May
12
2009

Privacy Policy Hypocrisy and Censorship at NPR

Eugene Hernandez of indieWIRE.com reports (5/11/09) that NPR censored its own review of the Outrage documentary for "nam[ing] politicians believed to be closeted homosexuals in the film, specifically those whose public voting record counters the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans." NPR cited its privacy policy as reason, but to Hernandez "it seems to support charges by [director Kirby] Dick, made in the film, that the mainstream media has a history of handling stories of politicians same-sex orientations with kid gloves":

"It's not about outing," [Outrage distributor Eamonn] Bowles noted today, reiterating a point being made continuously by filmmaker Kirby Dick (see related indieWIRE interview), "It's about hypocrisy, people are saying one thing and doing another."

"The entire point of Outrage is that there is an 'overriding public need to know' about the kinds of men profiled in Outrage,'" film critic Nathan Lee told indieWIRE on Sunday. "Let's say [Florida Gov.] Charlie Crist had a record of voting for vigorous anti-immigration policies, and then it was rumored that he employed illegal immigrants. The press would have absolutely no qualms investigating him to the hilt in the public interest of exposing hypocrisy. Why should it be any different in the case of possibly gay public figures who vote against the civil rights of gay people, or, in the case of HIV/AIDS funding, their very life and death?"

Bowles points out to indieWIRE "that the gay press has been covering these stories for years, but the mainstream media has refused. He added that, while the movie has generated a lot of attention from the press, some mainstream outlets, including two national networks, have declined to cover the allegations in the film."