It’s quite an accomplishment, overturning millennia of understanding about marriage. In just a couple of self-obsessed and nihilistic generations, we’ve managed to render that sacred pillar of civil society more or less meaningless. We’ve degraded it into just another “right” in the never-ending list progressive activists demand, judges arbitrarily invent, and bureaucrats uphold at the expense of actual constitutional rights.
But boy did we have help! Marriage was in a lamentable state anyway, stripped of religious significance and “til death do us part” seriousness. But it’s the media elite’s relentless normalization of homosexuality that has really done it in for holy matrimony. Besides the free exercise of religion, marriage is the most important casualty of the media’s wholesale adoption of the gay agenda.
Entertainment and news media figures are happy to take credit for it. In 2012, Vice President Biden announced his support for gay marriage and noted that public perception of homosexuality had changed. “I think Will and Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far,” he said of the late-90s sitcom. In response, Will and Grace star Deborah Messing tweeted, “I'm thrilled Biden has come out in support of gay marriage and am beyond proud of what he said.” And Will and Grace were latecomers to a party Hollywood had been throwing since the 1970s.
We can be sure news media figures would take the same victory lap – in truth, many already have. The fact is, the legalization of gay marriage is mainly a result of the push by media activists.
“Civil Rights Issue of Our Time”
It doesn’t take much to link the degraded status of marriage to the degraded condition of journalism. Newsrooms and studios in major cities are full of secular liberals who’ve learned from other secular liberals and were reared on tales of the Civil Rights movement and the crusade against racial injustice.
But Selma and the March on Washington happened more than 40 years ago. There’s no equivalent injustice today. So journalists have invented one.
In 2013, a Washington Post reader had the impertinence to challenge the paper’s wildly pro-gay coverage, resulting in an email exchange in which a Post reporter sniffed, “The reason that legitimate media outlets routinely cover gays is because it is the civil rights issue of our time.”(emphasis mine.) Further, the reporter condescended to explain, “Journalism, at its core, is about justice and fairness, and that’s the ‘view of the world’ that we espouse …”
Note that the reporter’s “journalism” explanation said nothing about facts or about balance. Later in the exchange, the reporter revealed his dismissive attitude towards traditional marriage backers:
As for accuracy, should the media make room for racists, i.e. those people who believe that black people shouldn’t marry white people? Any story on African-Americans wouldn’t be wholly accurate without the opinion of a racist, right?
You, dear traditional marriage supporter, are no better than an anti-gay bigot, to be dismissed along with Klan members and segregationists. Support of same-sex marriage is not just the morally right position, but it’s the only one that that should ever be aired in polite company.
Judging by simple numbers, that arrogant, elitist Post reporter works at the right paper. In 2010, when same-sex marriage passed in D.C., The Washington Post ran 11 articles related to the law in one week, devoted 4 full pages in the paper to it, and quoted supporters of the law at a rate of 67 to just six opponents.
Lest anyone doubt the media’s commitment to the cause, many are happy to flaunt it. CNN, for example, is in a committed, long-term relationship with Gays and Lesbians Allied Against Defamation (GLAAD). CNN parent Time Warner has been a regular “Platinum underwriter” of the GLAAD Media Awards. Considering that GLAAD is basically the LGBT speech police, any relationship between it and news organization should be troubling.
But GLAAD and CNN is a mutual admiration society. Between 2012 and 2013, CNN was nominated for seven Media Awards. Openly gay CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon have received personal awards from GLAAD.
Chummy relationships like that come with real-world benefits, like in 20120, when GLAAD got CNN to spike a story because it included criticism from MRC Culture of the disproportionate number of gay characters on TV.
Media Mania Over Perceived ‘Anti-Gay’ RFRA, Prop 8
State legislation around the country set to protect religious business owners’ rights and reaffirm traditional marriage has also set the media in an uproar. Instead of being fair and balanced on the issue, the top newspapers in the country have been overwhelmingly one-sided and inflammatory.
One of the earlier controversial legislations was in 2008 when California’s Proposition 8 was on the ballot. The proposition, which actually passed because the majority of Californians supported it, reaffirmed marriage as between one man and one woman. Of course this threw the gay lobby and its media fans into an uproar.
Despite winning the majority vote, the media couldn’t help but give lots of air time to the bill’s substantially louder and more obnoxious detractors. The media demonized the mainly religious Prop 8 supporters as anti-gay haters and portrayed gay advocates as good people who just wanted to be treated equally. Ironically, the media hardly spent any air time showing the many business owners who received death threats and had to close their businesses because of vandalism and outright hostility for nominal donations they made to the campaign. Local news rarely covered the vitriol and violence from the gay community, but when it did, anchors were careful to demonize prop 8 supporters at the same time.
And since hell hath no fury like a gay activist scorned, the repercussions from Prop 8 continued even into 2014, when Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was hounded out of office for having donated money to support the legislation. The persecution of Eich won applause at The New York Times. Reporters from Business Insider and Slate called Eich an “extremist” whose stance on marriage was akin to supporting slavery. ABC News offered Eich a backhanded smear when it included video of protests by the hateful Westboro Baptist Church in a segment on the Mozilla controversy.
In 2013, liberals had their way and took the case to the Supreme Court where the legislation was overturned. CBS This Morning celebrated the news by interviewing gay couples and getting soundbites from the liberal plaintiffs in the case. You couldn’t say that subtlety was CBS’s strong suit when anchor Norah O'Donnell gushed, “We watched history in the making yesterday with the Supreme Court decisions.” In total, the networks cheered the striking down of Prop 8 (and concurrently the Defense of Marriage Act) with 86 percent favorable coverage between ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Indiana’s RFRA law from this past year received the same media bias as Prop 8 or DOMA. Nearly all the leading newspapers called the law “bigoted”, “alarming” “homophobic” and “anti-gay.” Late-night comics even jumped on the bandwagon. Dave Letterman claimed, “Indiana’s gone nuts,” and Conan O’ Brien made a joke insinuating the only people for the bill were closeted homosexuals.
Businesses Demonized by the Media
Brendan Eich was a CEO of a large corporation, and has probably survived the media backlash--Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the many “mom and pop” businesses sued for trying to live out the tenets of their faith.
The wedding industry has been hit hard by the push for gay marriage. One of the biggest stories covered by newspapers and online media was about the Oregon bakery “Sweet Cakes by Melissa.” The married couple who own the bakery have fought a long, legal battle to maintain their business after denying a request to bake a lesbian wedding cake. The networks completely ignored this story, except for one bogus episode of the hypothetical reality show from ABC, What Would You Do?” In the July 13 episode, ABC set up a fake bakery with actors that denied services to other actors portraying lesbians in front of unsuspecting customers to get their reactions on camera. The setup, of course, was a reference to “Sweet Cakes.” ABC found a way to push propaganda and demonize the Christian business owners, all in one fell swoop. How convenient for them to not have to cover both sides of a story.
In reality, “Sweet Cakes” had to shut down after a “vicious boycott” along with obscene hate mail and death threats from the LGBT community. Aaron Klein, co-owner of the bakery told Fox News’ Todd Starnes: “The LGBT attacks are the reason we are shutting down the shop. They have killed our business through mob tactics.”
But they are not the only ones who have been targeted. In San Francisco, another married couple was forced to close their shop because of the hate mail and intense media scrutiny they faced. Local news reporting on the lawsuit against them, gave way to a bombardment of hateful comments on their Yelp! business page.
Some of these cases have even been fought up to the Supreme Court. In April 2014, the Supreme Court rejected Elane Photography’s appeal to overturn a 2006 New Mexico ruling which said that the Christian business owners violated the state's anti-discrimination laws when they refused to photograph a lesbian wedding ceremony.
Even back at the larger end of the business scale, statements affirming traditional marriage can land business owners and CEOs in trouble. Chick-fil-A made major waves in the media after the founder’s son, Dan Cathy, said in an interview with a Christian news outlet, that he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. The media ran with that very common belief to portray Chick-Fil-A and Cathy as anti-gay bigots who discriminated against gays. Liberals found out that the family owned-businesses’ charity WinShape, had also donated to Christian “antigay” organizations like Family Research Council in years past. This further spurred a backlash against the company. The Washington Post advice columnist went so far as to belittle readers who still ate at Chick-fil-A. When gays organized “kiss-ins” at locations around the country, Chick-fil-A supporters countered with their own “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Despite the low turnout for kiss-ins, and the huge numbers of people who came out to support Chick-fil-A, the media ignored the counter-protests and reported obsessively on the kiss-ins instead.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, Steve Osunsami didn’t even bother to hide his disdain, when he claimed that Chick-fil-A had “donated millions” to “fight against gay Americans.” As Newsbusters’ Scott Whitlock noted, “Cathy has donated millions to ‘fight’ against ‘gays?’ Would members of the media describe liberals who donate to the ACLU as supporting a group that ‘fights against Christian Americans?’”
The complete distortion and misinformation of the business's views continues to this day, with one panelist on ABC’s The View who claimed on June 10 that Chick-fil-A refused to hire gay employees – something manifestly untrue.
When the Barilla pasta company founder reaffirmed his views in traditional marriage on Italian radio, the news made it over to the U.S. where celebrities called for bans on the pasta company, and Harvard University even stopped serving the pasta in their school’s cafeterias.
The Obsession Has Led to False Perceptions
The CDC has recorded that less than 3 percent of people in the U.S. identified as gay. But many Americans believe that number is much higher – 13 times higher, in fact. And why wouldn’t they?
Every television show on the air has the token gay character (or two). Even children’s shows have made a special effort to promote the lifestyle. ABC Family in particular, has made a point of showing “a new kind of family, ” which means lesbian mothers and a gay pre-teen couple in The Fosters; lesbian teens in Pretty Little Liars; transgender little girls in All That Jazz, and transgender dads in Becoming Us.
Besides the overexposure of gays in entertainment, there’s also a whitewashing of the extreme agenda of many prominent people in the gay rights movement. For instance, Dan Savage, a sex advice columnist with a penchant for making vile comments about conservatives and bullying Christian teenagers at speaking events, has been rewarded for his intolerant behavior by ABC with a sitcom in his honor. The MRC and Family Research Council have partnered together to push ABC to stop this show from being made but the show is still greenlit for next Fall.
More egregiously, the left loves to ignore criminal behavior from gay activists. When the 66-year-old president of the Human Rights Campaign, Terrence Bean, along with his 25-year-old boyfriend, was arrested last November for sodomizing a 15-year-old boy, it didn’t make the network news. Bean was a powerful Democratic Party fundraiser, a White House guest on numerous occasions and even got a rare photo op with President Obama aboard Air Force One. Yet the story was swept under the rug.. Compare the news coverage of Josh Duggar to Terrence Bean and the disparity is astounding.
The media also ignored a larger study showing kids of same-sex parents have more emotional problems while they hyped a less-reliable, smaller study which showed the opposite. Children who grew up in households with same-sex parents have spoken out against gay marriage and adoption, citing their own experiences as testimony of regret, but the media never tell those stories either.
Because traditional marriage, grounded as it is in biology and supported by theology and anthropology, is the most visible and obvious manifestation of normal heterosexual behavior, it became a high-value target for those trying to legitimize homosexual behavior. To activists’ thinking, to destroy marriage, to make it meaningless, helps erase the difference between straight and gay.
That the gay agenda has come so far so fast can only be attributed to media that obfuscate, conceal and confuse the real issues and instead hold up fluffy nostrums about “fairness and justice.” Hence, the “same-sex marriage” debate has become the struggle for “marriage equality.” And who could be against equality?
It doesn’t matter that the media have no credibility on this (or many other issues). Their relentless cheerleading has had its effect, and will continue. Logic dictates that the final frontier in marriage abuse will be forcing clergy to perform same-sex weddings. In the end, what’s the difference between compelling a Priest to perform a ceremony and compelling his parishioners to cater it?
But by then, nobody will bat an eye. The media will have done their job well.