How not to hold a commentator accountable starring Fox News' Jeanine Pirro

William Owens is the National Organization For Marriage's religious liaison. He's also a proudly anti-LGBT man (but I repeat myself?).

In recent years, Mr. Owens has proudly claimed that homosexuality is not natural. He also once insisted that President Obama is a Judas for supporting marriage equality and claimed that those who follow him "lose all of their allegiance to God and country." He praised Russia's anti-gay laws.  Oh, and Mr. Owens also has a truly unfortunate penchant for linking homosexuality to pedophilia.  To name just a few of Owens' recent slights.

Owens' last cause, working in tandem with NOM, is his call to impeach U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for the apparent high crime and/or misdemeanor of being too pro-equality.  Owens is now beating this drum all around town with a fresh batch of anti-gay rhetoric to couple with his call.

To make his case, Owens managed to book himself on this past weekend's edition of Judge Jeanine Pirro's Fox News show. To Mr. Owens' credit, he didn't really pretend to be anything other than he is. In his hit, the NOM liaison accused LGBT people of wanting to destroy gender, he said the supposed "homosexual agenda" is "unfair to our people," falsely insinuated that we're targeting churches, and said our fight "is a civil wrong." He made it perfectly clear that LGBT people are who he wants to stop, and was quite happy to make opposition to LGBT rights his sole reason for impeaching a sitting U.S. Attorney General.

But what did the Fox News host say to challenge him? Nothing. Squat. Nada. Take a look:

It was as if Pirro—who, we should note, ran for NY Attorney General on a platform built around fighting against LGBT discrimination—wasn't really even listening to what he was saying. In fact, she went out of her way to not address, much less counter, his claims.

And then oddly choosing (at 2:15) to turn the conversation to African-Americans who are out of work? WHAT!?! I mean, seriously—what the heck was that?!  Even Owens seemed thrown for a loop.  He truly seemed like he wanted to keep knocking LGBT people and our supposed push for societal destruction, but Pirro just let him off the hook.

This simply does not happen with other kinds of debates. Typically, if someone makes a point, the anchor responds to the point. If it's an outlandish point (and there are few others in anti-LGBT punditry), then anchors will often challenge the person at the other end of the mic. Not so with far too many LGBT versus anti-LGBT debates. All too often, the person conducting the interview either pretends the person saying these hostile things doesn't really mean them, or he or she will just gloss over them altogether. It's a bizarre spectacle that is unique among political debate.

It's also doing a great disservice to the debate.

Related Stories

 

GLAAD Southern Stories will elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states. The initiative amplifies stories of LGBT people thriving in the South, ongoing discrimination, as well as the everyday indignities endured by LGBT people who simply wish to live the lives they love, including stories of family, stories of faith, stories of sports, and stories of patriotism