Signorile on the ‘outrageous hypocrisy’ of the corporate media when it comes to naming who is gay

Mike has a post at Huffington noting that the San Francisco Chronicle decided to report that Judge Walker is gay because it was an “open secret.” Over the past week, many in the right wing media have used that info. to attack Walker’s Prop. 8 decision and the traditional media dutifully reported those attacks. Yet, there are many “open secrets” about gay politicians, many of whom are conservative and anti-gay. But, for some reason, that’s off-limits:

But the outrageous hypocrisy here on the part of the corporate media — and one that shows how they are manipulated by the right — is the fact that, even with proof and evidence, news organizations refuse to report on the secretly gay sexual orientation of conservative, anti-gay politicians and public figures when the argument for their exposure is made from the left. When Kirby Dick’s much-discussed documentary Outrage hit theaters in 2009, and later premiered on HBO (for which the film has now been nominated for an Emmy), many media organizations wouldn’t report on the conservative Republican politicians who were claimed to be gay in the film, like Florida Governor Charlie Crist or California Congressman David Dreier, though there was a plethora of sources and witnesses in the film — far beyond just “open secret” reporting.

The Washington Post noted in its review that it would not name names, and National Public Radio censored a review on its website. At the time, NPR’s ombudsman Alicia Sheppard claimed in an interview on my Sirius XM radio program that reporting on public figures’ undeclared sexual orientation was against NPR policy and vowed — after I pointed out that this was hypocritical in light of others they have named in the past — that she would police all future revelations on NPR.

Well, there was NPR last week, in an “All Things Considered” report, jumping on the bandwagon, like the Washington Post and others, reporting on Judge Walker as “openly gay” in the context of the criticisms against his ruling. The only difference was that this time the claims were coming from right-wing smear artists, whom the mainstream media are only too eager to accommodate.

There are still too many people in the media who operate like there’s something wrong with being gay. And, they “protect” politicians — and others in the media — who are gay. It is outrageous hypocrisy.


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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