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White Liberals Burn Tote Bags As NPR Admits It Flubbed Ex-Gay Story

An NPR report last Monday on reparative therapy rankled listeners and gay watchdog GLAAD for portraying the bunko treatment in too kind a light.

In the piece’s intro, reporter Alix Spiegel states:

“The debate about the value of conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, has been raging in psychological circles for more than a decade.

About three years ago, the American Psychological Association came out with an official position paper on it. The APA said that it was basically a bad idea, and that there was no evidence that it was possible to change sexual orientation. Therapists also shouldn’t tell their clients that change was possible, the APA noted.

This morning on Morning Edition I profile the conversion therapy experiences of two men. They represent two sides of a debate that hasn’t been resolved despite the APA’s position.”

(full report transcript here)

Hey, we get it—we’re journalists too (of a sort). Sometimes you have to invent controversy to justify your story. Just because no mainstream medical or psychiatric organization approves of conversion therapy doesn’t mean you can’t say a debate rages on.

Of course millions of people wear those stupid magnetic bracelets and we wouldn’t say there’s a “debate” in medical circles about whether they do shit.

It’s worth noting that Spiegel, a frequent contributor to This American Life, is the granddaughter of John Patrick Spiegel, onetime president of the APA and a closeted homosexual, who helped remove homosexuality from the organization’s list of mental diseases in 1973.

She should’ve known GLAAD wasn’t about to let this story slide. The group quickly released a statement:

“The report claimed that the debate about so-called ‘conversion therapy’ continues in psychological circles. The fact is that all the major psychological and medical associations in the United States have stated that such treatment is ineffective and harmful. The story highlighted only two individuals, Rich Wyler and Peterson Toscano. Both men endured so-called ‘ex-gay’ programs, but have very different views on the validity of such programs. With only two individual stories, NPR gave the false impression that the general population is split on so-called ‘conversation therapy.’”

On Thursday, an NPR ombudsman addressed the backlash the story received and issued a tepid apology.

“[Alix] Spiegel and [Editor Anne] Gudenkauf clearly worked hard on this story. They simply made some wrong assumptions about what most of us know about sexuality and conversion.”

Ugh, that’s totally like that friend who says he’s “sorry you took it that way.”

 

Image via

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Aug 8, 2011
Tagged: , , ,

  • 40 Comments
    • Auntie Dogma
      Auntie Dogma

      >>>Hey, we get it—we’re journalists too (of a sort).

      Based on that headline, you’re not a journalist. You’re a race-baiting asshole. Q: Where are those burning tote bags? A: In the empty space between your ears.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 10:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete n SFO
      Pete n SFO

      I sincerely wish this were a larger story…

      The problem with NPR not calling bullshit, is that it lends credence to the whole notion & in every radio-market, not just cities where people basically know it’s a bunch of crap. The more warped Media becomes w/ one-sided baloney like FOX, the more its own creators fail to recognize they no longer even know how to do their own jobs.

      And to the indignant guy above… I too was disappointed that there was no photo of the burning tote bags, but race-baiting? Aw, c’mon, dude; you’re here on Queerty because you’re were seeking gay-news without snark?! ‘White liberals’ can handle a little double-standard as the butt of the joke. They’re in danger of nothing afterall.

      With any luck, one day you’ll become so outraged that you spontaneously combust.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      This is the problem. The media is intellectually bankrupt. They think that meeting a story somewhere in the middle is the same thing as being non-biased.

      Additionally, they will NEVER shut off one side, even if facts and research support that.

      This is no different than if they did a story on women’s pay in the workplace and instead of bringing in two people to discuss the merits of research indicating women are paid less, they instead said something like…

      On this side, we have Susanna Hoff’s, PHD in urban and workforce planning who believes that women’s pay reflects lingering discrimination.

      And on this side, we have Pyllis Baftin who believes that women should not be allowed out of the house and should be beaten for asking to go to work.

      Then NPR would report this story as if the truth was somewhere in the middle and pat themselves on the back for being non-biased.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Conversion therapy is not just for gays. In fact, we’re making scientific progress in turning straight men into homosexuals. A technique which uses drugs to alter hormone levels and stimulate hypersexuality. I just wish the media would cover both sides of the story and give us more credit.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      Gays are the last fair target with the idiot media. Nobody would air a program titled, “The African-American Controversy,” where a black man debates somebody from the KKK.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      There is a debate over conversion therapy in the same way that there is a debate over anthropogenic global warming: ignorant people are unconvinced, even though the scientific community is nearly unanimous (except for a few stubborn holdouts).

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair
      WillBFair

      This is a media strategy going back decades: to use us as a wedge issue to scare the public into voting for nut job republicans. Scapegoating, diversion, and distraction are as old as the hills, and they’ll continue so long as the gay community doesn’t have anyone to defend against the media.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Feldspar
      Feldspar

      Hey, we get it—we’re journalists too (of a sort).

      No. No you’re not.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      I stopped listening to NPR years ago during my drivetime to work when they became the cheering section for Bush’s Iraq war.

      Every story was some variation of “Life in Baghdad,” and “Iraq’s Women Build a Bridge to Prosperity,” and “Baghdad Orphans Greet U.S. Soldiers with Flowers.”

      Contrary to mistaken Republican congress people, NPR dutifully drank the Koolaid in order to maintain their funding. The never challenged Cheney’s version of reality.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Cobb
      Dan Cobb

      Typical NPR. I gave up on them in 2003 when they were so gonzo cheerleading the Iraq war I figured that Karl Rove had completely infiltrated their staff. It’s a pathetic radio service. Very propagandistic and always doing the government’s bidding. It’s propaganda that is intended to convince the upper-middle class of whatever the government wants to do. Invade Iraq?! NPR MISSION: Convince Americans that we’re doing “GOOD” and that we’re there “PROTECTING AMERICA” rather than killing brown people to gain dominion over their oil wells. They’re hacks and they’re pathetic beyond words.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Cobb
      Dan Cobb

      @Christopher Di Spirito

      Not only did they drink the Cheney KOOL-AID, they gave him and other administration warmongers open microphones to propagandize the American people. It was nauseating!
      Guess some people will do ANYTHING for $$$funding dollars.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack E. Jett
      Jack E. Jett

      Sounds like NPR..like the rest of the country….is becoming a tool for teabaggers.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      @Dan Cobb: Amen, brother. Amen.

      It’s just like the New York Times letting Judith Miller turn her column over to Donald Rumsfeld and Miller just added her name to the piece. So much for the myth of the liberal media.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Kev C: said…
      “Conversion therapy is not just for gays. In fact, we’re making scientific progress in turning straight men into homosexuals. A technique which uses drugs to alter hormone levels and stimulate hypersexuality. I just wish the media would cover both sides of the story and give us more credit.”
      ______________

      You can usually tell the phony trolls by the fact that they never provide a link.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cinesnatch
      Cinesnatch

      I agree with Auntie Dogma.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @RomanHans:

      Or a debate between a Jew and a Nazi.

      I, for one, am sick to death of this drivel about the media being “fair and balanced”.

      There is absolutely nothing “fair and balanced” about debating the civil rights of a minority group that has been the butt of inhumane treatment, lies, slander, verbal and physical abuse, muggings and murder for thousands of years.

      Homophobes and Anti-Civil Rights people like Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg, Rick Warren, Pat Robertson, Bryan Fischer and Maggie Gallagher, to name but just a few, already receive far more media time than any hate groups ought to be entitled to.

      What next? A Faux News televised “debate” between the family of a slain war hero and Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church that presents bigotry and vile hatred as part of a “fair and balanced” argument for their disgusting views?

      Aug 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy
      Tommy

      @Dan Cobb: Dick Cheney may be a warmonger but he has come out in favor of gay marriage. Obama may not be a warmonger but he has done nothing to stop the wars and he is against gay “marriage”. Maybe Obama has been hitting the Kool-Aid.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Unless straight people are being helped on their journey toward homosexuality there is no reason to even discuss science. Complete spectacle is all this is.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      @Tommy: Obama may not be a warmonger? Are you serious?

      The number of secret, covert wars under Barack Hussein Obama have doubled to 120. We now have some level of military presence in 50% of the nations on earth.

      There is no end to Obama’s evil.

      SOURCE: http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/08/04/secert_american_wars

      Aug 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Cam: You want links?

      http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53327

      And it’s the largest agricultural crop in the world.

      Sure, it’s controversial work that we are doing, but we are seeing the results as the world turns gayer and gayer every day. Fighting gayness is like fighting fairy dust. Once you get some fairy dust on you, it’s just a matter of time before you’re a “Brony” watching Glee and crying in public like NOM president, Brian Brown. Crying like a big sissy. Or using neon rainbow colors for you GodHatesFag signs. Like soybeans, it’s inescable.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bick Biffster
      Bick Biffster

      At least NPR didn’t stick their favorite faux journalist and pet poodle of religios right karen grigsby bates on the story. Surprised they passed on that. Perhaps the subject matter had too many long words.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xander
      xander

      @Kev C. : LOL, is that WorldNutsDaily? Other than the Onion, it ‘s my fave daily read for journalistic intergrity and humour.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      Yes, of course NPR is a bastion of social conservatism on a par with fox news, just as creationism is every bit a viable scientific conjecture of the origins and development of life. The irony of queerty drawing attention to the perception of bias in a story at the service of sensationalism is nothing short of epic. Well, it would be epic if it involved more compelling characters. Epic like two fruit flies/ fag hags warring over the right to a twink’s social calender. So not epic at all.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 3:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      Yes, of course NPR is a bastion of social conservatism on a par with fox news and the 700 club, just as creationism is every bit a viable scientific conjecture of the origins and development of life, and up is, in reality down. The irony of queerty drawing attention to the perception of bias in a story at the service of sensationalism to drive up interest is nothing short of epic. Well, it would be epic if it involved more compelling characters. Epic like two fruit flies/ fag hags publicly warring over the right to a twink’s social calender. So not epic at all.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 3:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pat Duffy
      Pat Duffy

      It’s that typical “balanced” BS that’s why I stopped supporting them. I don’t need yet another stomach-turner where someone “explains” that there may have been valid reasons for the Holocaust….

      Aug 9, 2011 at 6:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Kev C: said….

      “””@Cam: You want links?

      http://www.wnd.com/news/articl…..E_ID=53327

      And it’s the largest agricultural crop in the world.

      Sure, it’s controversial work that we are doing, but we are seeing the results as the world turns gayer and gayer every day. Fighting gayness is like fighting fairy dust. Once you get some fairy dust on you, it’s just a matter of time before you’re a “Brony” watching Glee and crying in public like NOM president, Brian Brown. Crying like a big sissy. Or using neon rainbow colors for you GodHatesFag signs. Like soybeans, it’s inescable.”””
      _____________________________________

      Oh Please Troll, Nice try, but your link not only went to the world net, which is a biased Conservative sight, but the article itself had no links to research. Additionally, your post reads like the ramblings of an enraged 7th grader. The fact is, NO straight people care that much. They may like or dislike gays, but no REAL straight people bother to come onto gay sites, or to join and start these anti-gay groups. The only people that bother doing what you’re doing are gays who are upset that they are gay. So nice try closet case, but your gayness is obvious.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 8:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Ganondorf:

      I get it, you’re doing the crotchety cranky thing. But the fact is, you claim that Queerty pointing this out is no big deal. In fact, it is when others start attacking things like this, that will stop NPR from doing this in the future.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 8:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Cam: Why the skepticism? Every time a straight man gets turned on by “tranny porn”, they become bisexual. Are you saying that those trans people, and those purveying the porn aren’t intentionally trying to arouse them? Sure, they’re doing it for money but the market exists. It exists in the soul of straight men. We’re simply exposing it.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 8:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xander
      xander

      @Kev C : You believe that straight men who watch “‘tranny porn’…become bisexual”? That’s a brilliant example of confusing cause and effect.

      And who is this “we” you keep referring to? You, collectively, are doing the “work” or just “exposing” it? Do you have secret handshakes?

      You’ve drunk the WND koolatte, that’s obvious. Have a scone with that.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @xander: Be gay or be gone!

      Poof!

      Aug 9, 2011 at 9:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xander
      xander

      @Kev C : You callin’ me a poof/poofter? Lol, see, I’ve been a bad influence on you!
      For breakfast, I put soy milk in my coffee? Per your research, will that make me gayer?

      Aug 9, 2011 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Kev C: said….

      “@Cam: Why the skepticism? Every time a straight man gets turned on by “tranny porn”, they become bisexual. Are you saying that those trans people, and those purveying the porn aren’t intentionally trying to arouse them? Sure, they’re doing it for money but the market exists. It exists in the soul of straight men. We’re simply exposing it.”
      _________________________

      Oh, so now you’re trying the tactic of pretending we were discussing something we weren’t? Nice try. My comment stated that your link went to an anti-gay biased site, that offered no backing or links to any research. Additionally I pointed out that no actual straight men wasted so much effort on these anti-gay issues, because it wasn’t an important issue to them. Only self hating closet cases did that.

      Rather than attempt to answer any part of my post, obviously because you couldn’t, you tried to make it seem like a discussion about transgender porn had anything to do with the topic.

      Again, nice try, you trolls aren’t very bright are you?

      Aug 9, 2011 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @Cam:

      Nah, ya don’t. Which is expected. Thanks for the tedious explanation of how the world works according to you, though (e.g., “I like doors! They’s so openy and closey! Ice cream is my favorite vegetable!”). You’re like forest gump without luck, athletic ability, and charm. Fight the power at NPR!
      —————————–

      So NPR makes the weekly standard look like Pravda. It should be investigated by the southern poverty law center to determine its status as a hate group. If you listen really closely to the opener/closer of prairie home companion, after “and all the children are above average,” you can distinctly hear, “and NO JEWS, BLACKS, OR FAGS are allowed in lake wobegon! White power!” When will the tyranny of NPR end? Who among you is brave enough to take on Fresh Air with Terry Gross–the Fred Phelps of the casual celebrity interview?

      Aug 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Ganondorf:

      Once again, you ramble around in circles pretending that you are talking about the same post.

      You really….honestly need to read your posts. You never stick to a subject, if somebody responds to you, you veer off onto something else, or just luanch a somewhat unfocused attacked.

      I pointed out that Queerty reporting on this was good as it would keept stories like this from being done this way in the future on NPR, if enough attention was paid to this.

      Read your response. Were you responding to me? Or were you rather, inventing a conversation in your own head and then trying to argue it out?

      Aug 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @Cam:

      Do you speak English? I’m serious. Is it your first language? You leave a lot of room to speculate. Now clearly your opinion is bereft of cognitive significance, and is one emotional tirade after another, you pathetic uneducated and very likely ugly fat troll.

      I know that queerty has absolutely no influence on the reporting content and style over at NPR. Their editorial staff has likely never heard of this site or its contributors. None whatsoever. That is a very, very good thing. Further, this isn’t a real issue outside of queerty. If you disagree, which you seem to, it matters not at all, because to reiterate, I believe you’re a complete and drooling fucktard, and post after post from you proves the truth of this belief. This false equivalence between NPR and radical right social conservatism based on the mere perception of bias (at most an oversight) is a nothing but stupid farce. Now go away, you tedious fucktard. You have nothing to say other than to make up for your hurt feewings and grind out another pointless screed that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I wrote.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xander
      xander

      @Cam : Pay no mind to the psychobabbler behind the curtain (Gonad-for). It thrives on negative attention and stale beer. Do flag its posts, though.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      Xander’s another idiotic regular with hurt feelings who can’t come to terms with the manifest stupidity it produces on a daily basis here and perhaps elsewhere. The trifecta of queerty trolls. Cam, shitbag, and xander–perhaps one and the same person.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Ganondorf:

      And once again, you say nothing, but launch out in your little verbal version of a wondering eye.

      The fact of the matter is, you can’t hold to a topic, you type as if you were wiping hysterical spittle off the keyboard, and then act offended that other people, not on the same medication as you, fail to read your scrawl.

      Again, rather than creating a conversation in your head, you may want to try actually reading a post, and then responding to that post. And, before you push “Submit” reread the origional post, and your response and ask yourself if you have written ANYTHING that relates to the origional.

      Lastly, any truly educated person will let you know that purposely inserting larger words into a rant are usually the sad attempt of somebody to try to seem intelligent. Hey, Mike Tyson and an online dictionary can do the same thing.

      Aug 10, 2011 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @Cam:

      Once again, your lack of a basic understanding how the English language is spoken and written isn’t grounds to accuse others of not making sense or not staying on topic. It’s akin to a near deaf person accusing everyone of constantly mumbling. Clearly others who speak and write in English aren’t going to be fazed by your disabilities and lack of facility with language. Hurt feelings from my initial reaction to your not getting “it” is no reason to prattle on endlessly about your insipid and false beliefs. The level of importance you ascribe to this borders delusion. As to the “you use big words that confuse me” (laughable given that none of the words I’ve used are particularly obscure) parry, get a dictionary and learn how to use it. Then write down the words that you’re unfamiliar with, look them up, and build your English vocabulary. Hopefully it will help you navigate the “confusing” waters of casual conversation. That’s called a metaphor, by the way, which is a high barrier linguistic concept that you’ll learn about later on in your ESL course, hopefully.

      Aug 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • larry
      larry

      After listening to the NPR story, i think your article is a little unfair. There IS a ongoing controversy about reparative therapy — but it’s a political controversy, not a medical one. It does “rage” in right wing circles. The NPR piece should have been more clear about that — a minor sin, not a major one. The APA was clear that it’s not a valid approach for therapists, abd the NPR piece says that. The NPR piece also end clearly coming down that if “reparative” therapy has any merit, its only for very few people (which is basically what the APA concluded).

      Aug 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mary Hayes
      Mary Hayes

      This story wouldn’t have suffered one bit without the stupid headline.

      Aug 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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