‘Media Matters’ Exposes Myths, Pens Open Letter to Media About Lies and Distortions on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Some great work from Media Matters today in a posting detailing the Myths and Falsehoods on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.  

Dadt Media Matters (with a coalition of groups and individuals) also penned a letter to the media advising them to be wary of distortions regarding the military gay ban and its repeal.

Wrote MM:

Don't Ask, Don't Tell proponents too often paint a distorted picture of what a repeal would mean. Today, Media Matters for America released a comprehensive review detailing how opinion pages and cable news talk shows have been flooded with falsehoods and anti-gay rhetoric to support the dubious argument that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is working.

Myths that repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell would adversely affect unit cohesion, retention, or the HIV rate among servicemembers are not based in reality. Similarly, the anti-gay rhetoric permeating many of these arguments only serves to cheapen the national discussion on this important issue.

Because news outlets continue to repeat these outrageous myths, a coalition of organizations is banding together to combat misinformation about the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law. As Congress moves forward on this legislation, we will be vigilant in ensuring that news reports are accurate and fair. The public deserves an honest debate — not one marred by blatant falsehoods and anti-gay attacks.

HRC signed on to the action, as did GLAAD


  1. says

    BRAVO to everyone involved! BUT it’s not just the “opinion pages” that are the problem. A couple of days ago, I posted here and on a few other blogs an urgent appeal for people to protest just like this, in that case yet another outrageously misleading article by the AP’s Anne Flaherty, syndicated in “The Washington Post” and nationwide, in which she repeated almost verbatim passages from at least one other of her own articles that sounded like a press release from Elaine Donnelly…how allowing out gays to serve would allegedly be “the greatest UPHEAVAL” since military racial integration, implying that “disruption” was certain, etc. In the earlier version, she even quoted, unattributed and without any opposing view, predictions of “incidents of violence” by troops protesting repeal.

    Articles like that do far more damage as they appear in the kind of bread-and-butter “news” articles that the average American is far more likely to read than an Op Ed and far more likely to perceive as being objective because they appear among other “news” articles.

    Which brings me to something else I’ve been urging for years. It’s one thing for us to quote public opinion polls supporting repeal and another to motivate the general public to HELP us fight for repeal directly. The professional LGBT orgs that cosigned this letter should be contributing something from their MILLIONS of dollars in resources to publish full-page ads summarizing these same truths in wide circulation newspapers across the country.

    The decades old strategy of just preaching to the choir and asking them to contact the President and members of Congress about legislation is bound to CONTINUE to FAIL because we are the MINORITY choir. We keep self-destructively equating the passion of OUR outrage [alone] with CLOUT.

    And those opinion polls prove that there is no gay rights issue that is more ripe for engaging nongay Americans to THEMSELVES become involved and demand repeal IF it’s explained to them that it’s not JUST an issue of fairness and equality but one that impacts THEM, too, in terms of impact on their pocketbook through the millions of taxpayer dollars associated with DADT and the safety of themselves and their loved ones through the damage it does to national security.

    LGBTs CANNOT win the fight for repeal or even an interim freeze on discharges alone, nor by assuming that if we just stop homophobes REtelling their lies on TV and in newspapers that voters will forget what they’ve been told about gays in the military all their lives AND get that THEY need to demand FOR THEMSELVES that the White House and Congress end DADT.

    This is a GREAT first step of our combined forces. Now let’s build upon it by taking our attack on the lies DIRECTLY to the American public so that THEY, together with us, can kill DADT.

  2. Jim says

    Today’s On Point on NPR (www.onpointradio.org/) was on repealing DADT. James Bowman representing those opposed. He could barely get a coherent sentence out. Beyond that though there was one caller who spewed some comments about Drs. at some base – Presidio I think, that were gay and “monsters”. You can listen online and read and comment as need be there.

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