SF Chronicle quotes known hate group as legitimate expert claiming gays molest kids

UDPATE: The Chronicle has admitted their error.

(UPDATE: SF Chronicle quotes hate group as legit expert saying gas are bad parents, likely to molest kids, just as city of SF prepares pro-gay adoption ad blitz.)

This is an unbelievably sloppy, offensive, and dangerous gaffe by the San Francisco Chronicle and their reporter Ilene Lelchuk. Not to mention, an incredibly stupid one for a paper headquartered in San Francisco.

Ilene Lelchuk, a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, quoted the leader of a known hate group (without identifying him as such) as a scientific expert on gay issues (he claimed that gays molest kids) in a story just published Monday. The “expert” in question is none of than Paul Cameron. You may recall that I’ve been writing a lot about Cameron in the past few weeks (as has Pam Spaulding), as the lead religious right groups keep pushing his hate “science.”

What’s the problem with Cameron? He’s a man who has suggested that the extermination of gays might be necessary. Per the Southern Poverty Law Center:

He told the 1985 Conservative Political Action Committee conference that “extermination of homosexuals” might be needed in the next three to four years. He has advocated tattooing AIDS patients in the face, and banishment to a former leper colony for any patient who resisted. He has called for gay bars to be closed and gays to be registered with the government.

He was kicked out of the American Psychological Association, and was publicly rebuked by the Nebraska Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association. And he has been called the leader of a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, America’s number one civil rights organization for tracking the klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The Southern Poverty Law Center went so far as to say that “Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” And the SPLC tracks actual Nazis, so they have the right to make the comparison.

This is the “expert” quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle. And to make matters worse, not only did the Chronicle quote a known hate group as an expert on civil rights, but they didn’t even identify who Cameron really is. Nope. They don’t tell their readers anything at all about Cameron, simply that he’s an expert on gays molesting children. Do you think it’s relevant that the man’s “science” has been debunked? Not according to the “journalists” at the Chronicle.

One wonders if the Chronicle would quote the grand wizard of the Klan and not tell its readers that he is in fact with the Klan. Unlikely. And they certainly wouldn’t go to the Klan for a scientific analysis of the black genome. Then why do they turn to a known hate group that is lumped together with the Klan, white supremacists and neo-Nazis by the Southern Poverty Law Center? Oh I’m sure they’ll try to say that the reporter screwed up. How so? If you Google “Paul Cameron,” the first thing to turn up is a detailed analysis of just how nutty this guy is.

And if that wasn’t enough. Apparently the Chronicle also missed the time that Cameron appeared to endorse Nazi Germany’s approach to dealing with gays (they gassed us along with the Jews and people with disabilities and gypsies and the rest). I’m not kidding. Cameron wrote an article about how the Nazis apparently had the right idea about how to treat gays. The article was so offensive that one of the lead academics of the religious right even disowned Cameron over the horrid thing (link above).

It’s one thing for a newspaper to say that they’re going to cite a gay critic and we just have to accept that fact. Fine. But you don’t quote a critic who runs the Klan, the neo-Nazis or a white supremacist organization unless you are going to identify him as such. You don’t quote that critic’s “science,” unquestioned, when the lead scientific associations in America have called it intentionally misrepresented junk. To do otherwise legitimizes the critic and their hate. To quote Cameron at all, let alone as just another guy who thinks that science proves that gays molest kids, is beyond contemptible. It is the lowest form of journalism. And what’s more, the Chronicle has now, for the first time in years, put Cameron’s name back in play in the mainstream media. Some other lazy reporter, some other TV station, some other radio show, will see Cameron quoted as an expert in the Chronicle and they’ll reach out to him, having no idea that they are helping to promote a known hate group. The Chronicle should be ashamed of itself.

You can contact Ms. Lelchuk here (you have every right to chew her ear off, but please realize that there’s a fine line between righteous indignation and simply being rude – she deserves the former).

Also contact the Chronicle’s Reader Rep, i.e., the ombudsman, here.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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