responsible reporting

Congratulations, Media: You’re Actually Ignoring Anti-Gay ‘Experts’ In Reporting Bullying Suicides

“Something must be done,” says Ellen DeGeneres. “This needs to be a wake up call to everyone that teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country and the death rate is climbing.” She directs people to her website, where she says there are resources for young people thinking about suicide. I found a link to All over the place, big media is reporting on this story. Responsibly. Even on Bill O’Reilly’s program!

On Anderson Cooper‘s show last night, he kept reporting on September’s deaths of five tween and teenage male youth who took their own lives. (Today we learned there is a sixth.)

From Good Morning America to the CBS Evening News to the New York Times, we’ve seen the mainstream media responsibly tackle these bullying stories. And they are not just calling attention, but calling out these bullies.

What I’m most impressed with, however, is that nobody (at least that I’ve seen) has welcomed on “experts” to argue anti-bullying measures are unnecessary. Because those people are charlatans. People like Minnesota governor hopeful Tom Emmer. Groups like the American Family Association. Finally, when it’s most crucial, these media outlets are refusing to tolerate the idea that homosexuality is what’s wrong, not the bullying.

The biggest surprise, however, was last night’s The O’Reilly Factor, where the program’s most reasonable analyst Margaret Hoover was joined by Bill O’Reilly and the usually ridiculous-just-’cause Gretchen Carlson in calling for the punishment of suspects Dharun Ravi and friend Molly Wei. Of course, Carlson had to qualify her remarks with noting it’s not just gay kids facing torment (which is true), and frame Ravi and Wei as “good kids who did an immensely stupid thing.” O’Reilly wholeheartedly disagrees.

Update: Might’ve spoke too soon! CNN’s Rick Sanchez says you can’t create laws for people who are “mean.” Says the always reasonable Sanchez: “‘Bullying?’ How is this bullying? You know, this whole term, it’s a psycho-babble, media term that we’ve made up. A person is mean to another person. How is this bullying?”

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  • Cam

    How is Bullying a term that they’ve “Made Up”? You can watch movies from the 1930’s and see people referred to as a “Bully”.

    how about this Sanchez, I’m making a judgement that you are Latino based upon your last name, so I will phrase this in a way maybe you will understand.

    If these kids had been attacked and harrassed because they were Latino would you also say that nothing should be done?

  • Soupy

    Sanchez is yet another example of the hard times that CNN has fallen on.

  • uu

    How in the world––is that guy sociopathic? This Rick Sanchez person. Maybe his reaction can be explained with jealousy because he was bullied too when he was still young and nobody cared; leading him to behave in a way tantamount to yelping “Listen to me-e-e!” Or not.


    This has been such a crappy week, Gay kids and teens ending their own lives who are so despondant because vile scumbags toss hate on them for simply living their lives the way they are born. I gots no more patience for anyone who can not sympathize with a 13 year old kid who feels that at that age his life is not worth living anymore because some subhuman scumbags can’t mind their own fucking business and let these kids live their lives in peace…..

    Rick Sanchez: You are nothing more than a vile, disgusting, pandering, hatefill piece of shit…….

  • Ozzy

    Im almost ashamed being a latino this Rick a**hole needs to go back to Mexico and injoy he’s donkey show-freaking ass clown

  • Cam

    Am I the only one who can picture Gretchen Carlson having her hair lowered down onto her head like Darth Vaders Helmut?

  • Soupy

    Sanchez is Cuban.

  • TruthTeller

    Bullying in schools has always been a major topic for O’Reilly, on his show and in his books, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s covering it.

  • kayla

    @ Ozzy, If you were really Latino you would know that Sanchez is really Cuban, you racist fucktard. Or do all Latinos look the same to you too. Latino my ass!!!

  • Silver

    I’ve never liked Rick Sanchez, he’s one of the less-astute personalities on CNN. Here’s another reason for me not to watch him.

  • TommyOC

    You know, FOX News, you should consider your words when you demonize the “gay agenda,” the “gay lifestyle,” and any pursuit of happiness by gays the other 23 hours and 55 minutes you’re on each day.

    Thanks for nothing.

  • Pip

    “Psycho babble media term”=Bully? Ahah. Wow. Sanchez is truly a crack head. This is the man who thought Hawaii was off the cost of Mexico.

  • McMike

    I think the woman with Sanchez is just as dumbfounded as we are. CNN needs to fire Sanchez. F’n dumbass. btw, what kind of world do we lie in when we start agreeing more with FOX than CNN?

  • drums

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen Bill O’Reilly sound so reasonable! He understood the story, he expressed himself without sounding like an extremist, he acknowledged that gay teens are especially vulnerable, and he called for reasonable punishment so the bullies would learn something. The ending line of “They’re bad kids, and they should’ve been raised better.” was perfect.

  • from bad to worse

    Twelve years ago Matthew Shepard, was murdered for being gay. Many gays at that time were: I had two friends who were shot to death by a couple of homophobics outside a gay club, and there were more instances such as this going on in the headlines all over the US. However today it seems like young gays are committing suicide. Is this what happens when murdering in cases of hate becomes unacceptable – that instead of committing a direct murder for which they punished, the homophobics are somehow now putting the blame on the gay person and therefore leading him to commit his own murder? And to make it worse the homophobic who was the instigator is legally considered blameless.

    I’m sorry if I haven’t don’t explain this very clearly, but it occurred to me how the headline-making, shocking deaths of gays caused by homophobia has evolved within the last twelve years: from murder to suicide. Has guilt, shame and hatred of self via being a bullying victim replaced guns and fists? How has hatred of gays turned from a heterosexual’s “Something’s wrong with you” to a gay’s “Something’s wrong with me” ? It is truly sad, because the psychological effects of gay bullying are far more dangerous weapons to society than any gun will be.

  • wompman

    McMike, CNN did fire Sanchez, today in fact. Not for this idiotic “report”, but for going off on jews on a radio show. One less douchenozzle on the news!

    As for O’Reilly I am pleasantly surprised. No Focus on the Family, no NOM, no anti-gay politician, no Ann Coulter to say gay people bring it on themselves. The lack of those hateful asshats on these reports is refreshing, but the story itself remains heartbreaking.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @wompman: I’m pleasantly surprised too but it’s clear we’ve reached critical mass with a story like this. There’s NO DEFENSE for secretly videotaping your roomamte having sex — especially when he’s specifically asked for privacy. Apparently even O’Reilley has learned how dangerosu it is to be a gay person in this hostile culture. And what these lower life-forms did to Tyler Clementi is a pluperfect example of said danger.

  • Ozzy

    @ Kayla doesnt fucking matter dumdass the man is an embarrassment to the hispanic culture weather his latino cuban or spaniard-the man doesn’t believe that bullying is a word that exist.
    Tell that to the family that loss their kids, im glad CNN canned he’s ass, now i hope he swims back to CUBA

  • PopSnap

    Honestly, I think the problem more lies in the fact that teens (and people in general) are more afraid of themselves, rather than others. I never had any trouble coming out in high school. I was a band geek with a group of a few best friends, and we were all shy types in the first place. So I didn’t have a “rep” to keep up. Most people didn’t even know my name because I sort of disappeared into the background. My parents and I didn’t get along, but it had literally nothing to do with my sexuality and everything to do with the fact that they were never home.

    But the first “boyfriend” I had? His name was Nick. 6 foot 2, a cagefighter sponsored by Nike, had a six pack, tattoos, and was on the football team. To him, being gay was a sign of being weak. He was about the biggest psychotic mess I ever encountered to this day. He burnt himself with cigarettes and battery acid, cut himself with a switchblade, did drugs all the time, anything he could to punish himself for being homosexual. One of the most surreal experiences I ever had was staying up on the phone with him until 3 AM convincing him not to swallow a cup of bleach and being so mentally, physically, & emotionally tired the next day that I was literally hallucinating in Algebra.

    The problem was not coming from other people. Other people didn’t know. It was coming from deep within himself. The best thing to teach these kids (and I say this as an 18 year old myself) is to say, simply put, “Don’t like me? Fuck you, because there are people who do.”

    The problem is all in stereotyping and image. Gay is weak. Gay is feminine. Gay’s gross and girly and you aren’t a man if you like men. Some people are able to deal with this and truly do not care what everyone thinks of them, but others such as my ex & all of these kids in the news recently DO care and it DOES bother them.

    We’re failing these teens and it’s all because we’re focusing on making ourselves presentable to other people. That should come later. What should come now is making ourselves presentable to, well, ourselves, first and foremost.

  • TruthTeller

    PopSnap : But sadly, some of the fault of hat stereotype is from gay men themselves. If you visit the Gay Center in NYC, for instance, they resent you if you’re too “straight” and masculine, and actually encourage you to act “more gay”, or else…! Their all-encompassing rainbow flag philosophy is baloney. I think the world would be better if we just accepted the “masculine and tough” along with the “effeminate and weak” for whoever they are, with no judgements either way.

  • ewe

    BE CAREFUL. We must never think for one second that Bill oreilly is a voice of reason.

  • eyesiq

    Soooooo Rick Sanchez doesn’t believe “Bullying” exists? Believes these things are just people “being mean”. Well people still get put away in jail if their “being mean” was shooting someone in the head. Stupid definitions, right Rick?

  • swarm

    No. 6 · Cam
    “Am I the only one who can picture Gretchen Carlson having her hair lowered down onto her head like Darth Vaders Helmut?”

    Yes you are. The irony. Can’t avoid taking a shot at someone for something superficial like a hair style on a bullying thread? It says more about you than your target. But thanks for the good illustration of how internet wank and how ~clever people think they are is so pervasive.

  • Tony


  • Symonds

    At first I was impressed with how sympathetic even social conservatives have been.

    Then I realized that the gay died at the end, so that makes it okay for them. Witness the products of social engineering that go back to the Catholic League of Decency.

  • Jake the libertarian

    I a just crushed by all these suicides. It is something that we have all lived with for years. I know in my younger days I considered it too.

    I would give anything to be able to talk to these kids. To let them know that being gay is a great and interesting part of who they are and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Most importantly, to let them know that the whole world is not as small minded as the people who torture them on a daily basis and that is does get better.

    This Tyler kid so fucking awful too. I mean he just got out! He was 18 and at college and experimenting with living his life as a gay guy. He was so close to learning that it was all going to be OK and those little bastards went and destroyed all of that for him. Just hearing that story brings back all the bad feelings that I had growing up. I am just heartbroken that no one was there to help him or the others who didn’t think they had a way out.

  • Tony

    On Friday morning’s “Fox & Friends”, Steve Doocy (!) did an incredibly succinct, factual, informative roundup with guest Fox personality Napolitano, whose specialty is law and who outlined the charges that have been filed and the penalties associated with each charge, and the extenuating circumstances all around, good and bad.

    It doesn’t make up for, you know, Fox News’ contribution to the destruction of Western Civilization or anything, but it was impressive and exemplary.

  • tjr101

    OMG Faux news actually sounded more sane and compassionate on this critical issue than CNN. What is this world coming too?

  • ewe

    @tjr101: Don’t count on it. If you noticed Bill Oreilly ended the segment by saying the two perpertrators were not raised right. He is only empathetic when it comes to DEAD gay people (probably only for the familys sake) because it is Bill Oreilly that would also say that LIVE gay people were not raised right. Do Not Believe a word that comes out of this racist homophobic maniac.

  • Mark

    @Soupy: isn’t it sweet sanchez got his ass fired?

  • TruthTeller

    Ewe : I think the rest of us know that nothing is black & white. You have an agenda about O’Reilly. It’s really your problem and not ours. (I’ve heard very gay-supportive statements come from O’Reilly in the past, as well as comments that were open for criticism, but he’s an individual).

  • southpaugh

    BO’R is just as stupid as ever. Watch him closely as he founders trying to come up with something profound to say as the women are giving all the facts and hard hitting opinion. When “sensitivity” is uttered — you know, that word for wusses — he rejects it out of hand, in kneejerk fashion, it never occuring to him that sensitivity to symproms of being a bully or sensitivity to being bullied would equally go a long way to saving lives. Once a myopic blowhard, always a transparent asshole.

  • ???

    Somebody update this to note Rick Sanchez getting his sorry ass fired.

  • ewe

    @TruthTeller: You have your opinion is what you mean. I have countless statements that override any few words you attribute to that horrible person.

  • Bubblicious

    Not even with all THIS will Anderson Cooper come out. Shame.

  • eagledancer


    Sadly, suicide amongst GBLTQ youth (and adults) has been going on for a very long time, but the coverage of it often didn’t happen, or it was “cleaned up” where the general public wasn’t aware of the fact the dead had been GBLTQ. One of the cultural changes over the past generation has been making it acceptable for the media to share the sexual orientation of individuals in news stories in a way that hadn’t happened previously. This is still an “in-process” situation, where sexual orientation is not always touched on, but it’s certainly becoming more common.

    One of the famous ACT-UP slogans from early on in the AIDS epidemic was “Silence=Death.” You and other citizens are hearing more about GBLTQ suicides because the media is no longer as silent about them.

  • eagledancer

    Whoops–sorry DRUMS–my bad eyesight again–I should have clicked “reply” on the post right below yours of BAD TO WORSE…

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