Private Chelsea Manning will be serving out a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth prison for revealing classified information to WikiLeaks. Are you confused by that sentence? Not sure what case we're talking about here? Maybe there were two Private Mannings who are now tied for the record of longest prison sentence in the history of this country for whistleblowing? It's hard to imagine that, more than 24 hours after Manning made her gender identity public through a written statement read on the Today show (8/22/13), any reader or viewer would not figure out pretty quickly who the news was talking […]
CBS covers the Edward Snowden and the NSA scandal by asking Bush-era NSA chief Michael Hayden for help. And NPR wonders if media coverage of marriage equality is too tilted in favor of… equality? Plus network TV doesn't cover Obama's climate speech–but the fake newscast at Comedy Central does.
USA Today's front-page headline (5/31/13): Churches Sever Scout Sponsorship The online headline, over Bob Smietana's piece on the reaction of church groups that sponsor Boy Scout troops to the Scouts' announced plan to accept gay Scouts was longer but no less sweeping: Religious Regretfully Sever Scout Sponsorships That's bad news for the Scouts, since as the article points out, "about 70 percent of Scout troops are chartered by a faith-based group." Must be tough, losing seven out of 10 sponsors all at once. Except the article doesn't report what the headlines claim at all. The article quotes one church leader, […]
In an article that should go down in the annals of improbable news analyses, Peter Baker argues in the New York Times (3/28/13) that the Chief Justice might be in favor of gay rights if they weren't so popular: Momentum in the political world for gay rights could actually limit momentum in the legal world. While the court may throw out a federal law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the justices signaled over two days of arguments that they might not feel compelled to intervene further, since the democratic process seems to be playing […]
There is no objective evidence that allowing two people of the same gender to marry will harm mixed-gender marriages. So you might think objective reporting would treat that assertion as a dubious claim.
The New York Times reports that in the last few years, several elite U.S. universities have begun to cover sex reassignment surgery and/or hormones for transgender students. On the one hand, it's great that they're reporting news like this, and after years of extremely disrespectful coverage of transgender issues, it feels like a victory that their "balance" is limited to noting that "the idea still seems radical to plenty of people." On the other hand, not a single trans-identified person is quoted. But what I really want to highlight here is how this kind of article utterly fails to connect some […]
–A 1977 New York Times review (4/20/77) by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of a collection of Vidal's essays: So we are left to speculate over the psychological implications here, and to conclude that Mr. Vidal's animus toward everything from West Point to the American Establishment–not to speak of academicians, who are, after all, instructors–boils down to an unresolved hostility toward his father, further evidence of which, some would argue, is Mr. Vidal's cheerfully admitted homosexuality. –A New York Times piece by Sam Tanenhaus (8/2/12): Mr. Vidal, whose disdain for American vulgarity was tinged, some said, with antisemitism and dislike of the "lower […]