The other day we asked your opinion on whether or not Glenn Beck justifiably used the word “faggot” while deriding The New York Times for refusing to print said word that he said.
We got a lot of responses, but we’d like to take a second to look at what GLAAD’s fearless leader Neil Giuliano had to say. It’s pretty predictable:
Beck’s obnoxious repetition of the slur – and his flip dismissal of it as simply a ‘naughty name’ – speaks volumes about his appalling ignorance of its impact… Beck added nothing to the audience’s understanding of the issue, except perhaps to demonstrate his juvenile belief that repeating an anti-gay slur makes him an ‘adult.’… The ugliness of Glenn Beck’s word choice and his ignorance of its impact really speak for themselves. Other CNN personalities have discussed derogatory slurs as part of this story without debasing that discussion. CNN has a responsibility to address Beck’s crudeness and require that he adhere to basic standards of respect.
The “ugliness” of his word choice? What was he supposed to do, replace it with gayish, or something. It seems to us that Beck had every right to use the word – he was, after all, discussing a paper’s refusal to print a word, rather than calling someone a faggot – a distinct contextual difference. As we said before, how can our nation’s youth know a word is bad unless they hear it? Simply saying the F-word means nothing: that could mean fuck, it could be faggot, it could even mean frivolous – as in, the controversy over this is “the F-word”.
Hate words aren’t going away, kids, but we can certainly work to deflate them and it seems that censorship’s not the way to end their reign of lingual terror.
For their part, CNN apparently told GLAAD that as an opinionated journalist, it was Beck’s decision to use the word and they do no foresee pursuing the matter.