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GLAAD announces new Commentator Accountability Project

Right-wing

By Scottie Thomaston

The media has a long and sordid history of propping up the opinions of anti-gay hate groups, presenting them as ‘Christian’ or ‘Family’ spokespeople and ignoring their hate speech.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is combating this with a new Commentator Accountability Project, which “aims 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.” They are working with the always excellent Jeremy Hooper from Good As You, who many of you know from his blogging on the right wing that he’s cross-posted here at P8TT. He has been documenting various hate groups and commentators for years, reporting on their appearances in media outlets and the horrendous rhetoric they’re fond of spouting quite often.

The Huffington Post reports:

By visiting www.glaad.com/cap and following #glaadcap on twitter, editors, writers, network executives, producers, guest bookers and those in the LGBT community and its allies can become informed about the actions of these activists, including Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, report new anti-LGBT remarks they’ve encountered, as well as nominate other anti-LGBT commentators to be featured in the database.

Scott Wooledge at Daily Kos recently reported on one incident in which Maggie Gallagher was confronted by Richard Kim on Up With Chris Hayes for saying hateful things in one venue while trying to appear reasonable in another:

Chris begins by rightfully addressing why her organization does not address the issue that higher divorce rates coincided with the passing of “no-fault” divorce laws. If the goal was to focus on improving marriage, wouldn’t repealing “no-fault” divorce laws be a better target than stopping marriage equality?

Maggie, begins by saying she’s not an opponent of “marriage equality,” she opposes “same-sex” marriage.

Then later:

Kim: I think you and your organization have really failed to present any evidence that same-sex marriage impacts heterosexual marriages. You also however have advocated for gay reparative therapy, as has the National Organization for Marriage, you have called homosexuality a “dysfunction” and not normal…

Gallagher is really quite angry at this accusation.

Gallagher: No! I have not! I have not!

I have not done any of those things!

[...]
Gallagher: Well, I’ve never advocated for gay reparative therapy, and the National Organization for Marriage does not. We focus on fighting for laws that define marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

Unfortunately for Maggie, the proof that National Organization for Marriage is a fan of gay reparative therapy still  lives on the The Ruth Institute blog, described as a “A Project of the National Organization for Marriage.” It features an interview with a “therapist” Phillip Sutton, PhD who is affiliated with the notorious National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). You know, the clinic affiliated with George Rekkers, who was later caught with a rent boy? They canned him for that.

Think Progress notes that conservatives are already lashing out at GLAAD for initiating this project:

Conservatives are throwing out the “you’re suppressing our free speech by reporting on and exposing our speech” canard, as they often do. When they’re not resorting to that cliche, they are claiming to be victims of the vicious pro-gay left, as is typical for them. Claiming gays are bullies is commonplace, but as Think Progress suggests:

The genius of CAP is that it creates a lose-lose situation for these would-be pundits. They can try to compensate by doubling down on their most offensive talking points and how loudly and widely they share them. Or, they can proceed with their typical media appearances and attempt to use the victim mentality to obfuscate responsibility for their own views. Either way, they stand to lose public favor, and no matter how they condemn GLAAD, that’s surely why they’re so perturbed.

They’re really backed into a corner at this point. I have a feeling they’ll just ratchet up the hate speech. We shall see.

29 Comments

  • 1. Nurse Kelley  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Congratulations, Scottie! Wonderful post, and inspired hiring.

  • 2. Sagesse  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    @

  • 3. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks! This is exciting!

  • 4. Richard Lyon  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    The current political climate provides an even crazier background for this. The culture wars seem to be turning in on themselves with the Republican right trying to decide if they support violence against women. It could all lead to some shifting political alliances.

  • 5. Alan_Eckert  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The funny thing is that they are using their right to free speech to cry about their right to free speech being suppressed.

  • 6. FogCityJohn  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Excellent post, Scottie. Glad I could be here for the maiden voyage. Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to register, but I'm sure that'll get worked out at some point.

  • 7. AdamG  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Oh, they might ratchet up the hate speech, but we saw how far that's getting Rush Limbaugh. They ratchet up the hate speech, we talk to their sponsors and get as much of their funding pulled as possible.

  • 8. Steve  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    These fools prove that they're idiots with every single word they say. Free speech means the government won't punish you for what you say. It doesn't mean that you are free from criticism and doesn't mean the media has to give you a platform for your opinions. No one is taking away their websites.

    They are trying the same bullshit with freedom of religion, which they have redefined to "freedom from following the law" and "freedom to oppress anyone as I want"

  • 9. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Great post Scottie :-)
    Welcome aboard

  • 10. Fr. Bill  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Very good post, Scottie. Perhaps we should start a band and call it "You can lie and slander but you can't hide!" (Just joking) It is way past time to hold the media accountable to reason and good journalism. The Republicans failed to do this and look who is now driving their bus off the cliffs of common sense and common decency. The ideologues and Christianists are attempting to play the victim card and take charge of the narrative. It is way past time for the journalists to challenge their facts and their motives.

  • 11. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks!

  • 12. MightyAcorn  |  March 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I was going to suggest that someone find names of other people for those Media Expert Rolodexes who can speak about the "traditional marriage" point of view without being a bigot, but then I had to wonder if such people exist. Is there ANY reasonable view in opposition to marriage equality, other than just being creeped out by and resistant to change? It seems like every media quote expert unquote on the matter is driven by anti-gay animus in one form or another. Can anyone think of a person the media could go to for their "balanced" portrayals of the issue who isn't a proven hater?

  • 13. karen in kalifornia  |  March 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    What the frig can Gallagher possibly mean when she claims to not be an "opponent of marriage equality" just that she "opposes same sex marriage."????!@$#$$ Can someone explain this double speak to me?

    And btw, GLAAD and GAY for the this proactive program….the more the anti's say and protest, the deeper they
    dig their anti gay hole they can't get out of.

  • 14. Clarknt67  |  March 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I'm sure they very much do exist. The problem is the media invites a bigot like Tony Perkins (who once paid David Duke $85K for his KKK mailing list) on to give the "Christian" point of view.

    In reality, there are plenty of well-credentialed Christians who haven't been named by SPLC as leading a hate group that can give a Christian perspective on civil marriage equality.

    But that's bad TV isn't it?

  • 15. Clarknt67  |  March 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Maggie was objecting to host Chris Hayes' use of the phrase "marriage equality."

    Our side created the phrase to demonstrate what the status quo is, marriage discrimination.

    Their side hates the phrase marriage equality, because, well, it's a little to honest.

    And it's attractive. "Equality" is as American value as there is. No one would really come out and say OUT LOUD they don't want other Americans to be equal. They just pretend inequality doesn't exist, or is not important.

  • 16. MightyAcorn  |  March 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    It would be better TV (in the sense you mean) to call out Tony Perkins on his KKK konnection on a primetime news show and watch his head explode. And think of all the YouTube hits later! That's some REAL tv right there! I hope GLAAD listed that one in their project.

  • 17. Michelle Evans  |  March 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Yes, I still have the same problem. And have since the site changeover last year. Unfortunately, even P*TT tech support appears to have given up on the problem.

  • 18. Michelle Evans  |  March 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Sorry about the typo on P8TT.

  • 19. Sheryl_Carver  |  March 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Or as they are so fond of repeating over at NOMbigot.com (oops, that's NOMblog.com), "it's not discrimination to treat different things differently." I think that if we had had the internet back in the 60's, these same sorts of people would be writing the same sort of posts & comments as they tried to justify segregation.

  • 20. Str8Grandmother  |  March 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I'll give you a thumbs up on that comment Sheryl

  • 21. _BK_  |  March 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    And perhaps what's known as a critical election. Shifting demographic loyalties…

  • 22. _BK_  |  March 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    There's so much potential for Star Trek with your name. :)

  • 23. _BK_  |  March 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    They also are fond of relabeling the marriage equality movement as the "marriage corruption movement." It's so pathetic.

  • 24. Theo McKinney  |  March 16, 2012 at 2:25 am

    *yep*

    Pretty much the exact same ilk, as history is eager to point out – repeatedly- these days…

  • 25. Rich  |  March 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I am pleased about this media initiative. I contacted Chris Matthews of the show "Hardball", one of my favorite and honest political talk shows on the air, to express my frustration with his persistent introduction of Tony Perkins as "my friend". Now, maybe Chris does this to insure that he can get Perkins to continue to appear on his program…and doesn't really mean it….but I asked Chris to, at least, be more honest with the character descriptions in his introduction. It galls me that Perkins is taken as a legitimate and wise spokesperson by some cable hosts, instead of the bigot that he is.

  • 26. James Sweet  |  March 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

    News flash to angry conservatives: Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism. That is all, thank you, you may now carry on with your usual bigotry.

  • 27. Str8Grandmother  |  March 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Tony Perkins is connected to the KKK?

  • 28. justamom  |  March 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

    nice black list guys! I am glad to hear that you are tolerant and respectful of other people's opinions.

  • 29. Sheryl_Carver  |  March 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

    There's a big difference between someone stating an opinion & trying to justify those opinions by lying & making up totally false "evidence." Or claiming to be an expert in an area where one is very clearly NOT. Or promoting violence & discrimination against others.

    See the difference, justamom?

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