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GLAAD Takes Action on CNN for Giving Platform to 'Anti-Gay Industry'


GLAAD is taking on CNN for allowing representatives from hate groups like the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), and the Catholic League, to spew their distorted, misleading, and often discredited anti-gay rhetoric as balanced experts.

Writes the group, in a Call to Action:

Is it important for the media to take these groups on? Of course it is. But that's not what CNN and other media organizations are doing when it invites these groups to take part in otherwise reasonable discussions. The media is elevating their hurtful messages and attitudes to the level of rational discourse. The media is saying that people like Alexander Nicholson, who can speak to real-life experience and firsthand facts, need to be "balanced" by people like Peter Sprigg, whose claim to fame is arguing that being gay should be outlawed. If CNN wants to interview a gay person who believes being straight should be outlawed, THEN Peter Sprigg would be an acceptable "balance."

CNN and the rest of the media are doing nothing but exposing their viewers to dangerous anti-gay rhetoric when they invite members of these anti-gay groups onto their programming. Starting in 2011, this needs to stop.

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  1. I agree with GLAAD 100% here. The BBC is even worse. Fox News I could understand, but mainstream news networks shouldn't treat wingnut speech as legitimate points of view; it "anchors" the discussion somewhere beyond reasonable. I hope more organizations and people take mainstream media to task for its complicity in creating a story instead of allowing these clowns to become marginalized like they should be.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Jan 6, 2011 2:46:58 PM

  2. What took them so long? This problem didn't pop up last week.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Jan 6, 2011 2:47:10 PM

  3. I agree with GLADD on this. If you haven't signed the petition please do. These hate groups need to be identified as such and discredited publicly. Make a stand on this people!

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jan 6, 2011 2:50:55 PM

  4. What would be even better if GLBT individuals on these shows walk out or refuse to participate if these hate groups are on, too.

    Posted by: FunMe | Jan 6, 2011 3:05:39 PM

  5. It's about time. The appearance of these extremists as the "other side" also gives the impression that they represent a much larger faction of American citizens than they actually do. While there may be millions of people who aren't in favor of marriage equality, there are relatively few who hold the insane beliefs of these hate mongers.
    It is infuriating to watch someone with rational arguments debate these lunatics and have the moderator treat each side as if they have equal weight. And when you are debating the corpulent Mags Bags Gallagher--there is no way you can have equal weight.

    Posted by: StillmarriedinCA | Jan 6, 2011 3:10:52 PM

  6. To avoid the appearance of bias, the news media always looks for balance, even when any reasonable person would understand that no balance is necessary/possible. This isn't just a problem in relation to stories about the LGBT community. This myth of "balance" has led the media to give a platform to lots of kooks, such as climate-change deniers, helping establish credibility among a very small and discredited (in the scientific community) bunch of folks. When you do a news story about something plainly obvious like the sky is blue, reporters/editors/producers should have the sense to not require balance from some lunatic who is willing to scream that the sky is red. Absent some sort of revolution in common-sense from America's schools of journalism, we need to instill the same sense of social opprobrium around such "news," making it similarly unacceptable for news organizations to feature stories where these issues are raised. You don't see CNN, or even Fox, doing news stories where they ask if it is OK for racial or religious to be excluded from the military or marriage or other social institutions. These sort of stories around LGBT people need to end as well.

    Posted by: Guy from DC | Jan 6, 2011 3:14:03 PM

  7. glaad doesn't always pick the best battles, but I definitely agree with this one

    media shouldn't give credence to these people - extremism doesn't "balance" normalcy

    Posted by: neverstops | Jan 6, 2011 3:27:09 PM

  8. Look at the ratings for CNN, especially as opposed to Fox News and the pattern becomes apparent. CNN's rating have been dismal, while Fox News have held fairly steady.

    So the lesson learned over at CNN seems to be to trot out the haters and let them spew just like Fox News (sans Gretchen Carlson's nodding bobblehead at everything their hateful guests say.) CNN needs controversy to draw viewers because like most "liberal" news organziations they come off namby-pamby most of the time. And they think being balanced is to put these ridiculous right wing, paranoid, idiots on with Anderson Cooper because, well, he's gay. That's what CNN considers balanced.

    Since I know people at CNN look at this, hey desperate-for-ratings producers, why don't you do a piece on the money all these hate-mongers are making spewing their bile. Print the salaries they are taking for preaching ignorance and hatred. I dare you.

    Posted by: BartB | Jan 6, 2011 3:29:26 PM

  9. Finally

    Posted by: ravewulf | Jan 6, 2011 3:36:02 PM

  10. Thank you to the SPLC who have made this possible! It was their recent move to designate these groups as bonified hate groups(FRC) or put them on their watch list (NOM) that has legitimized this next step in limiting the damage these sociopaths can do to our community.

    Posted by: candide | Jan 6, 2011 3:48:06 PM

  11. The most absurd manifestation of this policy of "balance" has been over the repeal of DADT. These anti-gay groups have ZERO expertise in military matters and contribute nothing but bigotry. The responsible journalist will seek out experts in a field. If those experts also happen to favor repeal, that's the news story, not some manufactured controversy where there is none.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 6, 2011 4:00:25 PM

  12. I don't know what you guys are worried about. The fact of the matter is, CNN is now pitting people in the middle-liberal of this issue against extreme conservatives because the middle-conservative doesn't want to say anything. What this means is that most of America will gravitating away from the extremes and start listening to the opinions of those who more middle ground and reasonable. In addition, we've got these hypocrites on national TV spewing their lies and getting ripe for future parody.

    Posted by: matt | Jan 6, 2011 4:38:56 PM

  13. I used to be a CNN junkie a few years back. In the past 18 months I can honestly say I haven't gone to a single time, nor have I tuned into their station(s). (I wasn't always aware of their hatemongery tactics..)

    If they want to give a platform for Hate Speech that's fine, but I won't contribute in any way.

    Posted by: Tollendyr | Jan 6, 2011 4:39:18 PM

  14. *start gravitating*

    I also want to point out that I don't necessarily view people who watch CNN news programs to be gullible and jump quickly to conclusions. Fox, on the other hand, is flashier and filled with drama enough to attract the conspiracy theorists and other crazies.

    Posted by: matt | Jan 6, 2011 4:43:28 PM

  15. GLAAD makes some excellent points. Holding these people as representatives of the forces arrayed against gay rights is a mistake because the actual circumstances are much muddier, particularly when lazy producers invite the same groups to speak on wildly different topics.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 6, 2011 5:40:57 PM

  16. Yea I agree with that. Its hard for people to tell how far to the right those hate groups are. People like Gallagher and Perkins pretend to be ballanced and not hateful(when on CNN) but they are constantly looking for subtle vindective ways to undermine the gay community in general, because that's what generates donations for them. so they are basically going on TV for that reason. CNN needs to find a way to communicate this to the audience, instead they just have Cooper bending over backwards to try and give each side equal credence.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 6, 2011 7:49:50 PM

  17. I'm really thrilled and hope the press-release this to death so that other networks are warned!

    How many times have I watched bigotry masquerading as a difference of opinion or religious fervor.

    Abso-f'n-lutely enough!!!

    Posted by: pete N sfo | Jan 6, 2011 8:26:41 PM

  18. It makes it worse that Anderson is the CNN posterboy

    Posted by: tmr | Jan 6, 2011 10:47:06 PM

  19. It's surprising and sickening how long this has been going on and has not changed. All through the 80's, whenever Nightline did a story on anything about gay people or gay rights, there was Jerry Falwell, trotted out to give "balance" to the story, posing as some sort of an expert. ABC News was deeply wrong, and so is CNN.

    Posted by: westcoast88 | Jan 7, 2011 12:47:11 AM

  20. GLAAD...better late than never?
    Guess they were busy tabulating the result of their ridiculous nominations for their over priced and lame coast to coast fundraisers.

    GLAAD...totally irrelevant

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Jan 7, 2011 3:32:19 PM

  21. In a segment involving civil rights for blacks, would CNN ask a KKK member to come and argue against it? Of course not. For some things, there aren't too sides, and equal treatment under the law is one of those things.

    Posted by: Ellen W. Gerber | Jan 9, 2011 2:01:22 PM

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