media

Does the Washington Post Need to Keep Defending Its Coverage of Gays?

Is it admirable the Washington Post is going to great lengths to defend its coverage of homogays? Or silly that the newspaper’s ombudsman feels the need to devote column inches to support positive portrayals of gay Americans?

Both, of course. It’s great to see Post Andrew Alexander take some time out to explain — to morons — that reporting on D.C.’s gay marriage law, and the happy gay couples exercising their new rights, is what newspapers in the city ought to be doing. It’s also perfectly ridiculous that such an explanation is needed.

Already, Alexander had to tell readers why a photograph of two gay men kissing, published on the Post‘s front page, was just fine. Now, thanks to research claiming the Post is becoming HRC’s newsletter, he’s at it again.

And the conservative Culture and Media Institute said its review showed that in the week after March 3, The Post coverage totaled 543 column inches (“equal to nearly four full pages”) and included 14 photos of “gay celebrations.” Supporters of same-sex marriage were quoted 10 times more than opponents, the group said.

“As soon as this became law, it was basically The Washington Post standing up and saying ‘Yay!’ ” Dan Gainor, the group’s vice president, said in an interview. “It’s news,” he acknowledged, but the coverage was excessive and “one-sided.” Conservatives see it as evidence that The Post is hopelessly liberal, he said.

The Post is not always sufficiently attuned to conservative perspectives. But with gay marriage coverage, the accusations of journalistic overkill are off base.

His whole column is worth a read, not because it will teach you anything you don’t already know, but because it’s an exercise in speaking to the ignorant, and the best chance at conveying a responsible message. Whether opponents to equality digest it is their concern.