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Saturday, 10 April 2010

Extremist homophobes are NOT experts

One of the more prevailing fails of the media of recent years has been the mistaken idea of “fair and balanced.” In theory, this means the media shouldn’t take a partisan view on controversial issues (HAH! Oh how I laugh!) In practice, this seems to mean having to have a flat-earther on tap every time you talk about geography. Or a creationist when you discuss evolution. Or a birther every time you discuss Obama. You get the picture.

So let’s get some things clear:

1) There aren’t 2 sides to facts. No, really, it’s either a fact, or it isn’t. Not everything is a controversy.

2) There are fools out there who will dispute ANYTHING (see the birthers and the flat-earthers) just because they exist does not mean an issue has 2 legitimate sides.

3) When you have an ‘expert’ to discuss an issue, it’s kind of expected for them to actually BE an expert or have an expert opinion, preferably one that hasn‘t been grossly discredited. If you can’t find one then maybe, just maybe, that tells you something about their side. Being loud does not make someone an expert.

Now, let us look at CNN. CNN was looking at a law in California that required healthcare officials to find a ‘cure’ for homosexuality. Thankfully it’s an archaic, foolish thing that is being repealed (though the abstentions on that? Yeaaaah, what the hell?)

In looking at this, CNN’s Kyra Phillips decided to ask the question - “Homosexuality – is it a problem in need of a cure?”

Oh wait, save your rage – it gets BETTER. Because their guest “expert” to speak about this? Richard Cohen. Of the ex-gay movement.

CNN protests that they just “brought the story to the fore” and they’re “exploring other views and positions”

What is this supreme example of whatthefuckery?!

This isn’t a story to be brought to the fore – being gay is NOT a disease and NOT a problem. You CANNOT cure homosexuality. And any ACTUAL expert will tell you that – as well as telling you about the severe and crippling harm that people like Richard Cohen – the man you just legitimised to all your viewers – do to gay people.

She responds to criticism - with tone arguments and explaining that her fee-fees are hurt by all the nasty gay people who wrote in emails angry that she just presented the idea of us being diseased as a LEGITIMATE standpoint. Oh dear, let me find my violin. It may take a while because it’s pretty damn small. Amazing how it became about her – and amazing how GLAAD LET it become about her and her poor hurt feelings. Note the complete lack of apology, noter the complete lack of ANY acknowledgement that gays have a right to be pissed here. Seriously, this is it? This weak ‘pity me’ response and that’s it, gay lobbiests back off and sing her praises?

She completely glosses over inviting a completely discredited, struck off, hateful quack onto her show, AGAIN repeats that they’re showing differing viewpoints. Differing viewpoints? Hey, when discussing the Catholic paedophile scandal do you get in someone from NAMBLA, Kyra? Wouldn’t that be a “fair” way to discuss it, right?

She dares cry about hate? Her little segment legitimised hate against all gay people – it reinfirced prejudice, it justified bigotry. It presented us as a disease and one of our greatest enemies as a legitimate expert with a reasoned position.

What’s next, following in the BBC’s footsteps and asking whether we should be executed or not? Maybe she could invite someone from the Westboro Baptist church to speak with her? After all, best to show all sides of the issue, right?

We are not diseased. We are not a problem. These are NOT LEGITIMATE ISSUES FOR DEBATE! We cannot be cured. It is evil to try to “cure” us. These are not sensible, reasonable, legitimate positions