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

Kyra

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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Comments


  1. It is so sad that there are so many in my community and on this blog who are willing to censor any type of discussion where there are those that disagree with us. Don't get me wrong--I don't think my homosexuality is in need of a cure and I view all advocates of such opinion as an extremist in our culture. Nevertheless, ex-gays exist in our society, and it is a thought-provoking discussion, and I can see why the average viewer would be intrigued to hear a little about the topic. And, I think, once they view it, they would agree that Dr. Cohen and the ex gays are on the fringe and don't deserve more than a mere mention.

    Those who disagree with me argue that a "gay cure" discussion is as ridiculous as one concerning the veracity of the Holocaust? But that discussion is a non-starter because there are Holocaust survivers amongst us who witnessed it. And the same can be said for the ex-gay population (although they are statistically small), who earnestly claim they have been converted, so it is newsworthy to interview them some. [This website, after all, does not seem to mind dedicating significant media space to microscopic ideological groups, like the Phelps family's tiny Westboro Baptist Church.]

    I wonder, Towleroad and GLAAD, why you were too eager for us to lynch Kyra and CNN? Are we that afraid of our opponents that we have to destroy our allies who are willing to hear what the opponents have to say--no matter how radical? Please!!! Grow up! We and the viewers can think for ourselves and we will not "convert" to heterosexuality just because Dr. Cohen plugs his website three times on an obscure segment of CNN programming.

    Also, Towleroad, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO about addressing the GROSS MISOGYNY on this website?!?! I cannot tell you how offensive it is to read the C- word and B- word every time your news stories concerns a homophobic (or not, in the case of Ms. Phillips) female public figure. Since there are so many posters on here who advocate censoring hate, maybe we should do some housekeeping of our own?


    Posted by: Jon | Apr 8, 2010 7:13:02 PM


  2. turn off cnn, don't support what doesn't us and our causes.

    Posted by: lk | Apr 8, 2010 7:32:59 PM


  3. gregv... i won't bemoan you for not reading the other comments i made about this story, but if you did, you'll see that we don't disagree.

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Apr 8, 2010 7:51:59 PM


  4. "It is so sad that there are so many in my community and on this blog who are willing to censor any type of discussion where there are those that disagree with us."

    It's not about censorship. I have no problem with CNN interviewing guests with whom I disagree. I'm a secure gay man who lives in a state where I'm fully equal. I don't give a hoot personally what Mr. Ex-Gay has to say. The problem is a matter of journalistic ethics, and that is worth our energy.

    What many of us all calling Kyra Phillips and CNN on is this tendency to invite on as "experts" people who are nothing of the sort and then not questioning their false statements or lack of professional standing. In this one side vs. the other side school of journalism, everyone is an equal expert and all opinions are equally valid. They are not. If you're going to interview somebody who is making dubious factual claims, you challenge those claims. That's journalism.

    So we alerted CNN to their unprofessional journalistic standards. Probably some people alerted them more rationally than others. C'est la vie. But, hopefully, CNN will think about their standards next time and do a more credible job. If they do, then our message has been heard. If it hasn't been heard, we'll make it again. No one is "lynching" Kyra.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 8, 2010 8:08:28 PM


  5. Craig, thanks for posting that link to the Jon Stewart clip. Kyra, did you watch that?

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 8, 2010 8:13:46 PM


  6. CNN pulls stunts like this that prove they are more interested in sensational stories than sound reporting, and then they wonder why their ratings keep dropping like a rock.

    Posted by: Clem | Apr 8, 2010 8:54:17 PM


  7. If Phillips had half a brain, or was more concerned about the facts and not ratings, she would have known that Rachel Maddow blew that idiot Cohen out of the water recently. I surf the net, you would think if she did not have the time, her staff would. All she had to do was google. There are dozens of pages on this freak, Maddows would have come up.

    Phillips is not all that is wrong with CNN, they just hired the right wing nut Eric Erickson, who makes Palin and Beck seem sane.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Apr 8, 2010 9:12:23 PM


  8. I watched both news clips and have to ask WTF is the problem with it? It was just a stupid newscast.

    I have looked to Towleroad for new several times a day but now I wonder if it is just out to create tea party, fox news type of sensationalism.

    With the sensationalized hatred spewed out by Towleroad about this news clip and the people commenting it is no wonder the world hates us fags. Commenters ask for the facts but they only accept the facts when it fits their agenda.

    Progress is not going to be made by people reacting to hateful remarks with hateful remarks. Apparently many readers of this blog are no different than the hateful conservative, tea baggers that they despise.

    Posted by: Scott Alger | Apr 8, 2010 10:23:35 PM


  9. this bitch would never said he was the wrong choice if she and cnn hadn't gotten all the nasty emails. here's another example of someone who thinks they can say anything they like, but when confronted they feel hurt and wounded. sorry but too bad that she didn't like the attacks on her journalist talents but she deserved it. sounds like the catholic churc say whatever they want and when challenged, they become the victims

    Posted by: walter | Apr 8, 2010 10:31:02 PM


  10. Most of the comments on here are so self-absorbed and tacky. No wonder the progress is slower than it could be.

    Posted by: Vince S. | Apr 8, 2010 10:35:11 PM


  11. She gave homophobia an international audience and she is the victim... I grieve for her ignorance. I am glad she read my mail though!

    Posted by: John | Apr 8, 2010 11:05:10 PM


  12. Shut your fat, cowardly kapo trap, scott alger. Just shut the fuck up. Would that it were possible, you and your kind would receice rights last.

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 8, 2010 11:21:02 PM


  13. @ JVogel - Kyra Phillips and her incompetent research crew either were asleep at the wheel or indulged in a tasteless grab for ratings. You might it think it a trivial matter. I think she MAY have ruined a life or two.

    She allowed a totally unqualified, un-credentialed pseudo-scientist to present bogus information to a wide audience. When Fred Phelps does it, it gets ratings, but we know he's crazy. When Cohen does it, his facade of sanity allows him to present his views as if they had a grain of validity or truth.

    Cohen's seeming-plausibility is dangerous, indeed. If even ONE LGBT teen bought into his views, and decided to have him/herself subjected to "reparative therapy," a discredited practice that includes electrical shock applied to the genitals, then he's damaged a life, as recent Proposition 8 testimony in California can attest.

    So, yes, I care "what she or Cohen have to say." The "poor little homosexual watched his segment and as a result became convinced that his sexuality was bad and that he should (and could) change it - that's his own damn fault" argument is callous and cynical. We are NOT "all responsible for educating ourselves." Parents and broadcast media inform our children. "The homosexual in question," if pre-adolescent, would most likely NOT have "reached this conclusion with or without that broadcast." In fact, given the fact that GLBT teens attempt suicide at three times the rate of straight ones, and that one in seven attempts succeed, Cohen's propaganda (and those who spread it or apologize for it) may contribute to kids killing themselves.

    So, yes, I DO give a damn. I DO "care what she or Cohen have to say." And I won't join you in your apathy - whether or not you consider that malice, I'm quite sure confronting potentially harmful bigotry masquerading as truth is worth every bit of the energy anyone puts into it.

    Posted by: Todd E | Apr 9, 2010 1:30:55 AM


  14. All Kyra had to do was have Dr. Anderson on to express a viewpoint making her first segment more balanced and everything would have been fine. As a journalist, she let Cohen get away with sending a very bad message...especially if her "heart" is contrary to his...she lost control and blaming the backlash doesn't hold her in any better light.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 9, 2010 2:10:34 AM


  15. *phew*

    My mind is just... reeling.

    I have so many thoughts/comments/retorts vying for attention in my head right now that I have no clue where to even start.

    I'm one who wrote to the three ladies at CNN. I did so without attacking individual character instead of behavior. Doing so would have been counterproductive as was proven by the half baked response to them.
    Because guess what most 'breeders' heard???

    Folks... who exactly do you think you need to reach besides the 'lawmakers'? Yes, be concerned over the waffling teen and how they would respond to this... but isn't your biggest target group to reach... those that not only 'make' laws, but those that voted them in in the first place.

    As someone who lives in both worlds (the hetero and the GBLT and has access to individuals on both sides of the fence) the allies that are needed won't be found in the enemies camp (although spontaneous enlightenment has been known to occur), it's with those still sitting on the fence.

    Reaching these individuals is paramount, they're the ones that go to the polling/voting booths as well.

    What the hate mail did, was focus that whole segment on poor poor Kyra, rather than on Dr. Anderson. Notice how she reminds the audience twice, in the beginning and at the end, which IS significant. Dr. Anderson (who still was not assertive enough to counteract Cohen)was most likely lost in all the drama. Has anyone contacted Jon Stewert's production team about this? His program seems to be VERY popular over regular news conglomerates. Maybe getting him and his program to poke at her 'reporting' again might counteract the harm her soundbite may have done, ne?

    Ya know... the biggest mistake this country ever engaged in was to give religion a friggin voice in politics/ government.

    Posted by: aleabeth | Apr 9, 2010 2:40:01 AM


  16. That was not an apology. There was not one "I'm sorry" or "I apologize" in it.

    It was an acknowledgment of a mistake--"Richard Cohen was not the most appropriate guest to have on"--but not an apology.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Apr 9, 2010 7:56:50 AM


  17. Although I think Kyra's apology was well-intentioned, she once again misses the point. This was never about her or whether or not she personally is homophobic. This was about her failing to hold herself to minimal journalistic standards by allowing a crackpot like Cohen a platform to espouse his controversial views without challenging them, calling his (lack of) credentials into question, or allowing a licensed professional a voice in countering his batshittery.

    She, as a journalist, treated the subject of "curing" homosexuality as if it were a valid topic for rational debate and discussion. It's not.

    Whatever is "in her heart" is irrelevant.

    Posted by: Roger | Apr 9, 2010 11:39:59 AM


  18. To get "respect" Kyra, you have to earned it.

    The fact is that you insulted us. Next time watch your words and stop INSULTING others.

    Let this be a lesson to you: don't mess with the gays home gurl!

    Posted by: FunMe | Apr 9, 2010 11:56:59 AM


  19. "unswerving support"??

    I have never used this word in my life. That's because it is not real. CNN and Kyra Phyllipps have both made a mistake that they have not acknowledged, which is the precursor to correcting same. I consider not the Topic, but the Method, of presentation to be a "vicious" affront to Gay people everywhere.

    Posted by: customartist | Apr 27, 2010 8:53:24 AM


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