Jon Scott Looks At Prop 8 Coverage Through Right Wing Homophobic Glasses?
Reported by Priscilla - August 8, 2010 -
The recent California Court decision, declaring that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, has the clean, heterosexual panties of the right wing in a very tight bunch. Almost immediately after the decision, right wing homophobes did a full court press on smearing the judge in the case by claiming that Judge Vaughn Walker was unable to render a fair decision because he is gay. Not surprisingly, the Fox show that’s supposed to be a “fair & balanced” critique of the news, “Fox News Watch,” had a segment on this. It began with Jon Scott’s partisan introduction which seemed to spin in a “right” direction. In addition to Muslims, undocumented immigrants (read Hispanic), the LGBT community is not exactly beloved by the right wing. Thus, it’s not exactly shocking that Fox “News,” as the mouthpiece for the right wing, would give them a shout out as part of the “fair & balanced” programming. Oh, and during the Prop 8 segment, Jim Pinkerton said something that was really inane – but what else is new on “Fox News Watch?!”
During his initial report on the Prop 8 decision, Scott referenced how the judge was openly gay. He didn’t mention that he was appointed by President GW Bush to the Federal bench. (Why does the judge’s sexual orientation have anything to do with this? Should straight judges not hear cases related to heterosexuals? Should black judges not hear cases involving whites and vice-versa?) Scott said “there were cheers everywhere including on the front pages.” As evidence of this “bias,” he showed fact based headlines like “Ban on Gay Marriage Overturned” (uh, Jon, that’s what happened!); US Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban” (uh, Jon, that’s what happened); and “Marriage Milestone” (uh, Jon, that’s what it is). So, nice agitprop there. Scott takes the right wing meme and produces what he thinks is “evidence.” Cute.
Jim Pinkerton said that because the NY Times ran a “puffy” article about Judge Walker, that was proof that “he gave them what they wanted.” (So, Jim, do Karl Rove articles in the Wall Street Journal prove some sort of collusion?) The chyron was odd: “Prop 8 and the Press, Who Defines Marriage?” Jon asked “does his sexual orientation deserve media attention?” (Badda Boom, right wing talking point delivered one minute into the show.) Kirsten Powers said no and mentioned how the gays had problems with him in the past. Ellis Hennican mentioned, because Scott didn’t, that the judge was appointed by a Republican president. Pinkerton asked if the judge would have had the article in the NY Times if the decision had been different. Conservative SE Cupp said that one doesn’t need to look at the judge's sexual orientation because his decision was full of bias about marriage and sexuality. Powers said that when the media doesn’t like something, there’s a “character assassination” which seems to be happening in this case. Pinkerton reference how Anita Bryant was “crucified.” (Right, she made homophobic comments for which she deserved everything she got!) Hennican said that while we sometimes need to know personal details about public figures, it should be done in a balanced way. Scott then asked about the “language”thing because Prop 8 “defined marriage as between a man and a woman” (Right wing belief alert, right wing belief alert) “and the headlines are all about how this is a ban on gay marriage.” He asked if this “was an important distinction, and if so, should the media make it clear.” (Talk about “distinction without a difference” – Prop 8, in defining what “marriage” is about banned same sex marriage – So WTF are you talking about?! Should the headlines have been “Judge Rules That Marriage Is No Longer Between A Man And A Woman” cuz that’s not really the substance of the decision which was about “equal protection” and that Prop 8 is unconstitutional because it doesn’t afford what that pesky “anchor baby” amendment provides)
The issue of the definition of marriage was slightly off topic for the discussion of Prop 8's press coverage; but Scott’s question afforded the heterosexually married Jim Pinkerton to quote Peter Ferrara of the American Civil Rights Union who, according to Pinkerton, said “by this logic where do you go on marrying animals, polygamy.” Peter Ferrera's group's idea of "Civil Rights" was to file an amicus brief in support of a California doctor who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian. And he’s no stranger to the Murdoch empire. Only the other day, his article “What’s Next, Bigamy” appeared on the Fox News website. (ah, that old “slippery slope” – the same arguments used against interracial marriage). Pinkerton's homophobic and idiotic comment was met with laughter from the rest of the panel. Powers asserted that this was a civil rights issue.
Comment: While the panel was fair & balanced and, with the exception of Jim Pinkerton, lucid, Scott’s spin was obvious. Eric Burns, we miss you! The question is who is more bizarrely right wing - Jim Pinkerton or Cal Thomas?