If CNN Invites Richard Cohen Back On The Air, It’ll Cement Its Irresponsibility. And GLAAD’s

We agree with CNN’s Kyra Phillips: The vicious hate mail sent her way had absolutely no place in the argument to convince CNN to stop inviting ex-gay leaders like Richard Cohen (and hate leaders like Bill Donohue) on its airwaves. That’s also where we agree with GLAAD, which issued its standard follow up missive after Phillips addressed the outcry on the network yesterday. But, hmmm, that’s probably where our agreement with Jarrett Barrios & Co. ends.

Once again proving its lack of conviction, GLAAD effectively lets Phillips and CNN off the hook for even inviting people like Cohen on the air — with no promise to actually re-evaluate its standards on who it will give platforms to.

In its statement, GLAAD writes:

GLAAD thanks Kyra Phillips and CNN for listening to community concerns and acknowledging, “Richard Cohen was not the most appropriate guest to have on.” We also appreciate the follow-up interview with Clinton Anderson of the American Psychological Association, a qualified expert in his field.

[…] We also want to acknowledge Phillips’ past reporting on LGBT issues. Her coverage of Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach, who was dismissed from military service under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was nominated for a 2010 GLAAD Award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment.

Our Call to Action regarding Phillips’ coverage of Richard Cohen, and CNN’s initial missteps in addressing the issue, does not take away from Phillips’ fair, accurate and inclusive reporting in the past. We appreciate what she said today during her broadcast and look forward to working with her as a resource on future segments.

But what about the prospect of unfair and inaccurate reporting in the future? Of course, we can’t criticize a cable network for frauds it has yet to commit. Except CNN is failing to commit to refuse further contributions from folks like Cohen, who are promoting terribly unhealthy and destructive practices that have been widely discredited.

Unless Phillips introduces further segments with Cohen and his ilk with a disclaimer — “Our next guest has zero credibility, should be not taken seriously, and parental discretion is advised” — then you can conclude her reflection on this week’s events didn’t go far enough, and GLAAD’s efforts failed.

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  • terrwill

    The transformation of CNN to Faux News begins its metamorphisis…………….

  • Cam

    Look, it is so easy to flip the channel. If CNN keeps this up, I’ll just watch another morning news program. It’s not as if this is the 1950’s and people were stuck with just a few channels. CNN needs to decide who is a potential larger audience…gays and their familes, friends, people who don’t hate them, or “Ex Gays”.

  • AndrewW

    GLAAD is already irrelevant.

  • Jen

    CNN just doesn’t get it. They don’t need gimmicks or flashy sets or sensationalistic stories: they need journalistic integrity. Good reporting (of the facts, not just the opinions of any old soft-brained blowhard that wanders in off the street) will earn them back viewers. No more of this inventing “the controversy” bullcrap – it’s old and lazy, and the viewing public is tired of it.

  • Josh

    CNN has been sending e-mails to right wing blogs, courting them.

    They sent messages to Michelle Malkin, NewsBusters, etc.

    NewsBusters actually posted the e-mail but took it down now that its becoming controversial.

    Whats interesting about that is that NewsBusters criticizes CNN all the time and has tons of HOMOPHOBIC blogs and comments about ANDERSON COOPER!

    And CNN is courting them!!??

    When is the official boycott CNN going to begin?

  • Mike

    It has already begun:

    MSNBC is waaaay better and, I find, does more in-depth reporting than CNN.
    One of my staples: The Rachel Maddow Show on @ 9pm.
    Also, their morning show “Way too early” with Willie Geist is a great show to wake up to and gives you all the info you need to start the day.
    CNN has become obsolete in our household…

  • the crustybastard

    Cohen cited a study from the American College of Pediatricians. The ACP is a fake organization, invented by antigay activists for the purpose of confusing the public into believing there’s some scientific basis for their bigotry.

    The genuine physicians organization that issues board certifications is the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP has no problem with gays.

  • mk

    No more of this inventing “the controversy” bullcrap – it’s old and lazy, and the viewing public is tired of it.

    Maybe some people are tired of it, but not most news viewers unfortunately. If they were FOX News wouldn’t be blowing the other networks out of the water in the ratings like they are.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No. 1 Terrwill

    Ah, the old Terrwill with bitingly droll remarks instead of fauxTerrwill’s drool. Can tell from your comments, the real Terrwill, friend.

    @No. 2 Cam

    Agree. Gave up CNN when I just couldn’t take Lou Dobbs’ endless rants on immigration and his two-faced approach holding Obama to standards never placed on Bush. Staying with MSNBC.

    @No. 3 AndrewW

    Can’t remember when the last time GLAAD was relevant? It is a shame though.

    @No. 4 Jen

    While I fully agree with your sentiments, CNN’s old “its about the news” strategy failed long ago in the competitive struggle for viewership. Their current attempts at rebuilding viewership is failing too, in part per your observations about the quality or lack of quality in reporting news. CNN has failed and continues to fail in making itself relevant since so many others have copied its original 24/7 news coverage and the growing importance of the Internet as a news source.

    For CNN to survive, it will need to successfully craft a recreation of itself on the same scale that created the 24/7 news machine. Not sure they will succeed; if there were a simple answer, they would have adopted it.

    @No. 5 Josh

    Thanks for the link; very interesting.

  • Bianca

    God, what an idiot that “ex-gay” is! He’s connecting pedophiles with homosexuality! That’s what so many haters and bigots do.

Comments are closed.