Restating #GLAADCAP's purpose in hopes critics might actually listen

More that two years after the project's launch, I still come across daily examples of anti-LGBT social conservatives misrepresenting GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project, its tone, its intent, and its purpose.  The most common charge is that it's some sort of "blacklist."  Others claim it's designed to "silence."  And in one of the oddest of the omnipresent charges against it, many make the claim that GLAAD CAP somehow twists or misrepresents the subjects' words.  

From my experience, it doesn't matter what I say in response to any of these charges since these anti-LGBT activists typically refuse to accept anything I say at face value.  But considering that no one knows this project better than me, I am going to give it another go.  At the very least, I can start linking to this post as my response to their claims rather than typing up a new one each time I come across yet another misrepresentation.  Let's get started.

Seven points about GLAAD CAP, in no particular order

(1) GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project is simply a collection of activists who have made resistance to LGBT rights a major part of their work.  The list includes both state and national figures who engage on the other side.

(2) The core project consists of nothing more than the subject's own words, all of which are sourced and linked.  When possible, those of us who work on the possible link to the direct source.  Meaning that in most cases, the links point right back to the anti-LGBT commentator's own platforms.

(3) The links are always provided so that readers can go explore further, should they seek more context. It is considered bad practice and is sometimes even unlawful to reprint an entire article, so GLAAD can only provide excerpts of the commentator's words in their CAP profiles.  But GLAAD wants readers to seek out as much context as they need, thus the reason why all the quotes are sourced and linked.

(4) Despite constant claims to the contrary, GLAAD does not tell reporters to stop booking or interviewing those who CAP profiles.  This project was specifically designed for another purpose.  Since day one, the request has simply been for reporters and anchors to quote the folks accurately whenever interviewing them.  The CAP profiles are meant to help reporters understand what these subjects have said about LGBT people in their own forums, which oftentimes conflicts with the way they present themselves when appearing in mainstream media.  CAP is only seeking fairer coverage.

(5) Practically speaking, the CAP profiles are identical to something a PR person or someone else on the subject's team might send out in order to highlight his or her work.  The profiles are basically a highlight reel.  If the subject is comfortable with his or her own words, then he or she should thank GLAAD for helping spread the word.  And if the subject is uncomfortable with having his or her work highlighted, then he or she needs to direct the questions inward.

(6) There is no real value judgement placed on the individual subjects.  Yet, it is no secret that GLAAD opposes the agenda of the anti-LGBT rights movement.  However, CAP doesn't claim that this person or that person is mean or nasty or an awful human or even a "bigot."  The project simply documents the people who have, per their own will and volition, taken a front seat in this public debate.  What brought them there and why might be a subject for discussion, but it is not the purpose of CAP.  This project simply notes that  these people are there, and it presents back the things that they themselves have said.

(7) Opposition research (or "oppo") is a common part of politics.  All sides do it.  It is important to know what your political opponents are saying so that you can shape your counter message. GLAAD CAP is opposition research as its most basic level: a commentator's very own words presented intact, with sourcing. 

We don't need to twist words or make all that many claims about the commentators.  Their own rhetoric and engagement is usually damning enough.

Hopefully this clears things up for those who believe accurate notation = persecution.

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