GLAAD launches Commentator Accountability Project to expose anti-LGBT voices

Sick of seeing the homophobes spewing their hate on tv? Most of us are. And, we wonder why so many media outlets are willing to give them face time. GLAAD is launching a project to make sure the media knows exactly who they are dealing with:

The GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (CAP) aims to put critical information about frequent anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts and reporters. Journalists or producers who are on deadline often don’t have the time to dig into the histories of a commentator. Audiences need to be aware that when they’re not talking to the mainstream media, these voices are comparing the LGBT people to Nazi Germany, predicting that equal treatment of LGBT people will lead to the total collapse of society, and even making accusations of satanic influence.

The Commentator Accountability Project is bringing all of these statements to light, while calling attention to the sentiments behind them. We will show that the commentators who are most often asked to opine on issues like marriage equality or non-discrimination protections do not accurately represent the “other side” of those issues. They represent nothing but extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.

Have you seen these anti-LGBT voices in your local media? Let GLAAD know today.

What gives me some confidence in this idea is the involvement and response of Jeremy Hooper, who does more to dog the anti-gay industry than just about anyone. At Good As You this morning, Jeremy explains why:

Today, we strive to heighten awareness of this work and expand the sphere so that we can bring even greater awareness of what these folks have said about us on their way to the cable newsroom, statehouse, or anywhere else they present themselves as mere “values voices.”

And more:

Basically, this project is designed to foster healthier debate on LGBT matters. The most direct feature is a collection of one-sheet dossiers on some of the most commonly booked anti-LGBT pundits. Each of these pages — thirty at launch, but growing all the time — provide a brief bio sketch of the individual, followed by a roundup of four or five of his or her harshest statements/efforts. It’s not meant to be an in-depth encyclopedia of anyone’s views, but rather a digestible taste of what he or she offers. The hope is that some of these documented, unimpeachable quips and quotes that are common to you or to me might start getting out to those who don’t care as much about this whole “culture war.” And, ultimately, the hope is that a growing number of reporters and anchors will actually hold these folks accountable for the nasty stuff they say about us when they’re not speaking to the MSM, rather than letting them play the split roles that are so common now (i.e. firebrand on AFA Radio; buttoned up conservative when on “Morning Joe”).

GLAAD will not be telling anyone who to book, so there shouldn’t be any “censorship” claims (even though there likely will be). The basic message is, “Okay fine, go ahead and book this person — but when you do, here’s what you need to know.” This is the message that GLAAD will carry in a number of ways, online and in-person. The hope is for more substantive, more transparent appearances and debates, and then to let the conversation play out from there. That should be welcomed by everyone, on both “sides” of this debate.

And, another good sign: Alvin McEwen, who also relentlessly dogs the anti-LGBT industry, is pretty excited about this project, too:

When it comes to discussing gay issues, the media sometimes handles anti-gay pundits with kid gloves.

It’s not because of any bias, really. I think that a lot of it has to do with these pundits having the ability to disguise their anti-gay animus.

When they speak on news programs, folks like Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher, or Brian Brown are careful to dress their responses up as reasonable. They are even able to portray themselves as supposed defenders of traditional values, leaving the interviewer and audience unaware of the comments they make when not in front of the cameras; comments which reveal that their animus against the gay community have less to do with preserving traditional values and more to do with exploiting ignorance.

And at the rare times in which they are pressed about these comments, they play the victim by claiming that they are unfairly being labeled as bigots.

It’s a very dishonest thing to do because it taints the debate over gay equality. And its not just me who has a problem with it.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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