The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on Wednesday announced the launch of its Commentator Accountability Project, a web-based resource for news outlets looking for analysts to speak on issues related to gay rights. According to GLAAD, the “experts” that media outlets regularly invite to comment on LGBT equality often come with impressive-sounding titles and deeply disturbing biases.
“[The project] is designed to shine a big, bright light on the extreme views of the vast majority of prominent anti-LGBT talkers,” Aaron McQuade, GLAAD’s director of news and field media, explained in a guest post at Mediaite.
GLAAD has essentially compiled a database that provides the kind of context a lot of anti-LGBT pundits don’t place front and center at their resume websites.
For anyone who watches cable news regularly or who follows gay-rights stories, many of the names of the people who have made it onto the list for the launch will be familiar.
There is Tony Perkins, for example, president of the Family Research Council, who called gay activists “intolerant,” “hateful,” “vile,” “spiteful,” describing them as pawns of the devil; Maggie Gallagher, former president of the National Organization for Marriage, who said granting equal relationship rights to gay people would be the end of American civilization; Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Iowa-based Family Leader, who likens homosexuality to a public health threat; and Gary Bauer, former Reagan staffer and president of the Family Research Council, who has fudged medical research in order to claim that homosexuality is a disease with adverse health effects.
On the vast majority of other top news topics, McQuade explains, you don’t hear experts on mainstream programs intoning about the end of civilization and the mark of the beast.
“Most of the voices the mainstream media turn to for stories about LGBT issues are so completely out of touch with the way everyday Americans view their LGBT friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers that all they could possibly add to a story is imbalance.”
Indeed, the point of the project, McQuade writes, is not necessarily to keep these figures out of the media, but to encourage journalists and the hosts of news programs to provide greater perspective to viewers and readers.