Once again proving that Fox News has a love/hate (perhaps more hate/hate) relationship with the LGBT community, the right-wing network has rejected an advertisement from the Palm Center featuring openly gay troops discussing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), according to a press release obtained by Media Matters.
Palm Center's communications consultant Cathy Renna told Media Matters that Fox News' ad department wrote in an email explaining their rejection of the ad, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell is still on hold, so claiming the military is planning repeal is incorrect."
Renna countered, saying "the ad is a demonstration by Palm that the experience of allied militaries has been that having openly gay service members by their side does not undermine combat effectiveness. The important thing is that these are our allies talking about their experience."
She said Palm approached Fox News because is "was trying to get this ad in front of diverse audiences."
The Palm Center's press release after the jump.
Press release from the Palm Center, as provided to Media Matters:
SANTA BARBARA, CA - Today, the Palm Center issued a statement following Fox News' rejection of a 30-second advertisement in which Generals from allied militaries say that gay troops do not undermine combat effectiveness. The ad can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0qAAtLQ8zw
Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin stated: "I am surprised that Fox News would reject an ad featuring allied Generals, given that both host Bill O'Reilly and guest contributor Liz Cheney have expressed support for open gay service. This is an important time for input from all sides on this issue, and I hope Fox will reconsider."
The ad includes video clips made in May 2010 featuring Major General Walter Semianiw, Chief of Military Personnel in the Canadian Forces, and Major General Simon Willis (retired), former Head of Defence Personnel in the Australian Defence Force. Major General Semianiw has since been promoted to Lieutenant General and leads Canada Command.
In the ad, both Generals discuss the military impact of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, stating the following:
Major General Semianiw: "There is no negative impact of having men and women of any sexual orientation fighting together, be it in Afghanistan, be it in Iraq."
Major General Simon VL Willis (ret): "The lifting of the homosexual ban was a bit like Y2K. It was a non-event, and it continues to be a non-event."
According to Central Command's International Security Assistance Force (ISAT) fact sheet, there are more than 1,400 Australian troops and 2,800 Canadian forces fighting alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
"We have reached out to other cable news outlets and still fully intend to air this ad," stated Christopher Neff, Deputy Executive Director of the Palm Center.
The Palm Center is a think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since 1998, the Center has been a leader in commissioning and disseminating research in the areas of gender, sexuality, and the military.
For more information, visit www.palmcenter.ucsb.edu