Sep
20
2010

Mediaspeak: 'Divisive Social Issues'

In the New York Times today (9/20/10), Michael Shear writes:

But as the first full week of the 2010 general election season opens across the country on Monday, Washington is scheduled once again to debate immigration and gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in the military, two deeply divisive social issues that threaten to polarize the conversation on the campaign trail.

Repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is widely supported by the public. Public opinion on immigration policy is somewhat more complex; this story is referring tothelegislation known as the DREAM Act,which would provide a path to citizenship for students who have been here five years and are either attending college or have served in the military. One survey found 70 percent support for the proposal.

It would be much more helpful if reporters explained that when theytalk about "divisive social issues" that will "polarize" the election campaign season, they mean that a handful of Republican politicians will very loudly endorse the views of a shrinking segment of the public.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.