Accuracy in Media

In a long article on November 23, David Von Drehle of the Washington Post claimed to have discovered why the idea of “gay marriage” has entered “the American consciousness.” He attributed the “success” to the determined legal maneuvers of homosexual activists in the courts. He ignored how the major media have acted as a virtual house organ of the homosexual movement, promoting and embracing “domestic partner” benefits for homosexuals and running announcements of homosexual “weddings” and unions. The “gay rights” movement would not have achieved this “progress” without the support of powerful news organizations like the Washington Post.

Von Drehle said the matter was important because, “Understanding how this happened casts light on the gay-rights movement, on the political process and on the idea of same-sex marriage itself. And it illustrates a sometimes forgotten fact of democracy: Things can happen without planning, without the approval of leaders, with little coordination, preparation or fanfare, simply because determined people really, deeply want them to.”

These “determined people” are in the media. Writing in Chronicles of Culture magazine, R. Cort Kirkwood got it right when he noted that so-called “sexual liberation,” including homosexual rights, has succeeded “partly because the entertainment industry and news media have portrayed activities once considered abhorrent and deviant as normal. Television and movies depict raw sexuality, glamorize promiscuity and suggest homosexuality is ordinary?Newspapers publish ‘marriage’ notices about homosexuals and glowing reports about ‘transgendered’ people.”

Today, there are few major media groups that don’t provide “domestic partner benefits” to homosexual employees. The Associated Press became the latest to do so, announcing on June 1st that it would cover the same-sex or opposite-sex unmarried partners of the organization’s 3,700 employees working in 242 bureaus in the U.S. and around the world.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has been engaged in a campaign to increase the number of papers that print same-sex union or “marriage” announcements. It was launched in August 2002 when 70 American newspapers ran such announcements. Today, the figure is 219. They include the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

On July 23, the Post Weddings section had featured the wedding announcement of nationally syndicated columnist Deb Price and her “partner,” Joyce Murdoch. Both of them were former Post editors. They got “married” in Toronto, Canada, but the Post considered it a valid wedding here. The New York Times embraced the policy more than a year ago, when it published an announcement about the “civil union” of Daniel Gross and Steven Goldstein. They had a ceremony in presidential candidate Howard Dean’s home state of Vermont.

Duane McCallister, publisher of the Gaston Gazette in North Carolina, had resisted the campaign, saying in a column that “publication of these announcements legitimizes a practice that offends many of us in that it leads in a direction different than our personal compass heading.” Although local reaction to his position was “almost wholly positive,” his bosses in Irvine, California, at the headquarters of Freedom Communications, reversed his stand, and became the first national newspaper chain to enact a policy ordering all of its papers to print same-sex union announcements.

That order applied to 35 newspapers in 11 states, many of them serving conservative communities. Ironically, freedom at Freedom Communications didn’t apply to publishers who believe in traditional values. The newspaper chain has a libertarian adviser, Tibor Machan, who has written that he sees no reason for banning homosexual marriages.

This media campaign has to be considered a factor in the decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court to order the legislature to approve “same-sex marriage.” In that case, chief Justice Margaret Marshall is married to former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis. Her appointment to the court was promoted by the Boston Globe, a subsidiary of the Times.

A group called Tradition, Family & Property has launched a “They Aren’t Married Campaign” directed at newspapers that publish announcements of homosexual marriages or unions. The group says that, “Such placements have?no legal basis in reality since homosexual ‘marriage’ is not recognized in the United States. The role of the press is to report the news not to legislate immorality. By doing this, the papers are preparing a culture where this behavior will eventually be accepted.”

This is exactly the case. The “progress” of the homosexual movement on the “gay marriage” issue can be directly traced to the major media embracing the “gay rights” cause. The liberal media have advertised their bias once again for all to see.

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