LGBT

Issues ››› LGBT
  • Despite The Most Anti-LGBT Platform Ever, Pundits Tout Trump As A "Champion" Of LGBT Causes

    While Some Pundits Point Out The Anti-Gay Record of Trump And The GOP, Others Fall For His Superficial Outreach

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    While some media figures ignored the GOP’s anti-LGBT party platform to label Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “a champion” of LGBT causes after the candidate mentioned the LGBTQ community during his Republican National Convention acceptance speech, others called out the “fallacious and offensive” idea, and noted that “this year’s GOP platform is one of the most anti-LGBT ever.”

  • Media Shouldn't Be Fooled By The Republican National Convention: Trump, Pence, And The GOP Aren’t LGBT-Friendly

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Media should beware that even though the Republican National Convention is featuring speeches from prominent LGBT figures Peter Thiel and Caitlyn Jenner, that does not mean the party or its nominees for president and vice president support LGBT rights. In fact, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, and the GOP platform support anti-LGBT laws and have turned to anti-LGBT extremists and hate group leaders for advice on related issues. Media have a history of whitewashing Trump’s record on LGBT issues and casting him as an advocate for the community despite his documented opposition to LGBT equality.

  • "RNC Contact" Gave White Supremacist And Virulent Misogynist A Convention Pass

    White Supremacist Used Pass To Broadcast Live For A Racist Program

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Matt Forney, a pro-Trump white supremacist who claims women “want” to be “raped” and “beat[en],” attended the second day of the Republican National Convention with a guest pass and reported live from inside the convention arena for a racist radio program.

    The white nationalist movement and adherents like Forney have been celebrating the Republican convention and nominee Donald Trump. They’re attending his convention and other campaign events and have used Trump and the RNC to recruit followers, fundraise, and spread their message. The Trump campaign has had a series of troubling interactions with the white nationalist movement, including giving a white nationalist radio host press credentials, failing to condemn their support, and retweeting them.

    Forney has claimed that “Blacks do nothing but murder cops, rob and rape people, and bring death and destruction wherever they go” and argued that America needs “strict black control.” He’s also written misogynistic pieces claiming that women want to be raped and beaten and shouldn’t be educated.

    Slate's Michelle Goldberg profiled Forney in the series "Better Know an RNC White Supremacist" and wrote that he "says he’s been gratified by the way the Donald Trump campaign has made his views less taboo." 

    He wrote a July 20 piece headlined “The Alternative Right Infiltrates the Republican National Convention.” Forney claimed he received “guest credentials” from an unnamed “RNC contact” and was able to attend the convention on July 19. At one point, Forney says he was “invited to sit with the Hawaii delegation on the floor and observe the action up close.” He added that he “filmed several portions of the vote count for” a white nationalist show.  

    Forney retweeted a picture of himself with a July 19 guest pass. He also tweeted pictures of himself “Sitting with the Hawaiian delegation on the floor of the RNC,” and shots from other spots around the convention.

    Forney reported live from the RNC for the white nationalist program Red Ice Radio, which is hosted by Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the program “a racist online radio broadcast” and “white nationalist.”

    Red Ice Radio promotes anti-Semitism and Holocaust denialism. Its YouTube videos include “David Cole - The Truth Behind the Gates of Auschwitz,” “Jim Rizoli - What Really Happened at Auschwitz?,” “Eric Hunt - The Shoah: The Biggest Hoax of the 20th Century?” and “Ole Dammegard - Making Critical Thinking Illegal: Questioning the Holocaust.”

    During the July 19 broadcast, Palmgren said that Forney is “inside in the convention center right now.” Forney then briefly described what was currently happening at the convention and broadcast live images of the proceedings. (Forney’s broadcast appeared to have some technical difficulties.)

    Forney previously held a fundraiser “to help me cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this month” with Red Ice Radio and made his “goal with a total of $2,639.88 in donations, exceeding my original goal of $2,500.”

    Forney has written that blacks and Muslims “can’t be trusted” and must be brought under control, "Mexicans are a fifth column in the U.S.," “The children of interracial marriages are almost always fucked in the head,” and Jewish and Mormon people “work to undermine their host cultures.” Here is a sample of his white supremacist writings:

    • “White men built America, and without them, America will die.” [MattForney.com, 4/5/16]

    • “The children of interracial marriages are almost always fucked in the head. If I get married and have a family, it'll be with a white woman.” [Twitter, 7/9/16]

    • “White people can handle their guns. Blacks and Muslims can't. Bring them under control and end the violence. #PrayForFlorida #Orlando.” [Twitter, 6/12/16]

    • “The Amarillo incident is more proof that we need strict black control and Muslim control, not gun control. #prayforamarillo #prayfortexas.” [Twitter, 6/14/16]

    • “Blacks and Muslims have proven that they can't be trusted. Black control now, Muslim control now. #Amarillo #PrayForAmarillo #PrayForTexas.” [Twitter, 6/14/16]

    • “Mormons are white Jews: belligerent subversives who despise ‘Gentiles’ and work to undermine their host cultures.” [Twitter, 3/20/16]

    • “Jews support gun control because their limp wrists make it impossible for them to shoot straight.” [Twitter, 2/8/16]

    • “Blacks do nothing but murder cops, rob and rape people, and bring death and destruction wherever they go. #Dallas #PhilandoCastile.” [Twitter, 7/7/16]

    • “Whites don't shoot cops. Blacks do. Bring blacks under control and the violence will end. #Dallas #PhilandoCastile.” [Twitter, 7/7/16]

    • “Mexicans are a fifth column in the U.S. An occupying army. And our politicians let them in by refusing to enforce our laws. #MAGA #SanJose.” [Twitter, 6/3/16]

    • “#PaulLePage is right. What, you think the old white liberals of Maine are selling heroin? It's blacks and Latinos.” [Twitter, 1/7/16]

    • "Let’s just be honest: everyone hates blacks." [alternative-right.blogspot.com, 1/3/15, via Slate

    He regularly writes virulently anti-women posts. His website includes posts with headlines like “How to Beat Your Girlfriend or Wife and Get Away with It.” Forney advocates “weekly whippings,” claiming: “Since most girls want to be spanked, it’s extremely unlikely that she will ever consider your weekly whippings to be ‘domestic violence.’ Even if she doesn’t like the sting of your palm, her sense of shame will keep her from reporting you to the police.”

    Other headlines include: “Why Feminists Want Men to Rape Them” (“Here are the reasons why feminists want to be sexually assaulted, and why they’re working around the clock to aid rapists”); “Hurt Your Wife to Show Her You Love Her”; “The Case Against Female Education”; “The Myth of Female Intelligence”; “Who Cares What Women Think?”; “The Inevitability of Female Submission”; “The Case Against Female Self-Esteem”; and “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved.”

    Forney is also anti-gay and uses his Twitter account to call opponents “faggot.”

    The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey wrote that “Forney is a professional Internet troll” and can contend for “most-hated man” on the internet:

    Matt Forney: Forney, a blogger and member of the Valizadeh school, proudly crowned himself the most-hated man on the Internet after his argument “against female self-esteem” went viral last fall. Forney is a professional Internet troll, and has actually published a book to that effect. Publishing blog posts with titles like “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved” is, apparently, a profitable enterprise.

    Forney is strongly supporting Trump for president. He explained that he’s voting for Trump because “Trump’s presidential campaign is the closest America will come to redemption, the last triumph of nationalism before the left swamps us with hordes of barely literate foreigners who will vote them into a permanent majority. I’m not going to sit back and pretend that both parties are identical when one of them is presenting a clear alternative to decay and decline.”

    He also wrote a piece headlined “How Donald Trump Is Inspiring A Masculine Renaissance In America.” He explained that “his unabashedly masculine personality has (in the words of my friend the Bechtloff) been an injection of testosterone directly into the nation’s bloodstream.”

    Radio host Alex Jones also reportedly received a “special guest” credential for the convention. Jones believes numerous toxic conspiracy theories, including that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job by the government.

    White nationalists have been regular attendees at Trump events.

    BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray reported that white nationalist leader Richard Spencer also had received “a credential for the convention but wouldn’t say how he’d gotten it, only saying he has ‘friends in high places.’ But he said he had continually been running into self-identified members of the alt-right around Cleveland. ‘The alt right is here,’ he said.”

    Vice News reported that white nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach, who has been supporting Trump outside the convention, said “he personally knows several other members of his group who are Trump delegates and currently on the convention floor.” American Freedom Party leader William Johnson was picked as a convention delegate but resigned following criticism.

    White nationalist radio host James Edwards attended a February Trump event and was given press credentials by the campaign. VDare founder Peter Brimelow attended a rally in November. Heimbach and his allies previously engaged “in pushing and shouting match with African American counter-protesters at [a] Super Tuesday Trump rally,” as the Southern Poverty Law Center noted

  • Why Doesn’t NY Times Label Anti-LGBT Extremists As “Hate Groups”?

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Over the past two years, The New York Times has relied on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) expertise in tracking extremist organizations to label white supremacist, anti-government, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim organization as “hate groups.” But in the same period, the Times only once clearly labeled an anti-LGBT organization as a current “hate group” -- and when it did, it questioned SPLC’s designation and quoted an organization representative explaining why the group shouldn’t be labeled a “hate group.”

    The SPLC describes itself as “the premier U.S. non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists.” The SPLC defines a hate group as a group that has “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

    A Media Matters analysis found that over the past two years (June 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016), The New York Times mentioned “hate groups” a total of 35 times, mentioning SPLC’s expertise in tracking “hate groups” in 71 percent of the mentions spanning white nationalist, anti-government, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim organizations. For example, in a June 19, 2015, article reporting on controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, the Times included commentary from the president of the League of the South and noted that the SPLC has listed the organization as a hate group:

    Supporters of the Confederate battle flag display signaled Friday that their position had not changed. In a commentary on Friday, Michael Hill, the president of the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as a hate group, said that the Confederate battle flag should remain at the State House but that the American flag should be removed.

    In a February 17, 2016, article “Law Center Finds Surge in Extremist Groups in U.S. Last Year,” the Times reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual report on the number of hate groups in the U.S., mentioning that the center tracks hate groups of differing ideologies, including those based on “sexual” characteristics.

    But in the past two years, the only instance in which the Times referenced SPLC’s “hate group” label when reporting on an anti-LGBT organization was in an article that questioned the validity of the designation. The article, “Bush Praises World Congress of Families, a Hate Group to Some,” noted that George W. Bush wrote a letter in support of the “conservative group” the World Congress of Families (WCF) that is “classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” The Times went on to report:

    But the liberal-leaning [Southern Poverty Law C]enter has been criticized for including groups that fall within the conservative mainstream, like the Family Research Council, based on their stances on gay issues.

    The World Congress of Families has strongly disputed the hate-group designation and the implication that it supports violence against the L.G.B.T. community.

    “Nothing could be further from the truth, as W.C.F. strongly opposes violence and would never advocate violence or hatred toward any group of people, regardless of differences,” the group wrote in 2014.

    In the 34 other instances that the Times reported on hate groups, it never questioned the validity of the “hate group” designation, nor did it allow a hate group to explain why it shouldn’t be labeled as such. Additionally, in the WCF piece the Times falsely wrote that the SPLC designates anti-LGBT organizations as hate groups based on “their stances on gay issues.”

    When it first began tracking anti-LGBT hate groups in 2010, the SPLC specifically explained that it lists organizations as hate groups “based on their propagation of known falsehoods” -- things like “asserting that gays and lesbians are more disposed to molesting children than heterosexuals – which the overwhelming weight of credible scientific research has determined is patently untrue.” The SPLC has published extensive research on the extremism of WCF, documenting the organization’s role in exporting homophobia internationally, including passing and lauding laws criminalizing gay people, like Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” bill.

    In terms of providing context, the Times most frequently identified anti-LGBT extremists as “conservative” (30 percent of the time or 18 out of 60 mentions). The Washington Post, on the other hand -- which was also considered in Media Matters’ study -- often didn't provide any context when reporting on major anti-LGBT groups (37 percent of the time or 27 out of 74 mentions). The Post, however, did sometimes use the “hate group” label for anti-LGBT groups; in fact, out of all the paper’s “hate group” references, anti-LGBT groups were the second most common type of organization to earn the label (19 percent).

    Media outlets have a long history of failing to identify anti-LGBT extremists as hate groups, instead calling them merely “Christian” or “conservative” organizations. The few recent times when mainstream media like The Associated Press and CBS News’ Bob Schieffer have properly identified hate group leaders, anti-gay conservatives were outraged. But outrage is no reason an outlet that frequently relies on the SPLC’s expertise in tracking extremism should fail to provide meaningful context when reporting on anti-LGBT extremists.

  • STUDY: Which Publications Avoid Using The “Hate Group” Label For Anti-LGBT Extremists

    ››› ››› ERIN FITZGERALD & RACHEL PERCELAY

    A Media Matters analysis revealed that over the past two years, The New York Times has used the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) designation of “hate group” to clearly designate an anti-LGBT hate group only once. In Times coverage, anti-LGBT hate groups were most likely to be called “conservative” or given no designation at all. But in the same period, the Times cited the SPLC as an expert on tracking hate groups and frequently used the organization’s hate group designation when reporting on white nationalist groups. The Washington Post used the label more, but like the Times, overwhelmingly reserved its use for white nationalists.