"Ex-Gays" | GLAAD | Kyra Phillips | News

CNN's Kyra Phillips Says 'Ex-Gay' Richard Cohen Was 'Not Appropriate', Scolds Those Who Sent Her 'Hateful Messages'


CNN's Kyra Phillips addressed "ex-gay" conversion therapy again today and had on Dr. Clinton Anderson of the American Psychological Association to counter the arguments made by her guest earlier in the week, discredited "ex-gay" crackpot Richard Cohen.

Phillips also addressed outrage over Cohen and said she's received "vicious" emails.

Said Phillips, in part (my transcript):

"Richard Cohen was not the most appropriate guest to have on, but it is a decision that we made and the result of that is our continued discussion today. That is what journalism is all about. And we will continue to do our best to discuss gay and lesbian issues in a fair way on this program. I wish that all of you knew my heart. And as a journalist with a long track record of covering gay and lesbian issues, I wish that those of you who sent me vicious emails watched my newscast more often because if they did, my guess is they would not have been so quick to send such hateful messages. They don't know my record and my unswerving support for all communities in the battle for human rights, including gays, lesbians, and transgendered individuals. And to make it perfectly clear, I love debating issues. It evokes passion but if we cannot treat each other in a civil manner, even when we disagree, then we will never move forward and have a world where all people are treated with the respect that they deserve."

Watch the whole segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

(clip via afterelton)

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  1. I'll show *her* what vicious is... I don't advocate violence, but I can't help but be angered and offended by her "journalism".

    Posted by: Brendan | Apr 8, 2010 1:01:58 PM

  2. Oh Brendan relax! She acknowledged their mistake and made amends. That is more then what most networks would do (Faux News in particular). What more do you want? Move on. Why is it when people make mistakes, acknowledge it, people still aren't satisfied and want blood?

    Posted by: Come on | Apr 8, 2010 1:08:19 PM

  3. i LOVE it when the media claims they are the victims...poor them (and their HUGE ass salaries)

    Posted by: Shawn | Apr 8, 2010 1:10:33 PM

  4. Come on: she could've have acknowledged the mistake and even touted her past fairness and it all may have been somewhat soothed. But then she decided to play the the victim and that's BS.

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2010 1:13:13 PM

  5. An apology that never would have come had they not received email complaints.. and again dredging up the "fierce advocate" in words.. yet the deeds speak differently. If she really had a grasp of LGBT issues she would have at the very LEAST had someone on to counter Cohen's views. She didn't.. and basically that's one sided reporting.

    Posted by: Darren | Apr 8, 2010 1:14:38 PM

  6. Did you hear that you bad little queers? If you don't behave you won't get any civil rights. Now go to your room before I take away your TV privileges, too.

    Note to Kyra: HomoGee's Rule #3: Don't get pissy on your own show--it makes you look like a douchenozzle.

    Posted by: homogenius | Apr 8, 2010 1:16:10 PM

  7. Oh honey. We don't think you're a homophobe. We think you're a shitty journalist.

    Posted by: Christopher | Apr 8, 2010 1:17:13 PM

  8. there's nothing to discuss Kyra...there's NOTHING wrong with Gay people...NOTHING!!!! There's NOTHING to DEBATE!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Apr 8, 2010 1:18:13 PM

  9. If she were such an advocate, she wouldn't be debating discredited crackpots espousing theories that not a single shread of evidence supports and only inviting on the knowledgeable authorities after we have sent her our vicious comments. If she is going to play this ratings game then she should pull herself together and take responsibility for her actions. She could just as easily have figured out he was "not appropriate" before she invited him on her show.

    Posted by: Don | Apr 8, 2010 1:19:03 PM

  10. How dare she as a (presumably) straight person tell gay people how to feel or how to express those feelings? What CNN did was offensive and just because she's some "fierce advocate" doesn't make it any less so.

    Posted by: Alex | Apr 8, 2010 1:20:26 PM

  11. No Kyra, journalism happens before you go on the air. You should give us 'the respect we deserve' before you go with your story...not afterwards after you are called out on it. I still have not turned CNN on since this happened. Just the last straw. No tv news at all anymore. Somewhat liberating actually.

    Posted by: Trasker | Apr 8, 2010 1:21:33 PM

  12. I think her apology was well stated and appreciated that she made her personal position clear on GLBT rights.


    Posted by: Bill | Apr 8, 2010 1:22:59 PM

  13. "... a world where all people are treated with the respect that they deserve"

    That's just it. People 'deserve' varying levels of respect, some not at all.

    We don't have to treat every issue as a 50/50 just to appear 'fair and balanced'. Thats CNN's biggest problem IMO, they neuter everything in their crusade to appear unbiased to the point of being totally worthless. It reminds me of when the BBC asked on their "have your say" thing whether Uganda should go ahead and kill gays. THERE IS A RIGHT POSITION AND A WRONG POSITION, NO 50/50 "HAVE YOUR SAY" DEBATE IT OUT BULLSH*T

    Posted by: Wes | Apr 8, 2010 1:33:28 PM

  14. Yes, she should have vetted Cohen's credentials before she went on the air.

    That's called taking responsibility.

    I wonder if someone had an expert on talking about a woman's capacity to effectively work while she's in her pre-menstrual cycle, how she would feel about that.

    Maybe then she'd be a little more understanding of a "lack of civility"

    Not a true amends, in this case, it was only those "vicious comments" that got Kyra to back with this.

    Not sincere.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Apr 8, 2010 1:35:52 PM

  15. She didn't take responsibility for anything. The only semi-respectable comment made by her out of this is that she admitted that cohen was "not the most appropriate guest". She didn't call call inappropriate, which she should have. This is not two sides of a debate. There aren't two sides of the evolution debate (creationism isn't science), nor are there two sides of the holocaust "debate" (holocaust denialists are not credible). This isn't journalism; it's sensationalism for ratings. Until she gets that, this acknowledgement of the controversey (as it wasn't an apology) is woefully inadequate.

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 8, 2010 1:38:32 PM

  16. If they were going to have Richard Cohen on (a highly dubious choice) then they should have had the facts presented by this guest in that interview, not days later after protest. But at least it shows that our e-mails (I was among those who sent one) had an effect and that she was willing to address them.

    I hope she learned from this that what "journalism is all about" is doing your homework so that guests with no credibility are not given credibility on your news program. Assuming a mainstream audience would understand her "record" on human rights when there was no indication of it in the piece doesn't cut it.

    She and CNN were lazy, and we held them accountable. It worked. As for the viciousness accusations, I find it counter-productive to be vicious. It distracts from the rational arguments. But people will vent their anger, so any journalist who is intentionally provocative--as she clearly was in this segment--should understand provocations produce strong responses.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 8, 2010 1:39:05 PM

  17. Kyra, it shouldn't make a bit of difference if we watch your newscast everyday...or if we only saw it on that particular day.

    You have a responsibility every single day to make sure that what is aired is FACTUAL!! It wasn't...so you deserve every bit of the ire you've received. YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM HERE! So don't play one. Just do better next time.

    If you don't want to receive "vicious emails", then don't create the opportunity for people to write them.

    Posted by: Taylor | Apr 8, 2010 1:40:18 PM

  18. i think too many in the "gay community" have a complex, which manifests itself anytime something like the kyra phillips reporting story on tuesday, or the macmillen story earlier, pops up, and which is, imho, one that underlies how "we" have evolved to resemble our peers in civil rights fights (the adl, the naacp come to mind): very quick to respond (a good thing), but also sometimes to the detriment of facts.

    from the get-go, i thought this latest episode was blown out of proportion. i mean, are we really so insecure as to refuse to engage in civil discussion, and engage and debunk what this cohen guy was saying?

    i understand those who say that such challenges to the very nature of a group would not be tolerable today were they to apply to other minorities. i happen to agree with that opinion. but what we forget in drawing parallels with our own civil rights fight is that these other group did very much have to go through rounds and rounds of discussions, and that today, suggesting that "jews are ..." or "blacks are ..." will immediately discredit whoever is making those statements.

    the same thing is happening for gays, but we're not quite there yet. and perhaps this outrage-over-everything approach will get us there faster, but i'm not convinced. i think good ole' arguments, discussion, deliberations are the remedy to this malady.

    enjoy the whether if you're in the city today!!

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Apr 8, 2010 1:41:37 PM

  19. It's not about her. I'm sure her heart is golden and I don't need to look into it to believe her commitment to equality, I really don't.

    It's about the fact that her show gave airtime to an "ex-gay" crackpot who has been discredited by every major American psychological association in America.

    If Phillips is going to cite her commitment to journalism then shouldn't she do her own research? I mean, two Google clicks tell you all you need to know about this quack.

    I think the people who sent her hate mail are appalling. Clearly her program was offensive but that kind of behavior is inexcusable.

    But like I say, it's not about her. It's about the lives of gay people who are actually defamed and belittled by this kind of "discussion."

    She should realize that she's tackling an issue, but gay people are fighting for their equality and - often - their very lives. Until she grasps that - and she doesn't seem to yet - she's learned little from this exchange.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Apr 8, 2010 1:43:13 PM

  20. I kinda agree she didn't need to lecture her viewers, but I also agree that IDIOTS who send over-the-top flame e-mails at the drop of a hat are doing this cause no good. Rage is real but rarely productive in debates on issues about which people disagree.

    It's too easy to send anonymous, not-very-well-thought-out electronic messages that ultimately can do more damage than good. Think before hitting the send button.

    Posted by: dcposter | Apr 8, 2010 1:46:38 PM

  21. @DaftPunkDavid--if there was a gay term for an Uncle Tom, I'd call you it. Maybe an Auntie Maime?

    Posted by: dizzy spins | Apr 8, 2010 1:47:36 PM

  22. She needs to go to the mall and buy herself some big girl panties. Looks like she can dish it out, but can't take it. And we're supposed to feel sorry for HER?

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 8, 2010 1:47:50 PM

  23. I think this is the problem with "journalism" today. Instead of presenting the facts, they allow one side to present their lies as if they were an equally valid alternative to the truth. See: The Iraq War, HCR, etc, etc, etc.

    Posted by: pParkerT | Apr 8, 2010 1:49:31 PM

  24. One question, Kyra, dear friend, in the intrest of good and balanced reporting, was Dr. Anderson scheduled before or after the vicious emails? Not that it's important in the 'balance of things,' you understand, it's just important in the 'perception' of the 'balance' of things.

    Posted by: iew | Apr 8, 2010 1:56:09 PM

  25. Philips has a history of using crackpot anti-gay "experts." See Jon Stewart mocking her for this back in 2005: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-april-26-2005/fill-in-the-blank

    Posted by: Craig | Apr 8, 2010 1:57:51 PM

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