TIME magazine joins AP in falling for fake DADT ‘survey’ story

TIME magazine’s Mark Johnson breathlessly reported on the News Hour last night – where no one challenged him – that the commandant of the Marine Corps has surveys showing 95% of Marines do NOT want DADT repealed! Holy cow!

Too bad it’s a lie, and Thompson had no idea. Here’s what Thompson said:

But the Marine commandant this weekend, John Conway, said 95 percent of the — James Conway said 95 percent of the Marines he has taken surveys of do not want to serve with openly gay men and women. That is a stunning figure, if that is what’s going to be in the poll.

Yes, stunning! So stunning in fact that AP’s Julie Watson and Anne Flaherty fell for it too.

Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, claims, by his own informal survey of the force, some 90 to 95 percent oppose letting gays serve openly.

It wasn’t an informal survey. It was a lie, first published by FOX, and then believed by AP, TIME and countless others. Had Thompson, Watson and Flaherty bothered simply reading the FOX piece – or, oh, I don’t know, maybe asking DOD how Conway did his “study” – they’d know they were snookered. Here’s an excerpt from FOX:

Conway says these few gays don’t cause a problem now because their homosexuality is not known publicly. But he said if their sexuality does become public, “90 to 95 percent of the Marines” he has informally surveyed are concerned about the consequences. Conway cited impromptu surveys he has conducted by a “show of hands” among Marines at town hall style meetings.

That’s not “has taken surveys,” and it’s not even “an informal survey.” The head of the Marine Corps, who is virulently opposed to lifting the ban, went and asked his employees, his subordinates, sitting in a group, in public, to raise their hands and indicate whether they agreed with the boss or the homos. And surprise! 95% publicly agreed with the boss.

That’s Conway’s “survey.”

And the sick part is that FOX is the only outlet I’ve found that actually dug deeper and exposed Conway’s survey for what it really is (though FOX still tried to spin it as huge news).

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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