The New Civil Rights Movement‘s David Badash is slamming The New York Times for neglecting to mention that the American Family Association is a Southern Law Poverty Center-certified hate group in an article Erik Eckholm published about the AFA today. Mr. Eckholm’s brushes aways the SLPC by calling them “liberal critics”, but his the article does mention that the AFA’s spokesman Bryan Fisher has said that all Nazis were gay, that Muslims should never get citizenship, and that welfare recipients “rut like rabbits.”
But why do mainstream media organizations continue to legitimize hate group leaders like Fisher and Tony Perkins by covering them without mentioning their SLPC hate group designation in the first place? Is it out of laziness? A sensationalist grab for ratings? A desire to placate their conservative financiers? Truth Wins Out‘s Wayne Bensen has some thoughts:
His entire column, entitled “Journalists Must Stop ‘Rightwashing’ Reality” is worth reading, but here’s the heart of it:
I’m willing to bet that the well educated NPR reporter and producers knew that science says that “ex-gay” therapy is hokum. Yet, thanks to the Foxification of news, professional journalists eschew truth and accuracy for the false God of “balance.”
It seems to me that too many news reporters appear terrified of the fire breathing right and will compromise their professional standards to avoid their wrath. It was always a problem, but the timidity has only intensified since the rogue Teabaggers spooked members of Congress and the press over healthcare reform at town hall meetings. Now, it seems much of the cowed media bends over backwards to appease “conservative correctness,” even if they know that they are helping to promulgate known falsehoods…
It seems [New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof] conveniently forgot how evangelicals played a key role in bringing America the nightmare of George W. Bush. It appears that Kristof hasn’t watched the GOP presidential debates either, where the candidates desperately compete for the evangelical vote by disavowing science and reality…
Instead of licking the boots of evangelicals, why doesn’t Kristof … ask these evangelicals why their overseas missions sometimes bring us legislation like the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda?
The truth is, it’s much easier for journalists to “Rightwash,” than ask the tough questions that would engender a vicious conservative backlash.
We’ve asked the question here at Queerty as well and it astounds us that almost no television journalists covering Marcus Bachmann’s ex-gay clinic and discussing the National Organization for Marriage have ever brought up the American Psychological Association’s debunking of “ex-gay therapy.” So what’s really going on and how can we force news outlets to have a higher standard instead of just passing off far right talking points as news?