Media Matters caught Sean Hannity on Tuesday blaming the "anti-war left" for protesting at the funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq. In reality, the protesters were members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) in Topeka, Kansas, which claims that terrorism and other disasters are divine retribution against America for the "sin" of tolerating homosexuality.
Gay / Lesbian
The CBS and NBC television networks are refusing to run a 30-second television ad from the United Church of Christ. The ad states that - like Jesus - the church seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation. According to a written explanation from CBS, the implied acceptance of gay and lesbian worshippers makes the ad "too controversial." According to the Rev. John H.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded two new right-leaning shows - "one hosted by Tucker Carlson, who speaks for conservatives on CNN's 'Crossfire'" and "one moderated by Paul Gigot, editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal" - while cutting "NOW with Bill Moyers" from an hour to 30 minutes.
"When they need people, they keep them. When they don't, they implement their policy of discrimination," said the director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The group found that "the number of gays dismissed from the military under the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy has dropped to its lowest level in nine years as U.S.
"[San Francisco] Mayor Gavin Newsom's (D) decision to allow same-sex marriages has been hailed by many as courageous, while still derided by others as shocking. Yet many agree that the decision, and the resulting media coverage, was a brilliant PR move by those wishing to force a public debate on this contentious issue," PR Week writes. LGBT advocates say they're pleased with the mayor's decision and the resulting media attention, which boosted several gay-rights groups' Valentine's Day campaigns. The move also impressed political watchers.
A gay-bashing, right wing student newspaper at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island offers a fresh example of the conservative media's strategy of "publicizing censorship of their papers" so they can "cast themselves as the little guy up against the leftist establishment." The Hawk's Right Eye provoked the university administration into clamping down by running nasty attacks on Judy Shepard, whose son was beaten to death in Wyoming for being gay.
After ABC News correspondent Jeffrey Kofman reported on complaints from U.S. soldiers in Iraq, the White House tried to smear him by leaking the word to cyber-gossip Matt Drudge that Kofman is gay and Canadian.
After AIDS activists protested during a speech in Barcelona by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, federal investigators were sent to investigate the groups and their finances. "Federal auditors are now swarming all over American-based AIDS-service organizations," writes John Aravosis.