January 3, 2007, New York, NY — The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today identified several of the worst media and anti-gay voices specific to a series of egregious acts of defamation against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in 2006. GLAAD’s President Neil G. Giuliano has put the media on notice to stop all anti-gay rhetoric that has fed a climate of hatred and prejudice against LGBT Americans.
“Every day, LGBT people are viciously attacked and slandered by those who create and or profit from anti-gay messages,” said Giuliano. “Such expressions of intolerance clearly have an impact on how people treat members of our community.” When these acts occur, GLAAD works with reporters, editors and bookers and producers to ensure their stories are fair and accurate, and speaks out publicly as an authoritative voice of anti-defamation of the LGBT community.
“The amazing and unprecedented visibility of our lives and the issues we face every day makes it imperative that GLAAD respond decisively to such blatant bigotry,” said Giuliano. “Every day, we are on the front lines of the fight to change hearts and minds, in sometimes easy, sometimes heart-breaking circumstances. The media has a responsibility to make certain our voices are heard and our community is visible. This will be achieved when we convince those around us that our lives and our relationships deserve nothing less than full equality and respect.”
2006 Anti-Gay Defamation Offenders:
- Time publishes Dobson's Misleading Claims About Gay & Lesbian Families
Summary: Following widespread media coverage of the announcement that Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, is pregnant, Time magazine made the unusual misstep of inviting anti-gay fundamentalist James Dobson (Focus on the Family) to contribute a column that, unsurprisingly, contained significant misrepresentations. Dobson's column – "Two Mommies Is One Too Many" – can be read at Time.com .
- New York Post Publishes Two Anti-Gay Cartoons in Three Weeks
Summary: New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas published two defamatory editorial cartoons in October 2006. The first depicted a man carrying a sheep wearing a bridal veil to a “New Jersey Marriage Licenses” window and the second featured former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey “comforting” former Rep. Mark Foley.
- Imus and Chris Matthews Air Juvenile Homophobia on “Imus in the Morning” on MSNBC
Summary: On the Wednesday, January 18 edition of "Imus in the Morning" on MSNBC, host Don Imus and guest Chris Matthews (host of MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and NBC News' "The Chris Matthews Show") used an exchange about "Brokeback Mountain" to engage in a sophomoric display of homophobia.
- Ann Coulter Spews Homophobic Slur on MSNBC’s Hardball
Summary: Host Chris Matthews gave a free pass to guest Ann Coulter’s use of a defamatory anti-gay slur, the second time in the past year that the NBC News commentator has tacitly offered an on-air embrace of anti-gay prejudice.
- St. Maarten Newspaper's Defamatory Embrace of Gay Bashing
Summary: GLAAD urges U.S. media covering the brutal anti-gay attack on two CBS News employees in St. Maarten to turn a spotlight on a local newspaper editorial that glorified gay bashing, trivialized the assaults, and called gay people "faggots" and "homos."
- MSNBC Host Tucker Carlson Chooses Defamation Over Education
Summary: On “The Situation with Tucker Carlson”, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson made defamatory comments about Lily McBeth, a transgender New Jersey substitute teacher. In reporting on McBeth’s story Carlson said, “I’m pretty tolerant of whatever people want to do, very tolerant, in their private lives. If men want to dress up like women that’s fine. I think it’s dorky, but you know, it doesn’t hurt me. If a person voluntarily undergoes castration, that is totally different. That is an act of a crazy person. That’s like setting your hair on fire or blinding yourself. You are unstable if you voluntarily castrate yourself simply because you feel uncomfortable in your own sex and I don’t want a person that unstable teaching my kids.”
- Stop the Presses! Defamatory Column Not Okay
Summary: Reno’s El Sol de Nevada newspaper ran a column claiming that gays and lesbians get married to have access to heterosexual rights and to be less “tempted” to engage in pedophilia. Written by a psychologist, the column further described gays and lesbians as suffering from symptoms of neurosis, a direct result of neurotic relationships with family members.