NEW YORK – Mainstream media continues to give a voice to anti-gay activists such as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage.
Even MSNBC, which leans to the left and has two prominent gay newscasters in Rachel Maddow and Thomas Hughes, calls on Perkins as a “Republican political strategist” to give “expert” opinion on the presidential race. This gives Perkins credibility even though he and his organization have been labeled as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups in America.
Brown and Gallagher have become the public faces of “traditional marriage.” Whenever marriage equality is up for a vote, the networks turn to these NOM icons, even though the law center also labels their organization as an anti-gay hate group.
Mainstream media fail to reveal to viewers and readers the inherent bias of their so-called “experts,” and rarely challenge their opinions that often conflict with public opinion. And their “experts” often tell whoppers about the LGBT community that go unchallenged.
To counter this trend, GLAAD is launching its Commentator Accountability Project to educate the media about the extreme rhetoric of over three dozen activists who are often given a platform to speak in opposition to LGBT people and the issues that affect their lives.
Those anti-gay activists include Perkins, Brown and Gallagher, as well as familiar anti-gay haters Bryan Fischer, Don Wildmon, Gary Bauer, Lou Engle, Mat Staver, Peter LaBarbera and Scott Lively. The full list, and a description of each, can be found HERE
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is the nation's leading LGBT media advocacy and anti-defamation organization.
To view online resources detailing anti-LGBT rhetoric that these activists have used, visit HERE and follow #glaadcap on Twitter.
"Hate is not an expert opinion," GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick said. "In most cases, news outlets invite reputable experts to speak on the subject at hand, but when talking about LGBT issues, open hostility and anti-LGBT bias seems to be all the credibility required. This project holds these so-called 'pundits' accountable for the extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric they continue to spread."
The Commentator Accountability Project provides a comprehensive set of online resources detailing the anti-LGBT, racist and anti-woman sentiments of nearly three dozen anti-LGBT commentators who have appeared in local and national news. As more commentators engage in anti-LGBT rhetoric, new profiles will be added.
"These activists have the right to recite their anti-LGBT talking points, but it is important to expose the questionable and often hostile rhetoric that passes as punditry when so-called 'experts' speak out against the lives of LGBT people on the air or in print," Graddick said.
"If networks are going to continue to invite those with incendiary anti-LGBT views on their programs, show runners should know the full picture of who these individuals really are so that critical context can be relayed to the audience."
GLAAD will utilize the resources of the Commentator Accountability Project in future meetings with editors, writers, network executives, producers and guest bookers -- providing the mainstream media with a tool by which to hold commentators accountable.
GLAAD encourages individuals to alert the organization when these virulently anti-LGBT activists appear on local or national news. To report an incident, visit HERE . You can also talk with GLAAD about the project on Facebook.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD HERE.