her remarks:
In a recent interview I was asked about the recent tragedies about gay youth who have committed suicide, and I misspoke when I referred to someone's sexual identity as a "lifestyle choice." I meant no disrespect to the LGBT community, and I apologize to any who have taken offense at my poor choice of words. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not a choice, and anyone who knows me and my work over the years knows that I am a firm believer and supporter in the rights of LGBT Americans.
Capehart took the opportunity to tie this all back to Tony Perkins, writing: "Yes, Jarrett made a mistake. But those who think she and the president don't care about the rights of gay men and lesbians, don't give a damn about bullying and the tragedies of gay youth suicides are wrong. Jarrett is no Tony Perkins. She is no bigot." The link, of course, goes to Perkins's Washington Post homophobic diatribe. Capehart titled his post, "Valerie Jarrett is no Tony Perkins." Perhaps someone should have run Perkins's column by Capehart before deciding to publish. It might have saved the Post from a pretty big headache.
The Washington Post's "On Faith" blog published a reponse to Tony Perkins' controversial, anti-gay column on gay suicide. Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network boardwoman Sirdeaner Walker, whose son committed sucide after being harrassed by his peers for being gay, wrote, "Mr. Perkins' tactic, and that of others like him, is to use faith and religion to divide us. They seek to thwart efforts to deal with a problem at the heart of this current crisis--anti-gay bullying and harassment." She added:
If schools perceive addressing anti-gay bullying as a controversial issue, then they'll continue the status quo of putting their heads in the sand and hoping the issue takes care of itself.
It won't. And we need to be clear on one thing - addressing anti-gay bullying is not a controversial issue. If you move through the smoke screen organizations like Family Research Council try to create, you realize addressing anti-gay bullying is simply the right thing to do if we care about all of our young people.
Students who are perceived to be or identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are victimized at much higher rates. My son was bullied with anti-gay remarks. Those kids at his school called him those names because they were probably the most hurtful things they could think of to say. And they hit their mark.
Homophobic bullying and harassment is all too common. And too often school officials do not recognize this kind of bullying and harassment as unacceptable.
We need to ensure that all of our children are protected.
From the October 13 edition of Talk Radio Networks' The Savage Nation:
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Yesterday, we noted that the Washington Post celebrated "National Coming Out Day" by posting an anti-gay screed written by notorious bigot Tony Perkins on its On Faith microsite. Today, we learned that the Post thought the publication of Perkins' bile was justified by the fact that it hosted a live Q&A chat with Dan Savage about his efforts to prevent suicide among gay youths. Because, as everyone knows, if you're going to feature an opponent of gay suicide, you need … um … balance. Savage was understandably displeased to see the Post use him as justification for publishing Perkins.
But it's important to understand that Tony Perkins' anti-gay rant was not an anomaly. On Faith has posted several anti-gay missives just this week.
Jordan Sekulow, described by the Post as a "human rights attorney," insists "the United States is a Christian nation" and quotes biblical references to homosexuality as an "abomination" and "unnatural" and "indecent" and "perversion." Again: The Washington Post describes Sekulow as a "human rights attorney." Though, to be fair, they didn't say he's an attorney working on behalf of human rights.
Frank Pavone, president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council and a Catholic priest, writes that his church teaches that sex can only be had "in a marriage between a man and a woman, and when open to life," adding that "Sex is an extremely powerful force, and never a neutral one. Either it serves life, or it serves death."
John Mark Reynolds, who previously* used the platform granted him by the Post to call advocates of gay rights "ideologues" and compare them to "racists," wrote a rambling post yesterday that refers to gay rights advocates as "the hateful" ("When the unchaste, the libertine, or the hateful demand we call their wrongs 'good,' this too is not new") and refers to support for gay rights as "prejudice." Oh, and he compares the oppression Christians face at the hands of these hateful, prejudiced gay rights advocates to the murder of Christians by pagan cultures:
Via Pam's House Blend, I learn that the Washington Post's remarkably poor decision to post Tony Perkins's falsehood laden, anti-gay screed on their On Faith blog (on National Coming Out Day nonetheless) was because they felt they needed to "cover both sides" of "bullying and gay suicide." No, really, they're serious. Apparently they hosted a Live Q & A chat with Dan Savage to discuss "bullying and gay suicide" and his "It Gets Better Project," which is a You Tube channel Savage created in order to reach out to gay youths to prevent suicide. So, to balance Savage, the Post turned to Perkins to respond. Apparently to the Post, gay suicide is a two-sided issue.
GLAAD and the Washington Post had an exchange over Twitter, in which the Post responded to criticism over publishing Perkins' column, by saying, "[W]e're working to cover both sides. Earlier, we hosted Dan Savage of It Gets Better in a live chat." GLAAD rightly replied, "There are not 'both sides' to this issue. Teen suicide isn't a debate-it's a tragedy."
Need I remind you that Perkins's argument was that gay suicide, which often is prefaced by homophobic bullying, was caused not by the bullying, but because "homosexuals experience higher rates of mental health problems in general, including depression," and that the "homosexual movement and their allies" teach kids "that they are 'born gay' and can never change. This--and not society's disapproval--may create a sense of despair that can lead to suicide." To back up this insanity, Perkins linked to studies that showed exactly the opposite of what he claimed. While Perkins is right, "Several studies suggest that gay men, lesbians and bisexuals appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders compared with heterosexuals," he's just wrong that this is pathological, and he's equally wrong that there's no link between this and discrimination. Indeed, the article to which Perkins himself linked immediately goes on to report that "[d]iscrimination may help fuel these higher rates." The article further reported: "In a study that examines possible root causes of mental disorders in LGB people, [Susan] Cochran [PhD] and psychologist Vickie M. Mays, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, explored whether ongoing discrimination fuels anxiety, depression and other stress-related mental health problems among LGB people. The authors found strong evidence of a relationship between the two."
The article also reported that the researcher who conducted several of these studies was "concerned that these findings may give ammunition to people who want to falsely promulgate the argument that gay people are by nature mentally ill." The article added:
For one thing, she says, "these are certainly not levels of morbidity consistent with models that say homosexuality is inherently pathological." For another, the data simply don't prove either pro- or anti-gay arguments on the subject, whether it's that the inherent biology of homosexuality causes mental illness or that social stigma provokes mental illness in LGB people, she says.
It seems that Perkins counted on the fact that people wouldn't click through his links, and apparently the On Faith blog editors obliged.
Joseph Stiglitz once wrote of the 2004 elections:
Most of the media not controlled by the right wing tried to play the role of honest broker, giving equal weight to each interpretation. If one side said the sky was blue and the other said it was orange, journalists would work hard, for the sake of appearing balanced, to find some academic, even a color blind one, willing to say that the sky was indeed orange.
Unfortunately, the same still holds true today, and the Post feeling the need to balance a conversation with a gay man about how to prevent gay suicide with a homophobic rant from a crazy man who blames the gays for the suicides, is just the latest sad example of this fallacy.
It seems like many on the right can't stop gushing about Carl Paladino's recent remarks about homosexuality -- except, actually, Carl Paladino. Even after New York's Republican gubernatorial candidate Paladino issued an apology yesterday for his remarks to Orthodox Jewish leaders on Sunday, anti-gay conservatives keep praising his speech, which included a call to protect children from being "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option" as heterosexual marriage.
Adding their voices to the many conservative pundits who have already applauded Paladino's comments, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah and CNSNews.com Editor-in-Chief Terence Jeffrey are now jumping on the bandwagon. In a post early this morning, Farah said that Paladino's comments were "perfectly reasonable" and said it's "undeniably true" that there's "an ugly, revolting side to the 'gay rights' movement." From the post:
Paladino doesn't want kids "brainwashed," he said. Most people don't realize that is exactly what happens in many or most public schools when it comes to homosexuality. Kids are taught values that would be anathema to their parents if they only knew what was happening. That's what Paladino was saying. He said there is an ugly, revolting side to the "gay rights" movement. That is undeniably true. When candidates boast about taking their kids to "gay pride parades," you have to wonder about their sanity. These are spectacles that could never be aired in their entirety on television because of obscenity laws.
Farah also falsely claimed that "the overwhelming number of Americans reject same-sex marriage." In fact, two recent polls -- one in September from the Associated Press, and one in August from CNN --show that a majority of Americans support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Jeffrey spewed similar vitriol in a post today, writing that "no prominent politician who questions the wholesomeness of same-sex sex can escape a vicious beating by the liberal elite" and that these beatings are "designed to uproot the laws and norms of our society from the immutable natural law that is the true foundation of our freedom."
He also furthered the idea that gays want to "brainwash" children by falsely suggesting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit "ruled that parents cannot opt their kindergarteners out of Massachusetts public-schools classes that teach 5-year-olds that same-sex marriage is a good thing." Actually, the ruling simply stated that parents can't micromanage schools' curricula. The court never said parents don't have a right to move their children to another school, or a private school, or to homeschool them.
Paladino, in the meantime, issued a letter yesterday acknowledging that he made "mistakes" in his comments to the Jewish leaders. "I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the gay and lesbian community or their family members. Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong," he wrote.
Too bad we'll never see Jeffrey and Farah apologizing for their own comments.