MRC: News Networks Are Going Too Easy On Gay Bullying Victims
December 15, 2011 12:29 pm ET by Carlos Maza
The Media Research Center (MRC) has a long history of shrieking “liberal bias” any time a media outlet shows even the slightest amount of sympathy towardthe LGBT community. From Glee to Dancing with the Stars, MRC has demonstrated that no representation of the LGBT community on television is too small to provoke a meltdown.
This week, however, MRC may have sunk to a new, anti-gay low.
On December 14, MRC’s Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham wrote a piece condemning news networks for “do[ing] their own bullying on gay teens.” Graham explained:
Liberals love to pose as free-speech defenders against the “chilling effect” of societal censorship. But when it comes to the gay agenda, they intend to intimidate dissent of any kind. They even line up mourning parents to accepting public shame for their child's suicide for not being "progressive" enough. That is chilling.
Chilling is right.
Graham lamented the media’s allegedly one-sided coverage of the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi, criticizing the lack of a “balanced debate” on the teen’s death:
A traditional religious viewpoint of opposition – of any religion – is utterly avoided, skipped over, censored. God gets no air time.
Graham’s most extreme comments came while discussing the media’s coverage of Jonah Mowry, the 14-year-old who’s YouTube video about being bullied recently went viral. Once again, Graham blamed news networks for being too sympathetic towards the victim:
Then came the warmest of introductions: "For more, now, we're joined by the brave, young man you just saw. 14-year-old Jonah Mowry, along with his mom, and his dad, Peggy Sue and Kevin, and his brother, Julian. Welcome to you all. So, it must feel pretty good to have 7.8 million supporters behind you, including Lady Gaga, Perez Hilton, and so many more."
It sounded like a gay version of “The 700 Club,” but instead of a teen testifying that he was coming to Christ, he was coming out of the closet. Spencer was ABC’s Pat Robertson equivalent, honoring him as “brave” and a “remarkable young man” and a "national hero" and cheering him on to testify.
The story had a happy ending. Mowry said the school principal was “very supportive” and the students were “very supportive and very welcoming and nice.” No one wondered if perhaps Mowry’s accusation of constant daily bullying since first grade was overwrought. But the networks can't even show any skepticism or neutrality or nuance. [emphasis added]
To recap: Graham’s criticism appears to be that news networks should cover stories about anti-gay bullying and suicide by interviewing anti-gay religious figures, withholding sympathy from the victims of bullying, and suggesting that victims’ claims of being bullied might be exaggerated or false.