Media 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' about Key Ruling
When it comes to reporting on court rulings about the military's ban on homosexuality, the media seem to have their own “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy.
A case in point was Monday's ruling by the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cook vs. Gates upholding the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, established by Congress and President Clinton in 1993, which enables the military to remove open homosexuals from service.
There was no coverage by the TV networks, nor by the New York Times,
In contrast, the New York Times had a 511-word piece by Adam Liptak on a Ninth Circuit Court decision reinstating a lesbian Air Force major's lawsuit against the policy. AP had a preview article on May 21 and coverage of the decision on May 22. The latter article, by Gene Johnson, had the usual inclusion of a pro-gay spokesman “hailing” the ruling, and no one defending the military's policy. CNN also ran a brief piece on it.
“Democrats say the nation should be ashamed of its ban on gays serving openly in the military. It discourages qualified people from joining the ranks at a time when the armed forces are stretched by two wars, they say, and is degrading to those willing to serve their country.
“So what have the Democrats done about it? Nothing, really.”
Substitute the word journalists for the word Democrats and you get a precise picture of where the media are on this issue. Many reporters are past pretending to be objective, and sometimes even descend to taunting fellow liberals for not moving fast enough on their pet issue.
When something happens that they don't like, such as a federal court ruling, they sometimes respond with a news blackout. In this case, they followed up by hectoring public officials.
AP writer Flaherty's story is a classic example of biased journalism. Flaherty quotes Nathaniel Frank, identifying him only as “a senior research fellow at the
Flaherty went on to say that Democrats are reluctant to tackle the issue of homosexuals in the military based on the backlash
Flaherty made sure to include that Americans' attitudes towards homosexuals in the military have changed over the past 15 years. She cited two polls conducted in 2007 by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation that “found that a majority of Americans thought gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military,” hinting that perhaps there wouldn't be the same kind of backlash now that Clinton experienced if the issue is raised once again in Congress.
She went on to say that Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Democrats are hopeful about the future on this issue, particularly if Obama is elected president in November.
Flaherty concluded the article with a statement made by Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs, to NBC's Meet the Press last year. Powell, who offered several highly quoted arguments that helped achieve passage of the Act in 1993, is quoted only by Flaherty as saying that “gays and lesbians should be allowed to have maximum access to all aspects of society.”