Reporters from some of the key organizations on which Americans depend for their news attended a Chicago conference where the goal was to figure out how to promote homosexuality, according to a critic.
Activist Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth attended part of the annual meeting of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association.
He found that $10,000 sponsors of the special-interest conference included Fox News, CNN and ESPN. Contributors listed at $5,000 were CBS, Comcast, Gannett, Bloomberg and Crain, while Cox Media and McClatchy were listed as $2,500 donors.
LaBarbera said journalists “are supposed to portray both sides of an issue,” so he wondered what it means when a specific agenda is promoted.
He said a good illustration of the one-sided nature of the conference was a panel about religion.
“Even the NLGJA panel on religion and ‘gay rights’ was bereft of a traditionalist perspective, while the two openly homosexual speakers – former Episcopal Church bishop V. [Vicky] Gene Robinson and new Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) Bishop Rev. Doctor Guy Erwin – were heralded in the program as leaders of ‘this next wave of the civil rights movement,’” LaBarbera reported.
He said Robinson and Erwin compared opposition to homosexuality and Christian businessmen’s principled refusal to participate in gay weddings to “racist bigotry.”
“Perhaps it is asking too much of ‘mainstream’ journalists who consider homosexuality part of their intrinsic identity (‘who they are’) to cover LGBT-related issues impartially. Nevertheless, intellectual diversity and ‘opposing’ viewpoint inclusion – the watchwords of this conference and pro-LGBT advocacy in general – were in short supply at the NLGJA convention,” he said.
“That is a peculiar and glaring deficit for a profession that ideally is supposed to cover ‘both sides’ of controversial issues.”
He told WND the organizations behind the conference should at least have brought in someone like a Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, to represent the traditional view of marriage and sexuality.
“This conference is anything but fair and balanced,” he said.
He said especially concerning were statements from Getty Images, a major supplier of photographs for the news industry.
The organization’s spokeswoman, he said, boasted of trying to inject “more positive images” of transgenders into news reports.
LaBarbera said consumers have the power to hold reporters accountable for their chosen biases. Consumers, he said, should call reporters and ask them to provide the “other side” of the story.
LaBarbera continued: “The prevailing viewpoint at the conference – surely shared by most secular media professionals these days – is that ‘gay, lesbian and transgender’ journalists are a legitimate sexual (or gender) ‘minority,’ not unlike racial and ethnic minorities, deserving solicitous attention in newsrooms. That would include allowing LGBT journalists to guide coverage on homosexual-bisexual-transgender stories in culture and politics.”
He said the NLGJA convention brochure’s description of a panel on religion and “gay” rights was typical of the treatment of traditional values – a complete discounting.
The brochure said: “The church and other religious groups were an essential organizing force when it came to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, yet they have not been as helpful when it has come to LGBT civil rights efforts. Now, as LGBT equality has become more accepted by the mainstream, more churches and synagogues are on board. While there are still strong hold-outs when it comes to equality and inclusiveness, more religious groups are helping to shape this next wave of a civil rights movement.”
The conference sponsors: