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During Live CNN Broadcast About Hate, CNN Criticized For Giving Hate Leaders A Platform

We’ve long chided networks like CNN (and newspapers like the Washington Post) for giving platforms to hate leaders, because to maintain journalistic “objectivity” producers and editors believe they need to let people stop by and spew homophobia. It’s a farce, and Dan Savage appeared on CNN today to, uh, tell CNN exactly that during a segment about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s new reports about hate in America. Brilliant.

“We need a cultural reckoning around gay and lesbian issues,” says Savage, pointing out the “two sides” of a debate rule used to apply to segregation and voting rights. “That used to be treated as one legitimate side … and it isn’t any more. And we really need to reach that point with gay and lesbian issues. There are no two sides to gay and lesbian rights.”

There is right. And then there is Tony Perkins.

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  • jason

    Dan Savage has a point when he says that media organizations unjustifiably give a forum to those who are opposed to gay rights out of a need for “balance”. Dan also suggests, quite correctly, that GLBT rights is not an issue that should be subjected to the “balancing” views of hate mongers. It would be like interviewing the KKK for a “balanced” view on black civil rights at the time Lyndon Johnson introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

  • jason

    While I support Dan’s views, it must also be stated that Dan Savage is a part of a seemingly homophobic publication called Village Voice. Village Voice is based in New York City. It gives mostly academic coverage to gay rights issues but often refuses to publish images of male-male intimacy.

    For instance, Village Voice has a slide show section on the left side of its web site’s home page. This section often features photos from nightclubs and bars. Frequently, they will have guy-girl and girl-girl photos but no guy-guy ones. I’ve been following this for a while and have noticed this double standard in Village Voice’s presentations.

    What does Dan have to say about this? Enquiring minds wish to know, Dan. Do you approve of this seemingly homophobic double standard at Village? If not, why do you continue to contribute to Village Voice?

  • Screaming Queen

    Southern Poverty Law Center is pointing fingers at hate groups? SERIOUSLY? WTH? They’re not a credible voice on ANYTHING! As for my neighbor Dan Savage, a thorn in my gay agenda for the last twenty years, he’s a big ole hypocrite on waaaaaay too many issues to list. Yes the “It get’s better” campaign restored some of his credibility, but then he let every political group wanting to pander to the gays co-opt it. Besides, Dan Savage is one of the biggest bullies in the Seattle gay community and a typical progressive hypocrite. It’s unfortunate the gay community can’t find better, less caustic people to represent us to the rest of the world.

    Oh, and just in case our local narcissist reads this: The Eagle does suck, but not because of your BADLY interpreted meaning behind “Bareback Thursdays”. There’s plenty of legit complaints about that drug infested dump, but you chose to freak out about ONE of their theme nights. Your bias is showing Mrs Savage.

  • Justin Russo

    @jason: Dan Savage is syndicated in lots of publications nationwide. He has no editorial control over what the Village Voice will or will not print.

  • Eugene

    As much as we wish it were otherwise, a lot of Americans are “on the other side” with regard to this issue. So as great (and logical) as it sounds to say that there are no two sides to LGBT rights, our society as a whole is not advanced enough to accept that as a precept, and I doubt that banning hate mongers from public speaking will change that. Actually, a lot of sensible Americans get politicized FOR gay rights hearing the filth and utter bullshit spewed by Ann Coulter/Glenn Beck/Bill O’Reilly.

  • Chris

    @Screaming Queen: The SPLC isn’t credible!? Most people I know respect them a great deal. It’s been in existence for almost 40 years, two of their documentaries have won Academy Awards, their training materials are used in schools all over the country — what about them isn’t credible?

  • Michael

    To not expose the bigots is to deny their existence. A “cultural reckoning” is not going to happen without some “legal reckoning.”

  • Aaron

    And Dan Savage is one to talk? If we don’t want to give platforms to those who spew hate speech, let’s not give one to Dan Savage. A raging hypocrite and asshole who I still want to fuck for no good reason.

  • Cam

    @Screaming Queen:

    You sad pathetic fool. You are so wrapped up in your own little world, that in the middle of a post on going after the Networks to not let on hate mongers any more you are freaking out about a local bar and hoping to get a dig in against somebody that you seem to have a personal issue with.

    How sad you can’t look away from your own mirror for a few seconds to try and see a larger Issue.

    And as for you Jason…yes, you, stop looking around. ;) , stay on topic man. No guy/guy pictures in the Village Voice isn’t quite the same thing as CNN letting Tony Perkins on air and treating him as a credible source.

  • Brutus

    @jason: Jesus Christ, man, you see homophobia EVERYWHERE. Get a grip.

  • San Francisco Treat

    I just have to say the SPLC is inspiringly awesome and I am not aware of anyone in the legal community contesting that opinion.

  • tallskin2

    Jesus, this thread has a lot of arsehole loons making comments.

    Dan Savage is doing good work here. What a bunch of bitter and unhelpful queens you people are. What the f*ck have you lot ever done to aid gay equality?

    (And no, I am not interested in you listing your trips to the f*cking gay clubs)

  • Hi - its me

    Eugene has a point. When O’Reilly says the typical “I am OK with gays as long as they don’t flaunt thier lifestyle” I can’t help but see the hypocrasy.
    I can hold hands with my boyfriend in public and that is OK because we are straight but if I was a guy, would could not hold hands in public without being accused of “flaunting?”
    Hearing both sides speak really does show which side has it together and which side is full of it.

  • adman

    @jason: Dan Shoots, he scores!!! Jason:You are a product and participant of a homophobic culture, and way of life. You spend your days contributing, (OK I doubt that, but just for the sake of debate) to said culture against our collective interests as gay people. When you are ready to pick and choose your battles, ie. grow up, I’ll consider your opinion. And don’t bother with any more politicized views on the subject, because I sincerely hope you fail in your choice to live your life in bad faith. So, that means my arguments are invalid in your dream world of false equivalence and manufactured outrage. I’m just telling you in advance.

  • dpbfeb

    Sorry, wasn’t Dan Savage the one talking about how the “Blacks” derailed Prop 8. I didn’t hear must opposition to those views?


    At least Glenn Beck agrees with gay marriage, and O’Reilly is pretty gay-supportive too (though rather stuffy). Don’t include them in your list of hate-mongers, guys. Be real, here.

  • peteNsfo

    Every time I see, Dan Savage, I’m more impressed and grateful for his contribution.

    I love the expression, “Cultural Reckoning” and I think he is absolutely correct.

    Go Dan!

  • asshole


  • Chuck

    Good for him. That really is the crux of the whole issue, isn’t it? Since when is hating a minority group considered a legitimate intellectual viewpoint.

  • Tackle

    @ DPBFEB
    Yes Dan Savage was the one who jumped to the gun and falsely accused Blacks of derailing prop 8. And when it was proven he was wrong, (as far as I know) has never admitted he was wrong or apologize for his “bigoted” remarks.

  • chickbat

    agreeing with Dan and Jason….ugh get it together people…it’s all in the language and imagery…thas wat it iz

  • Avenger

    Look at Dan’s nazi ass, trying to silence the other side.

  • jason

    Dan Savage isn’t trying to silence anybody. He’s simply pointing to the double standard of the media. It’s the double standard, stupids.

    Dan’s simply saying that CNN would never interview an anti-black KKK member on a regular basis in the same way it interviews the anti-gay Tony Perkins on a regular basis. Dan’s saying that this double standard gives legitimacy to Tony Perkins and his anti-gay views.

    If you can’t understand this, lump yourself in with the ignorant set.

  • DR


    Wouldn’t they? To play devil’s advocate for a moment…

    If we go back through history and accept that CNN would be the same station it is in 2010, in terms of ethics and journalistic integrity, I guarantee that during during the civil rights era there would have been KKKers and during the Women’s Lib movement there would have been men on opposing it.

    To say “they wouldn’t do it today” misses the point that the civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movements aren’t in the same place today as the gay rights movement is, and they never had the opportunity to be covered by a station like CNN.

  • Robert in NYC

    No. 13 Hi Its Me…..the reason why O’Reilly says he doesn’t want us flaunting our sexuality in public has everything to do with his own homophobia. Believe me, he is homophobic. Saying he’s not bothered by gays until we start shoving it in their face is just a cover to get him off the hook to some extent. Any bigot can say that but they’re still bigots and liars. My question to him is this. Why should straights flaunt theirs in public? There are some religious wackos who would agree with that I might add. His answer to that would be of course…”because its normal”. They’re the majority unfortunately.

  • Shake-n-Bake


  • skzip888

    Dan Savage WIN. Society no longer needs these militant fringe H8Trolls eating up a disproportionate slice of media attention. If they want to spew crazy, let them do it for yuks on Howard Stern along with all the rest of the sociopaths.

  • samthor

    I give props to Dan. He’s not perfect, he’s not Superman or a Saint; but he’s doing a helluva lot more good than most of us.

  • Avenger

    @jason: The hell he’s not trying to silence anybody, you idiot. Watch the video. He says point blank that media needs to get to the point where it doesn’t welcome hearing the con side of gay issues.

  • Ken S

    @DR: “To say “they wouldn’t do it today” misses the point that the civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movements aren’t in the same place today as the gay rights movement is, and they never had the opportunity to be covered by a station like CNN.”

    So, what, you’re saying that equality for us gets a 10, 20, 40 year ‘grace period’ because it took women, blacks, etc that long before “society” (or at least the majority) smartened the fuck up? Because it took them a long time for people to realise that there was only one *right* side of those issues and that the people opposing them were merely bigots, not entitled to legitimacy or respect, then todays mere bigots opposing GLBT’s rights get a free pass until we can convince ‘the majority’ to support us?

    Can we stop making apologies or excuses for these hate-mongering assholes and start to expect a bit more of a learning curve? The point of history’s lessons vis-a-vis women’s rights, ethnic minority’s rights, and so on is that they were RIGHT. More importantly, they were right *before* the majority became ‘enlightened’ enough to realise it. It is reasonable to expect that lesson to resonate today. We already *know* that the anti-gay fuckwits are on the wrong side of this. We already know that their point of view is no more legitimate than a racist’s or a misogynist’s. We already know that history *will* condemn these people in the end. So why the fuck tolerate another second of delay?

    This isn’t just hindsight, this is another lap around a track that “society” should know like the back of its hand by now. There’s no excuse for Sunday driving it. “Society” should fucking well wake up and step on the gas pedal. And to suggest otherwise- that our rights still *are* some ‘risky social experiment’- is to support the view that we are somehow more ‘alien’ and less deserving of our dignity than any other minority. If our rights are going to be worth anything 10 or 20 or 100 years from now, then they’re worth as much *right this fucking instant,* and they’ve been worth just as much for as long as we’ve been here. When it comes to rights, right is right- always has been and always will be- what’s true tomorrow was true yesterday.

    Our civilisation has taken this test several times already, it should have memorized the answers by now. Innocence and ignorance are no longer valid excuses; those who’ve chosen to ignore the lessons of history *deserve* to fail, to be marginalized, ignored, and dismissed.

  • robert in nyc

    There’s a t.v. channel that is suitable for the conservative viewpoint, its called Fox “News” and its hardly a news stationm more a pundit station that doesn’t provide any factual information. Why don’t they all go there where they will find a welcoming audience?

  • DR

    @Ken S:

    No, what I’m saying is that, as usual, it’s dishonest to claim that things would be different if we had this discussion TODAY regarding race or gender.

    During the 50s and 60s there were most certainly people who appeared on TV who opposed the civil rights movement vocally. During the 70s and 80s there were most certainly people who appeared on TV who opposed the ERA and equal rights for women.

    I’m fed up with this idea that the entire world has to be sanitized. Guess what, it isn’t. Folks can have all the discussions on a blog they like, but legally, socially, and culturally the GLBT community occupies a very large space in American dialogue today. And there are multiple sides to that dialogue. Deal with it.

    Some people agree with the community, some don’t, and that’s not going to change because folks decide that tv and schools have to be stripped of anyone who doesn’t think like we do.

    If you don’t like what you hear on TV, change the channel, write a letter, or do something in your community to effectuate change. That’s the answer to this.

  • Cam

    @DR: said..

    “No, what I’m saying is that, as usual, it’s dishonest to claim that things would be different if we had this discussion TODAY regarding race or gender.

    During the 50s and 60s there were most certainly people who appeared on TV who opposed the civil rights movement vocally. During the 70s and 80s there were most certainly people who appeared on TV who opposed the ERA and equal rights for women.”

    Yes, and what Savage is saying is that eventually those people were no longer brought on as credible opposition which is what needs to happen today.

  • kokobean

    Personally I do not like Dan Savage’s bitchiness..but i love this interview. About time someone told CNN off…bringing Tony Perkins on…such assholes

  • Jaroslaw

    #28 – Avenger – I get what you’re saying, maybe Dan is trying to “silence” some voices. But this is reasonable, under the circumstances, isn’t it? You wouldn’t be informed or even entertained if someone came on TV with the position that the world is flat, or would you?

    This is not 1950. For example – IF Gays have more mental illness than the general population, it is because of the stresses, hate crimes, hiding from parents and coworkers; it is not being Gay in itself. We also have tons of data on many other subjects such as Gays are not a problem in any other military except the USA. And it is doubtful the research that we have a problem is accurate either.

    Another example – I’m old enough to remember the debate about the ERA. Until something like this gets passed, and court challenges occur, we don’t know for sure what impact a law like that will have. Will all special programs directed at boys and girls separately be outlawed since all are to be treated equally? Is there any avenue where either sex can be treated with an advantage(women’s rooms used to have a separate area with a couch so they could deal with that time of the month). Those are legitimate debate questions.

    So the point here is you shouldn’t just be able to go on TV and spout hate.

  • Andrew

    Does this mean Anderson Cooper is not a gay closet case today?

  • Hilarious

    Savage is a hypocrite and it’s mildly amusing how many people still kiss his bigoted ass.

  • Atlantarama

    He loses me when he singles out CNN, without even mentioning right-wing Fox News. Is there any question about if he would have been shown the same respect on FNC as he was shown on CNN? On FNC, I doubt he would be interviewed without a counter-argument from some right-winger.

  • jeff m

    @ATNNT: you’ve got to be kidding!! what world do you live in?!? they are two of the biggest hate monger’s in the world. i wouldn’t take seriously anything you say.

Comments are closed.