Why Does CNS Hate Gays So Much?
CNSNews.com loves to publish anti-gay articles, then allow its readers to spew their anti-gay hatred in comments sections.
By Terry Krepel
The Media Research Center has an anti-gay agenda, so it's no surprise that its "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, would have one as well despite its mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
But CNS in recent months has ratcheted up its anti-gay hatred in a manner that seems to go beyond mere right-wing bias. Let's examine just how pervasive CNS' anti-gay hate is -- and how it's reciprocated by CNS readers.
Federal spending on LGBT issues is a waste
CNS has long portrayed any federal spending on LGBT-related issues as a waste of money. That view has ratcheted up with new fervor, thanks to CNS deputy managing editor Melanie Hunter.
Since early December, Hunter has written 12 articles detailing examples of supposedly wasteful federal spending. Of them, 10 focused on LGBT-related issues:
Additionally, Hunter wrote two more disdainful LGBT-related articles published on Jan. 30:
Hunter has not publicly explained her disproportionate focus on LGBT-related federal spending or why she apparently considers it to be a waste.
Statuary Hall anti-gay freakout
See if you can guess Lauretta Brown's main concern from the headline and opening paragraph of her Feb. 12 CNS article, headlined "Gay Lawmaker Wants to Replace Statuary Hall Figure of Missionary Headed for Sainthood With Lesbian Astronaut":
An openly gay State Senator in California has introduced legislation to replace a statue of Catholic missionary Father Junipero Serra in National Statuary Hall with a statue of Sally Ride, the first female U.S. astronaut and a lesbian.
It seems Brown (and, by extension, her CNS bosses Terry Jeffrey and Michael Chapman) doesn't want any gayness in Statuary Hall -- especially if means removing the statue of a Catholic.
Brown then goes on to defend the honor of Serra by quoting a Catholic monsignor who has written a biography of him and complained that Serra's critics "have a rather warped view of what evangelization is all about." Meanwhile, the Associated Press noted that Serra "supported flogging converts who tried to escape the mission," and that in Serra's wake, the Native American population in California dropped by one-third and fragmented tribes lost touch with their traditional languages, beliefs and way of life.
Portraying gays as diseased
CNS was so unhappy with a federal decision to move toward lifting a ban on gay men donating blood that it's pulling out all the stops to portray gays as filthy and diseased.
In a Dec. 30 article noting the decision, Penny Starr made sure to report that "men who have sex with men (MSM) have much higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis compared to heterosexual men," and that "men having sex with men are at highest risk for getting HIV and represent the largest number of new infections, as well as the higher syphilis rates and higher rates of drug use."
Starr also repeated the testimony of Family Research Council official Peter Sprigg against lifting the ban, but she doesn't mention that the FRC is a rabidly anti-gay group whose testimony can't be trusted as objective.
How dedicated is Starr to portraying gays as disease-ridden parasites? Her article is accompanied by, for no apparent reason, a picture of an alleged "skin rash caused by syphilis." Starr does not identify the source the picture, so it's unclear what the picture is actually of.
Freakout over Obama mention of gays at Selma speech
CNSNews.com's story on President Obama's March 7 speech in Selma, Alabama, for the 50th anniversary of the famous civil rights march there isn't even a story, really -- it's just a lazy, unbylined copy-and-paste of a few paragraphs of the speech from the White House website, plucked out of context from the much longer speech.
Why did CNS do this? Because Obama said something CNS didn't like: he failed to denigrate gays. Or, as the completely context-free headline screams, "Obama: 'We’re The Gay Americans Whose Blood Ran in the Streets of San Francisco’."
So offended was CNS that it put this out-of-context speech excerpt and its even more out-of-context headline as the lead story of its website today, accompanied with a picture of an arrogant-looking Obama (because that's the impression of him CNS wants its readers to have).
Bishop E.W. Jackson is a notorious homophobe, declaring that gays are “very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally” and asserting that God will punish America for advancing marriage equality. and Obama-hater. He's also a rabid Obama-hater, stating last month that Obama may be mentally ill.
Jesse Lee Peterson is a Sean Hannity-backed pastor and WorldNetDaily columnist who has issues with women. He's also a rabid Obama-hater who once claimed that the president is "committed to spreading evil." In his comments to CNS, Peterson went even farther off the Obama-hating rails by likening Obama to a Ku Klux Klan leader. No, really:
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson of BOND (The Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny) was similarly critical of the president’s speech.
The third "leader" Brown quoted, C.L. Bryant, has complained that Obama isn't a real black American and his election is a "slap in the face" to those who are.
These are who Brown and CNS consider "conservative black leaders." Actual conservative black leaders should be insulted.
CNS assistant commentary editor Michael Morris peddled homophobia in a couple of blog posts late last year.
In a Nov. 19 post, Morris complained that ESPN highlighted the first openly gay Division I men’s college basketball player, even though he was his team's "number three, and the game’s number four, scorer of the evening." Morris ranted that ESPN was engaging in "pro-gay propaganda," adding that he hoped the team's next game "has more to do with the game and each respective teams’ play on the court and less to do with the players’ sexual preferences and an otherwise obvious pro-gay agenda."
The next day, Morris whined about Secretary of State John Kerry marking a "Transgender Day of Remembrance," claiming he makes "two glaring mistakes":
He forgets to mention where “hate and violence against gender non-conforming people” seems to be the greatest. According to a Gallup poll, the United States, while not ranked the highest “good place” for gays, is still relatively high on the list of places that are safe for gays to live, at (70 percent), while nations like Iran and Egypt were “too sensitive [of areas] to [even] ask.”
Morris is curiously silent about Uganda, where gays do not have the same rights as others. That may be because CNS publishes commentaries by anti-gay activist Matt Barber, who in a recent column claimed fellow anti-gay activist Scott Lively was suffering a "crucifixion" for being held to account for encouraging anti-gay sentiment in the country.
Nevertheless, Morris concluded by ranting about the Obama administration's purported "propagandized attempt to condone, on behalf of the entire U.S. population, the trans community’s lifestyle." Morris is using misleading right-wing phraseology to deny that transgenderism is not innate and merely a "lifestyle" one can easily change.
This is the entirety of a March 13 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America tells teens on its website that it “can take a long time” to determine one’s “sexual orientation or gender identity.”
That's it. There's no explanation why of Starr finds this to be "news," or even that it's somehow a change from previous information provided by Planned Parenthood or any other credible organization on the subject (it's not).
The important thing about this article is what's not in it: It does contradict right-wing opinion that choosing to be something other than a heterosexual is a conscious choice and nothing more than a "lifestyle" that can be easily changed on a whim. It's nothing but a dog whistle for CNS readers, who have fulfilled their end of the deal by filling the article's comment thread with anti-gay vitriol.
Indeed, CNS gave away the game when it tweeted a link to Starr's article with the added comment, "Homosexual by Choice?"
CNS loves these kind of random articles. A few days earlier, Starr's fellow CNS reporter Barbara Hollingsworth fretted that Psychology Today magazine "will no longer accept ads from therapists who offer 'conversion therapy' or 'reparative therapy' to gays who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle." As could be expected, she devoted much more space to those who oppose the decision than to those who say such "reparative therapy" is harmful.
Feeding the hate
Each of the above CNS articles comes with a comment thread in which readers can opine. Many of those comments are hostile to gays.
For example, the following comments were made on Hunter's Feb. 13 article on a federal grant to encourage gays to get the HPV vaccine:
Similar hostile comments can be found on other CNS article comment threads, and CNS does not find them offensive enough to delete.
One has to wonder if CNS is running such anti-gay articles for the sole purpose of allowing its readers to vent their anti-gay hatred.