More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
GLAAD Launches Commentator Accountability Project (CAP)
Today GLAAD launched our Commentator Accountability Project. The project aims to educate the media about the extreme rhetoric of over three dozen activists who are often given a platform to speak in opposition to LGBT people and the issues that affect their lives.
We announced this project in a guest post on Mediaite called "Bias Is Not Balance: GLAAD Pushes For More Transparent Punditry".
The Commentator Accountability Project contains facts that every journalist who covers LGBT issues should be familiar with, but usually is not. It is journalists’ responsibility to fully inform themselves about the people they’re calling on to provide opposition to the LGBT community, and to relay that information to their readers, listeners, or viewers.
Please note here that “accountability” does not necessarily mean keeping these people out of the media. But if a reporter is interviewing someone who insinuates that his or her political opponent is controlled by the devil, it’s the reporter’s journalistic responsibility to put that person’s opinion in perspective.
To view online resources detailing anti-LGBT rhetoric that these activists have used, visit: http://glaad.org/cap.
“Hate is not an expert opinion,” said GLAAD's Herndon Graddick. “In most cases, news outlets invite reputable experts to speak on the subject at hand, but when talking about LGBT issues, open hostility and anti-LGBT bias seems to be all the credibility required. This project holds these so-called ‘pundits’ accountable for the extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric they continue to spread.”
The Commentator Accountability Project launches with a comprehensive set of online resources detailing the anti-LGBT, racist, and anti-woman sentiments of nearly three dozen anti-LGBT commentators who have appeared in local and national news. As more commentators engage in anti-LGBT rhetoric, new profiles will be added.
“These activists have the right to recite their anti-LGBT talking points, but it is important to expose the questionable and often hostile rhetoric that passes as punditry when so-called ‘experts’ speak out against the lives of LGBT people on the air or in print,” explained Graddick. “If networks are going to continue to invite those with incendiary anti-LGBT views on their programs, show runners should know the full picture of who these individuals really are so that critical context can be relayed to the audience.”
We will utilize the resources of the Commentator Accountability Project in future meetings with editors, writers, network executives, producers, and guest bookers -- providing the mainstream media with a tool by which to hold commentators accountable.
We thank Jeremy Hooper of Good As You, Corey Johnson and the many LGBT advocates and allies who have helped with this project.
We encourage individuals to alert the organization when these virulently anti-LGBT activists appear on local or national news. To report an incident, visit: http://www.glaad.org/cap
View the Commentator Accountability Project at www.glaad.org/cap