After Media Spends Months Pretending Trump Is LGBT Friendly, He Hires Head Of Bigoted Website To Run His Campaign

After Media Spends Months Pretending Trump Is LGBT Friendly, He Hires Head Of Bigoted Website To Run His Campaign

New Campaign Chief's Website Breitbart News Regularly Uses Anti-LGBT Slurs, Pedals Anti-Gay Conspiracy Theories, And Features Articles By Anti-LGBT Hate Group Leaders

››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY & ERIN FITZGERALD

The Trump presidential campaign’s newest hires, Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway, further prove Trump’s opposition to LGBT equality even as media whitewash Trump’s record on LGBT issues. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News regularly used anti-LGBT slurs, peddled anti-gay conspiracy theories, and featured articles by anti-LGBT hate group leaders.

Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon And GOP Pollster Kellyanne Conway

Trump Campaign Names Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon And GOP Pollster Kellyanne Conway To High-Profile Campaign Positions. GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign named Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon as its new “chief executive,” and GOP pollster and political commentator Kellyanne Conway as its new campaign manager in an August 17 announcement. The Wall Street Journal reported that Bannon’s hire is “likely to stir its own controversy” because Bannon leads Breitbart News, a “freewheeling populist news site” that has published questionably pro-Trump headlines and content under Bannon’s leadership. [The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/16; Media Matters, 8/17/16]

Like Trump And His Advisers, Bannon And Conway Have A History Of Anti-LGBT Rhetoric

Trump Supports Anti-LGBT Legislation And Surrounds Himself With Anti-LGBT Extremists. Trump openly opposes marriage equality, and said in a January interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace that he would “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court justices to overturn the Obergefell decision. Trump also supports legislation that allows for discrimination against transgender people like North Carolina’s infamous HB 2. In June, Trump announced the creation of an “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board,” which is stocked with anti-LGBT activists, including hate group leaders who have claimed that the “homosexual lifestyle” is a product of “the devil” and destroys society and labeled LGBT families “discombobulated Frankenstein structures.” [Media Matters, 7/21/16]

Breitbart News’ Bannon Went On An Anti-Transgender Radio Rant Earlier This Year. Bannon criticized retail giant Target’s LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policy by pushing an anti-transgender right-wing myth in a May 2 interview on the Breitbart News Daily radio show. Bannon claimed Target’s policy was “trying to exclude people who are decent, hard-working people who don’t want their four-year-old daughter to have to go into a bathroom with a guy with a beard in a dress.” Bannon was hosting well-known anti-LGBT extremist Sandy Rios, who serves as the director of governmental affairs for the American Family Association, an organization designated as a anti-gay “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. [Right Wing Watch, 5/2/16; Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 8/17/16]

Conway Has A Long History Of Anti-LGBT Rhetoric. Conway has long been a fixture in right-wing media and has a history of making inflammatory statements, including claiming that “revulsion towards men” is “part and parcel of the feminist movement,” that homosexuality is a “corrupting” influence and people “don’t want their kids looking at a cartoon with a bunch of lesbian mothers,” and equating referencing someone’s sexual orientation to saying “your daughter is a slut.” Conway has also been associated with anti-LGBT groups in the past, serving as a pollster for the anti-LGBT group National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in 2012 and speaking at the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in 2014. [Media Matters, 10/20/042/17/05; Jezebel, 7/1/16; National Review; 3/25/13; Right Wing Watch, 9/29/14]

Media Have Been Ignoring Trump’s Anti-LGBT Record To Tout Him As A “Champion” For LGBT Rights

Trump Openly Opposes Marriage Equality And Touts Support Of Anti-LGBT Legislation. Trump has publicly opposed marriage equality and supported the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), “religious freedom” legislation that would codify a broad right to federal anti-LGBT discrimination and nullify current federal protections for LGBT people. In April, Trump flip-flopped on North Carolina’s discriminatory HB 2, and ultimately sided in support of the discriminatory legislation, which bans transgender people, including public school students, from using public restrooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificate. [Media Matters, 7/28/15, 7/21/16]

Media Have Previously Forgotten Trump’s Anti-LGBT Positions And Cast Him As “The Most Pro-Gay Rights” Republican. Despite his openly anti-LGBT positions, media outlets have whitewashed Trump’s record on LGBT issues for months. In April, NBC’s Hallie Jackson said Trump "is considered one of the more LGBT-friendly Republican candidates." In June, Politico fed into Donald Trump’s attempt to rebrand himself as an advocate for LGBT rights by describing his response to the Orlando mass shooting at a gay nightclub as a “welcoming tone toward LGBT Americans” and saying that “in Trump, pro-gay rights Republicans see a new hope.” Days later, ABC’s Jonathan Karl called Trump the “most pro-gay rights” Republican presidential candidate ever. [Media Matters, 4/22/16, 6/15/16, 6/16/16]

After Trump Mentioned The LGBTQ Community In His Convention Acceptance Speech, Pundits Touted Him As A “Champion Of LGBT Causes.” After Trump mentioned the LGBTQ community during his Republican National Convention acceptance speech, some pundits lauded him as LGBT-friendly. Fox’s John Roberts said that Trump has “become a champion” for LGBT rights, Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin claimed, “In the history of the Republican Party and gay rights, last night was one of the biggest days ever," and CBS’ John Dickerson stated “it’s extraordinary the distance the Republican Party has traveled” on addressing gay rights. [Media Matters, 7/22/16]

But Bannon’s Tenure At Breitbart News Has Been Marked By Extremist, Fact-Free Attacks On LGBT People

Breitbart News Regularly Refers To LGBT Advocacy Groups As A “Big Gay Hate Machine,” A “Big Trans Hate Machine,” And “The Gaystapo.” Breitbart News regularly labels LGBT advocacy organizations like the Human Rights Campaign as part of a collective “Big Gay Hate Machine” in headlines; in fact, the website even has a “Big Gay Hate Machine” tag. In a series of articles from April 2015 several Breitbart News writers, including then-editor-at-large John Nolte, characterized LGBT advocacy efforts as actions by “the militant LGBT lobby,” “the Big Gay McCarthy Hate Machine,” and “the Gaystapo,” that give the “Khristallnacht (sic) treatment” to those “stray from the Thought Plantation.” [Breitbart News 4/25/15, 4/25/16; 4/27/15; Media Matters, 4/21/16]

 

 

 

Previous Breitbart News Editor-At-Large Argued For Removing The “Fascist, Gay-Pride Flag” From Society. In July 2015, then Breitbart News editor-at-large John Nolte published an article including an image that superimposed a swastika on top of a gay-pride flag where he wrote, “Breitbart News again calls for the removal of the fascist, gay-pride flag, a symbol of bullying and intolerance, to be removed from civil society.” [Breitbart News, 7/17/15, accessed 8/18/16]

Breitbart News Routinely Uses Anti-Transgender Slurs In Headlines And Dismisses Journalism Best Practices For Reporting On Transgender People. Breitbart News regularly uses the slur “tranny” and “trannies” in their headlines, including: “Trannies For Trump,” “The Trouble With ‘Trannies’”, and “Trannies Whine About Hilarious Bruce Jenner Billboard.” Breitbart News responded to LGBT advocacy group GLAAD’s guide for reporting on LGBT nondiscrimination with an article titled “Trans Pressure Group Tells Reporters ‘Tranny’ Bad, ‘Genderqueer’ Good.” Breitbart News writer Austin Ruse -- who also heads an anti-LGBT hate group -- summarily dismissed the guidelines as a “threat against reporters who do not tow the party line,” claiming GLAAD “publishes regular attacks on those who do not go along with the new sexual ideology.” [Breitbart News, 11/19/2010, 12/4/15, 5/16/16, 2/26/16; Media Matters, 9/23/13]

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately After The June Orlando Massacre, Breitbart News Homepage Declared “It’s Time for Gays To Come Home To Republican Party." One day after 49 people were killed at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL, in June -- the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history -- Breitbart News’ homepage featured an article by Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft declaring it’s “time for gays to come home to [the] Republican party.” Hoft, who announced that he is gay in the article, declared that Donald Trump is the only leader who can “protect all gays,” and said he prayed that “gays will come back home to the Republican Party.” [Media Matters, 6/13/16]

 

Breitbart News Employs Virulently Anti-Transgender Commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. Conservative commentator and right-wing blogger Milo Yiannopoulos frequently uses Breitbart News as a platform to peddle anti-transgender bigotry. In a July 7 article, Yiannopoulos criticized allowing women to serve in combat roles and transgender people to serve openly in the military, claiming that they’ll want a Purple Heart medal “every time they pluck hairs from sensitive spots.” He has also advocated for excluding transgender people from the LGBT movement “until they learn how to behave properly.” Yiannopoulos, who recently stirred up controversy on his “Dangerous Faggot” college tour, has also used his Breitbart News platform to give straight people “permission” to use the anti-gay slur “faggot.” [Breitbart News, 11/10/15, 12/11/15, 7/7/16]

Breitbart News Used “Trannies” Slur To Mock A 15-Year-Old Transgender Girl. Ruse headlined a post about HIV rates in the transgender community with the anti-transgender slur "trannies," accompanied by an image of 15- year-old transgender activist Jazz Jennings. [Media Matters, 12/3/15]

Breitbart News Repeatedly Pushed Pieces Claiming The Hate-Crime Murder Of Gay Teen Matthew Shepard Is A Conspiracy Theory. In 2013, Ruse published multiple articles peddling conspiracy theories about the 1998 murder of gay teen Matthew Shepard. Describing Shepard as a "winsome young homosexual," who was "achingly handsome," "slight of frame," and "delicately chiseled," Ruse blasted "Matthew Shepard Inc." for promoting the "lie" that homophobia contributed to his murder. In April 2015, Breitbart News contributor Susan Berry also wrote a piece about how the “LGBT agenda is hijacking America’s youth,” which also peddled the conspiracy theory that Shepard was murdered by “a fellow drug dealer with whom he often had sex.” [Media Matters; 9/23/13; Breitbart News, 4/11/15]

Breitbart News Pushed Anti-LGBT Hate Group’s Claim That Being Transgender Is A Mental Illness. In March, Breitbart News peddled the false claim of the fringe group the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) that being transgender is a mental illness. The small organization of about 200 members splintered from the 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) in 2002 after the AAP issued a statement in support of adoption and foster parenting by same-sex couples. ACPeds is designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, as it uses its deceptive veil of credibility to propagate damaging falsehoods about LGBT people. In March, Breitbart News published an article repeating the group’s debunked allegation that providing transgender youth with medically necessary care amounts to “child abuse.” [Breitbart News, 3/21/16; Southern Poverty Law Center, 11/13/15]

Breitbart News Called A Lesbian Couple Denied Bridal Shop Service “Lesbian Bridezillas.” In August 2014, Breitbart News ran an article referring to a lesbian couple as “Lesbian Bridezillas” in its headline. The article accused the engaged couple of “bully[ing]” a Pennsylvania bridal shop owner because they had posted on Facebook describing how the shop’s owner said it does “not service same-sex couples” when the couple tried to schedule an appointment. [Breitbart News, 8/12/14; New York Daily News, 8/9/14]

 

 

Breitbart News Writer Robert Davi: “It Is No Joke When I Say That America Has Been Transgendered.” Entertainer and Breitbart News columnist Robert Davi claimed that American society is “neutered” and “infected” with the “disease of political correctness” in a March Breitbart News article titled, “America, The First Transgendered Nation.” Davi asserted that American society is “weakening” because it is “punishing maleness”:

“We have done America a disservice by weakening her. The country is looking for a leader, but the media and pundits have lost a reference point of what that means. So they criticize Trump because the effete intellectual is effeminate in nature. The problem is since they deliver the message to the rest of us, they shape — or shall I say twist — our perceptions until we are so confused it renders us impotent. We must be very vigilant to cull out the truth from the manipulation.” [Breitbart News, 3/22/16]

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