County Fair

Fox Decides To Run Yet Another Misleading Segment On Gay “Indoctrination”

July 01, 2011 1:37 pm ET by Carlos Maza

On Thursday, Fox ran a segment on California’s FAIR Education Act (SB 48), a bill that would require public schools to teach students about the contributions of gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans. Though the segment was just barely two minutes long, it perfectly encapsulated how Fox’s anti-LGBT agenda infects every aspect of its “news” reporting.

Focusing On Anti-LGBT Controversies

The segment appeared on Fox News’ Happening Now, which is ironic considering this story is anything but breaking news. Although SB 48 did pass the Assembly Education Committee last week, Fox has been fear mongering about the bill since mid-April.

In fact, Fox is the only “mainstream” media outlet trying to bring this story back from the dead (except, of course, for the illustrious LifeSiteNews and Charisma Magazine).

After spending last week largely ignoring New York’s historic vote to recognize marriage equality, why is Fox suddenly interested in re-covering a several-month-old story about a pro-LGBT education bill in California? Maybe because Fox is more interested in fear mongering about gay “indoctrination” than it is in actually reporting real news stories about the LGBT community.

Relying On Anti-LGBT Commentators

For commentary in opposition to the bill, Fox relies on Brad Dacus, president of the anti-gay Pacific Justice Institute in California. Dacus has a long history of opposing any and all efforts to reduce anti-LGBT bullying, including a program that would teach students not to use the words “gay” and “lesbian” as insults.

Unsurprisingly, his commentary is less than accurate:

DACUS: In the past, history taught about what people did, what they accomplished. It didn’t focus on their sexuality, what they did in the bedroom. And yet that is what this legislation will impose upon every public school in the state of California.

Dacus’ claim is almost identical to the claim Tucker Carlson made in April when he complained that the bill would force students to “dwel[l] on the sex lives of people to the exclusion of understanding why the world is the way it is today.”

Of course, the bill has nothing to do with what historical figures, LGBT or otherwise, “did in the bedroom” -- it simply requires is that public schools acknowledge the role that LGBT Americans have played in California and the country’s “economic, political, and social development.”

Claiming that it’s impossible to talk about LGBT people without also talking about how they have sex is a typical right-wing tactic used to shut down any acknowledgment that the LGBT community is a real and valuable part of the American identity.

Promoting Anti-LGBT Talking Points

In reporter Claudia Cowan’s article on this story, she writes:

[C]ritics worry parents who object to this curriculum will be labeled intolerant.

This statement has no basis in the actual text of the bill, as no part of SB 48 contains any provision concerning parents who don’t approve of lessons about LGBT figures. By refusing to distinguish between right-wing commentary and actual journalism, Cowan seamlessly threads an anti-LGBT talking point into supposedly objective “news” reporting.

Misinforming About Pro-LGBT Legislation

Cowan ended the Fox segment by suggesting that SB 48 would force children to learn that “people can have more than one gender”:

COWAN: We visited a school where kids were taught that people can have more than one gender or no gender at all.

The Oakland school Cowan is referring to is Redwood Heights Elementary, a public school that recently decided to introduce its students to a one-hour lesson on gender diversity. The lesson had nothing to do with discussing LGBT historical figures or SB 48, which is something you might expect Cowan to mention, considering she co-wrote a article for that story too.

In fact, Fox ran three separate segments bashing Redwood’s gender diversity lesson, even inviting Dacus to comment on the school’s attempt at gay “indoctrination.”

Notice a pattern?

Fox News has no interest in providing a “fair and balanced” look at issues affecting LGBT Americans. It’s too busy manufacturing ridiculous bogeymen stories to advance its anti-LGBT agenda.


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