GLAAD starts petition to influence CNN
Gay media watchdog GLAAD says it wants CNN to “keep away from the anti-gay industry” in the new year.
The group announced last Thursday that it was launching an online petition against the news network because of its use of anti-gay activists to serve as a “balance” on LGBT issues. GLAAD used the example of the time Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg was used to counter Servicemembers United’s Alex Nicholson on a discussion about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ last month. So far, that petition has received more than 4,000 signatures.
GLAAD’s associate director of national news Aaron McQuade tells OutQ News that the group is not asking that the media bring on only gay activists — but that such guests are placed opposite others who are on a somewhat-even playing field.
McQuade: “We’re telling the media to go to experts–we’re telling the media to go to scholars, or academics, or historians, or witnesses, or people who can speak to actual first-hand experience or knowledge. That is journalism. That is what the public needs to learn about issues of LGBT rights.”
McQuade says GLAAD and CNN have already begun talking about ways to handle the issue, and that the group is looking forward to working with the cable outlet.
The network has already issued its own statement, saying: “CNN appreciates GLAAD’s concern for objective and fair reporting. CNN will continue to strive for the best bookings of experts who have opinions that reflect different points of view across the country.”
GLAAD’s petition comes just two months after sex columnist Dan Savage criticized CNN on its own air for the network’s use of anti-gay activists.