September 15, 2011 11:29 am ET - by Carlos Maza
According to American Family Association (AFA) spokesman Bryan Fischer, Fox News is sounding a lot like an anti-gay hate group lately.
During the September 12 edition of his radio show, Focal Point, Fischer discussed how pleasantly surprised he was to see that FoxNews.com had published a column warning that children who watch Chaz Bono on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars might decide to become transgender as a result. The column – written by Fox’s resident anti-LGBT pseudoscientist Dr. Keith Ablow – apparently sounded a lot like “something that was written by somebody here at the American Family Association.” Listen:
FISCHER: Now Dr. Keith Ablow … got a very powerful column on Fox News. I mean I thought I was reading something that was written by somebody here at the American Family Association.
The AFA has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization has promoted some of the most extreme anti-LGBT propaganda imaginable, including advocating for the criminalization of homosexuality and arguing that gay people should be disqualified from public office.
Fischer seemed delighted to use Ablow’s column to reinforce his own transphobia. He even made a special effort to note how qualified Ablow is to talk about transgender people:
FISCHER: I’m just going to read some excerpts out of this, and I want to come back to that pariah accusation we got at the end of the last hour. “I advise parents,” this is Dr. – Dr. Keith Ablow, he is a psychiatrist, he’s a psychiatrist so he specializes in mental disorders and mental illnesses, and he’s a member of the Fox News “Medical A-Team.” So this guy is a professional. He’s not somebody in the pro-family movement. He’s a medical doctor, a practicing psychiatrist. [emphasis added]
In reality, Ablow’s work has been thoroughly debunked by a number of medical experts. John Oldham, president of the American Psychiatric Association, explicitly rejected the claims Ablow made in his FoxNews.com article.
Dr. Jack Drescher – Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders – condemned Ablow’s column, writing:
Dr. Ablow is within his rights to express personal opinions about transgender people. However, as a psychiatrist speaking in a public forum, his audience is entitled to accurate scientific knowledge of a complex subject rather than opinions, scare tactics and inflammatory language.
Dr. John Grohol, founder and editor-in-chief of PsychCentral – the Internet’s largest mental health and psychology network -- echoed Drescher’s concerns, calling Ablow’s column “simply hogwash”:
Therefore the premise that watching 5 or 10 episodes of a television show of a person dancing would have any influence — much less a life-defining, definitive impact — on a person’s sexual- or self-identity is simply hogwash. There’s not a shred of scientific evidence to support such a ridiculous premise. It’s simply the personal opinion of a single individual who is promoting a specific prejudice against people he feels are broken and are in need of his help.
None of this is likely to matter to Fischer, who can now hide behind Fox’s “Medical A-Team” member and claim that his transphobia is backed by a medical ‘expert.’ Now, one of the country’s most aggressive anti-LGBT hate groups can pretend that its bigotry is actually scientific fact.
Thanks, Fox News!
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