On Tuesday, Glenn Beck hosted Robert George on his Fox News program offering the Princeton University professor an opportunity to articulate the pillars of the anti-LGBT Manhattan Declaration which George co-authored:
The New York Times described the Manhattan Declaration thusly back in November:
Citing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to civil disobedience, 145 evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed a declaration saying they will not cooperate with laws that they say could be used to compel their institutions to participate in abortions, or to bless or in any way recognize same-sex couples.
The document was written by Mr. Colson; Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, who is Catholic; and the Rev. Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, an evangelical interdenominational school on the campus of Samford University, in Birmingham, Ala.
They convened a meeting of Christian leaders in Manhattan in September to present the document and gather suggestions. The 4,700-word document is called the "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience." The New York Times obtained an advance copy.
The document says, "We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent."
The Manhattan Declaration folks appear to have a great deal in common with Beck -- not the least of which is an affinity for citing Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to legitimize their right-wing points of view.
The very next day, viewers of Beck's Fox News show were likely surprised when the host seemed to defend several gay and lesbian service members who hand-cuffed themselves to the White House fence in Lafayette Square Park to protest President Obama's slow movement on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
Don't jump to any conclusions. Beck hasn't turned over a new leaf in his treatment of the LGBT community. He's just as homophobic as ever.
In fact, Beck only sprang to the defense of these brave men and women because he saw an opening to attack the President and his ominous "government" while simultaneously painting a menacing picture for his robotic followers -- Obama will come after you too!
It should be noted that the White House didn't keep reporters from covering the truly newsworthy protest -- the blame reportedly rests with the U.S. Park Police. Politico's Ben Smith reports:
The U.S. Park Police is taking responsibility for chasing reporters away from the White House as six uniformed members of the armed services were arrested after handcuffing themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" yesterday.
"That was strictly the U.S. Park Police that screwed up - that has nothing to do with the Secret Service of the White House or the Administration," said Park Police spokesman Sergeant David Schlosser of the incident, which drew complaints from reporters and online speculation about darker motives.
The whole episode is just further proof of Fox News' love/hate relationship with its gay "friends" which I wrote about in greater detail last week.
Earlier this month, I noted the massive ideological disparity in WashingtonPost.com online Q&As over the previous three months -- the Post hosted nine conservatives and only two liberals during that time.
On Friday, the Post added another conservative to the list -- Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg, who discussed his opposition to President Obama's extension of hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners. The Post also hosted a Q&A with a Human Rights Campaign staffer who supported the decision, an all-too-rare attempt at balance from the Post.
But the Post's decision to host Sprigg is alarming nonetheless. See, Peter Sprigg says "gay behavior" should be outlawed. And Sprigg has said "I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society."
It seems safe to assume the Washington Post would not provide a forum to someone who says the practice of Judaism should be outlawed, or that he would prefer to "export blacks from the United States." So why does the Post host anti-gay bigot Peter Sprigg?
Last week we posted a link to Fox News host Mike Huckabee's interview with College of New Jersey newsmagazine The Perspective in which the former Arkansas Governor drew "parallels between homosexuality" and drug use, incest, and polygamy while also defending his home state's ban on same-sex couples becoming adoptive or foster parents saying, "we should act in the best interest of the children, not in the seeming interest of the adults...children are not puppies."
Taking exception to the Fox News personality's spiteful homophobic rhetoric, the Food Network's Hearty Boys -- Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith -- have invited Huckabee over for dinner in their Chicago home.
On Monday, I wrote at length about Fox News' love/hate relationship with its LGBT "friends" noting that "a review of Fox News' employment practices however, reveals a network at odds with its own homophobic public image."
Perhaps if Huckabee breaks bread with McDonagh and Smith they can pick his brain about the very real dichotomy that exists at Fox News between its on-air and off-air treatment of LGBT people.
You may know me from Food Network. My partner, Dan Smith, and I are The Hearty Boys. We're Chicago caterers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors and most importantly, dads. Dan and I have been in a stable, monogamous, loving, positive, nurturing and healthy relationship for 13 years. We were blessed to adopt our son, Nate, at his birth 4 1/2 years ago.
Sir, your comments likening my parenting my son to adopting a pet are beyond hurtful and dangerous. My love, passion and commitment to Nate is not one iota different than what you have for John Mark, David and Sarah. Our son is loved and cared for just as much. He feels just as loved and cared for. He is a happy, well adjusted little guy whom I fiercely love.
Mr. Huckabee, I invite you to spend the evening with us at our home in Chicago next time you come through. You need to understand and see firsthand what a family like ours is like. We are no less a family than yours, and in fact, we are healthier and more stable than most.
Americans are no longer going to sit silent as our families are attacked. And even though I find your comments reprehensible and irresponsible, I will open my home to you and pray that we might help you better understand the damage you could inflict.
Malkin: "[A]ll the bigotry I see is the bigotry against the Boy Scouts"
From the April 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Anyone who has followed Media Matters' coverage of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd knows that we've often taken exception with her work.
As someone who attended Catholic school for nearly a decade, I've been following the current crop of scandals surrounding the Church with great interest. As such, I've been routinely disappointed by those who claim or fail to challenge the claims of others that the ongoing problem of pedophile priests is really about homosexuality in the priesthood.
That is precisely the problem I have with Dowd's most recent column on the issue - an issue she's done an otherwise decent job covering. While she has been routinely critical of the way church officials have responded to the scandal, her latest work allows the previously stated onerous logic - that of her brother's -- to stand unchallenged.
As IrishCentral.com's Cahir O'Doherty notes:
In a recent article Dowd also published (without a clarifying comment) outrageously incendiary remarks her brother made stating that the international abuse crisis was due to accepting thousands of 'sexually confused' men into the priesthood.
Even more defamatory, Dowd repeated (again by proxy through her brother) author Michael Rose's paranoid contention that the liberalized rules of Vatican II set up a takeover of seminaries by a so-called Gay Mafia. Heterosexual priests and the orthodox, Rose's book claims, found themselves pushed to the margins by a massive international gay Catholic cabal.
Do the Dowds recognize how toxic this kind of claim is?
Rose's book isn't really known outside of far-right conservative Catholic circles for good reason: you'd have to be bonkers to believe it. In tone and content it's really not far from the language and spirit of the anti-Semitic tracts of the 1930's.
You can only believe that homosexuals are responsible for the crisis in the Church if you believe that homosexuals are indistinguishable from pedophiles. That's a blatantly hateful and ignorant contention, but the Dowds are hunting for scapegoats, not answers.
Does Dowd agree with her brother's sentiment? We get only her cryptic comment that she and her brother "agreed on some things." As O'Doherty correctly notes, Dowd doesn't challenge her brother's views much less respond to them with, you know, actual facts.
Allowing these specious claims to go unchallenged only further entrenches the unfounded bigotry some have against the LGBT community and for that, Dowd should be seeking penance from her readers.
From the April 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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It's no secret that Fox News doesn't live up to its "fair and balanced" slogan, especially when one considers its coverage of the LGBT community. In fact, much of its coverage is openly antagonistic and downright homophobic. On issue after issue of importance, the network, its hosts, anchors, contributors, and guests offer up lies, misinformation, and right-wing spin that only further stigmatizes the gay and lesbian community.
The worst examples of Fox News coverage on LGBT issues can be found after the jump.
A review of Fox News' employment practices however, reveals a network at odds with its own homophobic public image. The dichotomy reminds me a bit of the recently outed state legislator with the staunchly anti-gay voting record.
Republican California State Senator Roy Ashburn was arrested for driving under the influence after reportedly leaving a Sacramento gay bar with an unidentified male passenger. Several days after circumstances surrounding his arrest and personal life spread in the media, Ashburn announced that he was gay and that he would continue to vote against the LGBT community because that's what the constituents from his conservative district would want.
Perhaps Fox News really is taking a page from Ashburn. Just as the California legislator has quietly acknowledged the fact that he's a gay man, News Corp. (and by extension Fox News) has quietly been offering workplace protections and benefits to its gay and lesbian employees.
According to an examination of the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) employer database, News Corp. (Fox News' parent company) has had a policy protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation since at least 2005 and has offered health care benefits to same-sex partners since at least 1999. Time Warner (CNN's parent company) and General Electric (NBC/MSNBC's parent company) offer not only these basic protections to gay and lesbian employees, they appear to go even further.
The HRC's Corporate Equality Index rates Time Warner and General Electric with 100 percent and 80 percent, respectively, while News Corp. has yet to complete the survey that HRC uses to establish its index. News Corp. would give us a better understanding of how it treats LGBT employees on a variety of other important issues by completing the survey, but the media company does deserve credit for at least offering some very basic protections and benefits for gay and lesbian employees.
Lack of a Corporate Equality Index rating notwithstanding, News Corp. has taken its support for LGBT employees a step further by sponsoring the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) which describes itself on its website as "an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues." In fact, the program from the organization's annual conference last fall in Montréal included an ad from News Corp. stating: "The networks of Fox News honor NLGJA for its commitment to fair and balanced reporting. From your friends at Fox News Channel, Fox Business, News Corporation."
Reached for comment over email, NLGJA managing director Michael Tune said, "We try to have as expansive a network as possible in order to reach into every newsroom to accomplish our mission. News Corp. is a major employer of journalists nationwide, and NLGJA has had a very open and supportive dialog with them over the years regarding fair and accurate coverage of the LGBT community."
Tune added, "NLGJA's Rapid Response Task Force was created to respond to coverage of the LGBT community that is not fair and accurate. When we reach out to a news provider, it is often with the help of our member employees or other contacts within a company." He continued, "Often the relationship we have built with a company through its support of NLGJA makes it easier to work together."
I sought out Fox News' Brian Lewis, executive vice president of corporate communications, and Irena Briganti, senior vice president of media relations, last week for comment on the conflict between the network's public posturing against LGBT equality and its support for LGBT employees, but I've not yet received a response.
Just as Sen. Ashburn plans to continue his history of voting against the LGBT community to appease the homophobic conservative district he serves, News Corp. (and by extension Fox News) shows no signs of pulling back on the homophobic red meat it has fed its public -- the conservative audience that drives its ratings.
That ultimately is what's truly sad about News Corp.'s relationship with its LGBT "friends." The media company gives its employees decent protections and benefits while making the lives of the very same employees more difficult in the long-run by broadcasting homophobia and misinformation that harden anti-LGBT views and slow the movement for full equality under the law.
On Wednesday we noted that GLAAD was calling for CNN to be held accountable for hosting so-called "ex-gay" activist Richard Cohen who, despite his permanent expulsion from the American Counseling Association in 2002 for "numerous violations of its rules, including those dealing with client welfare, dual relationships with clients and counselors, and advertising" was also promoted on a CNN blog post as an "expert in the field of sexual reorientation."
Well, yesterday Phillips responded to the controversy surrounding the segment noting that Cohen "was not the most appropriate guest to have on" before scolding those who sent her "vicious emails" about the segment and articulating her "unswerving support for all communities in the battle for human rights, including gays, lesbians, and transgendered individuals."
PHILLIPS: 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.
From the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's April 7 "call to action" email:
In an attempt to discuss efforts to repeal an outdated law in California requiring the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the "causes" and "cures" of being gay, CNN's took the irresponsible step of allowing the unlicensed, widely discredited, so-called "ex-gay" activist Richard Cohen onto the network's airwaves to promote the idea that gay people can be turned straight. CNN Host Kyra Phillips paired Cohen with California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal to discuss the matter. Lowenthal is working to repeal the archaic California Law. Phillips began the conversation by asking this highly offensive question: "Homosexuality, Is it a problem in need of a cure?"
While the segment tried to give the appearance of "balance," the airtime afforded the disreputable Cohen to tout "healing" gay people, coupled with a lack of information about the harms caused by such practices is unacceptable. As GLAAD has noted in our publication, Unmasking So-Called Ex-Gay Activists, "The nation's leading medical and mental health authorities have uniformly dismissed the idea that being gay is something to be 'treated.'" www.glaad.org/Page.aspx?pid=419
But even with this information widely available to media professionals, CNN's Phillips failed to bring this to light while questioning Cohen. CNN's graphics even described Cohen as a "Psychotherapist, educator and expert in the field of sexual reorientation." Phillips and CNN also failed to note that Cohen was permanently expelled in 2002 from the American Counseling Association, for multiple violations of the ethical code.
From the April 7 broadcast of Radio America's The G. Gordon Liddy Show:
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From the April 5 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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The Orange County Register reports on its Watchdog blog:
A confidential settlement has been reached between a gay broadcast engineer and his former employer, Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Brian Dugger sued Trinity last March, claiming he was harassed and discriminated against by employees of the world's largest Christian broadcasting empire.
Paul Crouch Jr. allegedly taunted Dugger with pornography, said TBN was no place for fairies and declared that 'Brian has a man-gina!' "
In court paperwork, Crouch said those things never happened.
Dugger began working as a broadcast engineer for Trinity in Nashville in 1993, and grew "exceedingly close" to Paul Crouch Jr.'s daddy, Paul Crouch, the suit said. When TBN headquarters moved to Southern California, the senior Crouch insisted that Dugger come, too; but once here, the senior Crouch became less involved with the station, while wife Jan and son Paul Crouch Jr. took the reins.
Soon after his transfer to Tustin in 2001, Dugger was told not to dress so gay or to wear jewelry, to act more straight and to pay attention to girls, it said. "Brian has a man-gina!" Paul Crouch Jr. allegedly taunted Dugger (in front of a live video camera and a crowd of TBN workers). The junior Crouch (that's him at right) also sent Dugger explicit pictures of genitalia - male, female and transsexual - as well as explicit images of copulating couples and other pornography, the suit said.
Dugger claimed that he was denied promotions, raises and responsibility because of his sexual orientation, and ultimately forced into a "sham independent contractor relationship" with TBN, so the network could keep its distance from him. That deprived him of the benefits afforded to employees under California and federal laws, the suit said.
The suit was originally filed in Orange County Superior Court, but then moved to federal court. Dugger sought at least $1.9 million in punitive damages; $650,000 in general and special damages (lost wages and benefits, emotional distress); as well as statutory damages.
Dugger's attorney, Tymothy MacLeod, said he could not discuss the terms of the settlement.
In 1994, $425,000 was paid to silence allegations of a gay tryst involving the senior Crouch and an employee. The senior Crouch denied it happened.
From the April 4 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:
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From Breitbart.tv, accessed April 2: