CNN Condemns Anti-Gay Bullying While Giving Airtime To Anti-Gay Bully
October 11, 2011 2:13 pm ET by Carlos Maza
Over the past few weeks, CNN has positioned itself as an ally in the fight against anti-gay bullying nationwide. The network has launched a “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” page, dedicated to drawing attention to the problem of violence and harassment between students in school. This past weekend, CNN hosted a town hall discussion on the topic at Rutgers University, the same university attended by Tyler Clementi, a student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly filmed him having sex with another man and posted it on the internet.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 even commissioned a study on bullying and is dedicating an entire week of programming to discussing the issue. Cooper himself has also devoted a significant amount of time to the death or Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year old recently committed suicide after being bullied about his sexual orientation.
Given CNN’s dedication to stopping the kind of bullying that drives LGBT youth to take their own lives, one has to wonder: why does the network continue to give airtime to one of America’s leading anti-gay bullies?
On October 10, CNN host Carol Costello invited Tony Perkins – president of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council (FRC) – to discuss the impact of his group’s recent Values Voter Summit:
Costello treated Perkins as a legitimate source of conservative commentary about the GOP primary and failed to point out that Perkins is currently one of the country’s most prominent and aggressive legitimizer of anti-gay bullying. Perkins has suggested that LGBT youth commit suicide because they know they’re “abnormal” and has condemned the “It Gets Better” Project (begun to counteract gay bullying) for supposedly trying to “recruit” children into a “lifestyle” of “perversion.”
Perkins’ FRC has produced some of the most damaging smears about LGBT people in American politics, including:
- Homosexuality is a health risk
- Gay and lesbian parents pose a risk to children
- Gay men are more likely to engage in pedophilia
- Gays and lesbians aren’t born that way
- Gays and lesbians aren’t a disadvantaged minority group
- Gays and lesbians are violent and promiscuous
- Anti-gay hate crimes are a “phony ‘crisis’ ” used to suppress free speech
- Marriage equality leads to polygamy, infidelity, and divorce
In other words, Perkins consistently promotes the kind of anti-gay hate speech that encourages anti-LGBT bullying in the first place. By failing to accurately identify Perkins as the leader of an anti-gay hate group, CNN whitewashes the anti-LGBT bullying it’s otherwise trying to stop.
This isn’t the first time CNN has relied on Perkins for commentary about the 2012 election either. In fact, it’s just the latest in a string of major media appearances in which the hosts let Perkins slide and don't call him out on his anti-LGBT hate speech.
If CNN is really serious about stopping anti-gay bullies, maybe it should stop inviting them on national television.