NPR Reporter Bashes Gays

Comments

1
Amen, Dan. That report pissed me off mightily this morning. The closing line about "witch hunts" was the worst. I never heard about anything close to resembling a witch hunt in the report, yet the reporter felt justified using it to summarize the story.
2
Could you imagine if gay people flew around on brooms?
3
Send this to the comments section for the relevant NPR show. I hear them reading/playing listener comments all the time, and it would be great to hear your voice in response.
4
I love NPR, but they're not exactly known for balanced reporting. It's just that usually their bias leans to the left. This is a strange story indeed.
5
Democracy is not pretty. Gay Americans are well within their right to boycott, protest and upset anyone they like. Just like the Radical Religious Extremists have been doing for decades to Gay Americans. The tables are finally turning.
6
How about the ice cream parlor owner who claimed that business INCREASED after his place was picketed. He said that people were waiting two hours in line for ice cream. I call "bullshit" on that anecdote, but the reporter didn't follow up on it.
7
@4: NPR is not left-leaning. That's a conservative myth.
8
I thought the closing comments were harsh as well. I had to stop a moment and clarify what I heard. You can check out the live feed of the argument in the Cali. SC right now :
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/livenow?id=6…
9
Dan, the truth hurts but try not to squeal like a bitch.
10
They have just vandalized churches, disrupted services, intimidated religious leaders in face to face confrontations, given all these behaviors so far who tells you that this next step wont be taken soon by gay activist, but intolerance only seems to apply when something is done to gays when a crime has been done to innocent citizens its just "activism", maybee this argument needs to be made also infront of the justices.
11
7
NPR doesn't 'lean' to the left.
It lays down for the left and spreads it's greasy cheeks.
12
Also interesting? (And this is in no way to fuel the "blacks hate gays" thing from months past b/c a) I am black and love the gays and b) this is directed to KGB directly). She is black. And as a black American (and a freaking reporter) she should know, as I do, how much minority groups benefit from this type of "backlash" and how necessary and normal a part of civil rights movements they are.
13
@10 take a breath & try using a period.
15
Uh. Aren't post like these supposed to be "Stupid Credulous Hack of the Day" or something like that?
16
NPR is to radio news what The Stranger is to newspapers...
17
Dan, you may not have heard it, but this piece was preceded by an interview with Gavin Newsom, who gave a full-throated defense of gay marriage in California and attacked Prop 8. That story is here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story…
18
There is a reason they make contributions public. If you're going to contribute to a specific cause you should be prepare to deal with the backlash. I heard this report this morning and I was pretty pissed myself. Its good to hear gays standing up to their rights. How many times have you heard of Southern Baptists or other religious groups boycotting places like Disney for support gay rights? Its the same thing and I think this reporter is incredibly biased.
19
6
That is what would happen in my town.
Seattle Gays don't get out in the American heartland enough.
20
12: "Really? Are you serious?", Shame on you for trying to make that comparison between a legitimate struggle for civil rights and this issue. Seems you might need some re - education on the subject, start by talking with your elders as I have. You should know better. And yes I'm qualified to give my opinion on this. An opinion that that is held by many who were actually on the struggle during the sixties.
21
Why would you interview gay people or people that didn't support about backlash that supporters of Prop 8 are facing? What will they contribute to the story? The diatribe that you just put up?
23
Well this is fucking disappointing.
24
So let me get this straight- according to this report Mormons and Catholics are allowed to exercise their right to religious freedom and to vote as they want on a proposition, but gay people aren't allowed to exercise their right to protest against those people for taking away their rights? Sorry KGB (very ironic initials)- you can't have it both ways. Have you ever considered a career at Fox News?
25
Jesus Christ. They go on a witch hunt after the gays and lesbians and blame us for THEIR problems. And then say our anger is a witch hunt? Fuck that. Here's some news, straights. The gays didn't make you marry too soon or divorce your husband. We didn't ruin your marriage. You, a straight person, did that.

Gah. Straight people, even many well-meaning allies, just don't get it.
26
@20: I'm sorry -- Shame on @12 for trying to make a comparison between a legitimate struggle for civil rights and this issue -- which is a legitimate struggle for civil rights? So, shame on them for comparing apples to apples? How dare they suggest that 1 = 1?
27
@20: Though I would argue that they are exactly equal, that actually wasn't my point. My point was that protests and boycotts are acceptable, legal ways of expressing an opinion, as evidenced by the civil rights movement. The point, Loveschild, is that if you take away what the people are fighting for, the actions are the same. Which means the only reason to characterize these actions as negative is because gay people are the ones doing them. That's Dan point.

I would also point out that you don't have the first clue how old I am.
30
Hm. Deranged gays _do_ shoot people, see Dan White. But you're right: non-closeted gay activists don't fit the going-postal profile.
31
@6, it probably isn't bullshit. Sacramento is becoming notorious as a bastion of rabid, anti-gay, orthodox religious wing nuts, largely Ukranians and Russians who have been immigrating there since the fall of the Soviet Union.
32
Soooooo, should they have had an alternate interview to balance out Gavin Newsom who spoke against Prop 8 on the program mere moments before? IIRC (I can't go back and listen at work), they even intro'd the piece with a statement that they were about to provide two perspectives from CA on the issue.

I'm not saying I liked the piece, nor am I saying that I support Prop 8 (it's a vile piece of law that should have never been written). In addition, I think the interview subject who positioned this as a freedom of religion issue is flat-out wrong - this was a public election, not a prayer service. That said, the rush to punish those who contributed even minor amounts to the Yes on 8 campaign felt like an ugly misstep, a lousy way to win on-the-fence straights to the right (as in correct) side of the issue.
33
Dan: I heard this segment on the radio this morning. but it followed a segment where they interviewed SF Mayor Gavin Newsom in a decidedly biased report, biased in favor of gay marriage. so in the whole, the two stories back to back equated to "fair" coverage. i'm not sure if the two segments were presented back to back everywhere but I think it makes a difference in how this particular segment is viewed.
34
Wow, that is really terribly sad. If that is how NPR is spinning it, jesus.

@10: Shut up already. What, maybe 1 church was vandalized? Ok here's a deal, you can vandalize my house 1 time and you can protest me every week on sunday. Sure come on down to my place, and picket my house. All day long if you like. In exchange, all the gays can marry and have rights. Fair exchange?
35
@32, someone like Dan Savage walks in, in the middle of a movie and wants to know...

Don't ever expect anyone at The Stranger to have a frame of reference for anything. Ever.
36
The Stranger complaining about idiotic and unfair reporting, good stuff.
37
its like if witches boycotted the stores of those shopkeepers that burned witches.
38
I agree, but also, gays flying around on brooms, you know, witch hunt style, would be pretty tits.
39
@35: Ummmm....there is a difference between a blog and a radio news story. Also, there is a huge fucking difference between an alternative weekly (basically an opinon paper, with some reporting) and NPR. Fucking please.

I hate all the "oh the stranger is biased, blah blah blah" comments on their BLOG. Fucking christ people, its a BLOOOOOOG. Say it with me now: BLOG. Again! Blog. Again! Blog.

Internet amateurs.
40
If gays got equal rights under the law without having to get public majority approval first, maybe boycotting them would seem like an unfair witchunt cos their beliefs wouldn't be anyone's business. But when you require public approval, you make their beliefs our business. What else are gays supposed to do to affect change but make their disapproval hurt them somehow?
41
@33. You make a good point that on the radio, Gates' piece was paired with another that showed the 'other side' of the story. But, Gates' piece now appears on NPR's website as an independent article, and it is not paired with any other text. On its own, it clearly is unfair reporting. Moreover, it is homophobic since it constructs gays as murderous without even attempting to get the 'other side' (as Dan points out). I think this piece is outrageous.
I called NPR, the ombudsman and my local affiliate (who played the radio version) to voice my disapproval. All of that was very unsatisfying, of course, since NPR reps are just that, reps. They dutifully and politely take down the concern, but they can't answer questions. I am glad that Dan pressed on this issue.
42
Gee—so long as a news piece is preceded by a newsmaker interview then the news piece can be biased and sloppy and defamatory. Thanks for schooling me, real journalists!
43
What a load of cock, seriously. Its like saying butchers are being witch hunted by veggies because they simply don't want to buy meat, and they shouldn't be allowed to have such consumer preferences.
44
@39: The Stranger calls itself a newspaper. What appears on Slog very often also appears in the newspaper (and the news section of the website), and vice versa. You're making a non-existent distinction.

And your name-calling is quite unbecoming.
45
Loveschild; sounds likes a pedophile. Loves-child, I bet you do. Hah, hah!
46
@44: Yeah, and the pieces that go from Slog to paper are either 1) good reporting pieces that get cleaned up for print 2) opinon pieces or funny pieces that are obviously not "reporting" or 3) something Dan Savage writes for Savage Love.

And yet people sit here in the comments as if the Slog and the Stranger are like the NYT or something. It's a weekly paper and a liberal blog, which they have never apologzied for.

Figure it out, and thanks for playing.
47
i love you so much, OM.

48
Angry email sent...pointing out that I stopped giving money to KUOW years ago due to thier inability to accurately report on what was going on in the world around them. There's a reason that liberals call them "Nice Polite Republicans." If you think NPR is a bunch of liberal commies you just haven't been listening. It's clear they've been infiltrated by Bushbots in the last eight years. Yes, you still get the eclectic reporting on all manner of subjects, with real, in-depth stories. But now the stories are always about "Ooh, the poor Republicans...what will they ever do," and "Here's how a rural, churchgoing housewife plans to vote," and "Today on Marketplace...why you should always trust the market...always!!"

Even before they were infiltrated, during the runup to the Iraq war they were limp noodles. Sure, you could at least hear an opponent of the war on their air...but it was the standard "he said, she said" type reporting. No critical analysis of obvious fabrications by the administration. WEAK!

Nowadays you'll routinely hear right wing tools like David Frum or some other douchebag from AEI or the Heritage Foundation reading opinion pieces without any response from host or liberal pundit. BS!! No dollars for you!
49
NPR generally provides balanced reporting, something the Stranger certainly lacks.

You seem to be proving KGB's point for her, Dan.
50
45

Jon; it sounds like the crapper.
Hey, did you go to the Jon?
I bet you ARE full of shit!
Hah, Hah!
52
49

Stinking bitch KGB screwed us.
Screw her!
53
@20 If you were part of the '60s civil rights movements, you'll realize just how honest and timely the following statement is:

I really can't wait for your fucking generation to keel over and die. That way, the open minded people can get on with our lives.

In the meantime, we're stuck with you. So, if you could, could you stop being a tool? Thanks.
54
I see loveschild has not taken my challenge of protesting me and my house in exchange for gay rights. Pity.
55
"NPR Reporter Bashes Gays"

geez, Dan.
A story you don't like, on NPR no less, is 'gay bashing'?

What a pussy.
56
Are there any goats involved?
57
how come it's ok for right wing organizations to organize boycotts against companies for as little as even offering domestic partner benefits but we can't boycott companies that actively take part is removing our rights?
58
bashing churches is so ... so .... me bad ass queer atheist

get your kicks stomping crosses ... yelling at granny going into the chapel ... spray painting and window breaking ... great political work, indeed

people of faith need to talk to people of faith - or - we loose, again
59
I think the contributors in support of Prop 8 are upset because they are being called bigots instead of being honored. Times are changing. It is sort of like gay bashers who expect to go to court and get off, finding that they are charged with hate crimes.

When is someone going to do an article about the woman who gave $500,000 to passing Prop 8 (she didn't even live in California)? I want to know what company to boycott.

And did Dan Savage really post 51 & 52, or do people get to post fake IDs. Certainly not very articulate.
60
OM @ 54: The proper exchange would be for you to permit loveschild to vandalize your house once in exchange for you being able to forcibly divorce her and 18,000 others as well as prevent anyone like her from ever marrying again. Maybe she'll take you up on that?
61
I don't know about the rest of you but...

I do fly around on a broom ... okay my car.... but the rest of you better watch out or I am there!

And I know Ms. Grigsby Bates and I am sure that this is not how she wanted to turn in the piece -- chances are that she was editted (or the piece was for time) and the pro-gay interview was left on the cutting room floor accidentally or as above to balance the two reports. I am sure that KGB is not biased and she has never had a problem with me or my pitches to her for coverage -- she is a consummate professional. I think your beef is with her editor for news -- since it is politics you may contact Ken Rudin at krudin@npr.org -- it's his baby at least in part.

Relax with Day to Day cancelled the incredible shrinking West Coast bureau may mean that Ms. Grigsby Bates will be out on her keester sooner than she thinks.

A PR Witch
62
Thanks for mentioning this, Dan. I heard it this morning and was disgusted.
63
I heard this on the radio this morning and was appalled. Even though NPR is middle of the road politically, I think of them as being pretty liberal when it comes to gay issues. Of course I knew all about this story, so hearing her repeated simpering references to devout bigots was unbearable. NPR was irresponsible in running this disgusting report...
64
Thank God none of you watch Fox News. You'd really lose it.
65
I don't really disagree with the overarching point of Dan's blog, but I note two things. First, the piece to which he refers was preceded by an extensive interview with Gavin Newsom (spelling?), the Mayor of San Francisco, on post-Prop-8 activities and his support of same-sex marriage. Maybe NPR (wrongly I think) thought that this served as "covering" the gay angle on this topic. Second, NPR has an ombudsman, and Dan should send him or her a note about this biased reporting -- making these points.
66
And shouldn't "Dam Savage" be "Damn Savage"?
67
Exactly my impression when I listened this morning. 2 irresponsible reports on NPR 2 days in a row. The one on Day to Day yesterday was equally bad, in part because the gay couple they interviewed was way too accommodating, and in part because--again--they let the false right wing assertions about Prop 8 go completely unchallenged.
68
The article itself seems incomplete and poorly written to me. But then, I view the phrase "devout Roman Catholic father of 10" as an insult.

The biggest problem I see is the lack of an opposing viewpoint. With that viewpoint this would be just a poorly written article. Without it, it's propaganda.
69
Why do people think NPR is still a progressive media outlet??? I heard that report this morning on the radio and thought "Gee, Fox News wouldn't even be THAT anti-gay"! I stopped donating to NPR when Rove's people took the station over around 2002/3. I love NOT donating to them, and even call them during pledge drives to tell them that I am NO LONGER donating to a station that has turned extremely right wing! I think some progressive people just aren't listening very closely. It's akin to people who knew SNL when it was truly funny in the 1970's. Some still keep watching in the expectation that it will be funny -- and it disappoints time and again. Progressives who donate to NPR just aren't hearing what's being said on NPR. Such donors seem to locked into this mentation that NPR is progressive. Listen to what they are saying. NPR is genuinely more neo-con than Fox News, and that's saying a lot!
70
Gavin Newsome was no counterpoint to the fiercely anti-gay NPR report. Newsome was completely objective in his assessment of the pro and anti positions on prop 8. The reporter in the NPR piece was reporting from an intensely anti-gay (not even pro prop-8 persepctive). There was never even one question about whether the donors to prop-8 are in fact anti-gay bigots. They were painted as put-upon people who are being brutally and viciously attacked for just being regular down-to-earth people. The report was remarkably biased against gays.... something the Family Research Council or Pat Robertson would have put together. Pathetic. I love NOT donating to NPR!
71
What pissed me off most about the story is how they talked about pro-prop. 8 people getting boycotted, but they didn't even mention that Yes on 8 was calling people who donated against 8 and trying to shake them down. This is before the vote happened, they'd call and say "If you don't give us money, we'll put you on a list of faggot lovers and give it to all our church members. Balance you donation, and we'll leave you off."
72
59
It's time for your medicine, Charlie.
73
"Father of 10"

Strangely, that one comment struck me as obscene.

While the authors of the comment obviously thought it was just grand...
74
Thanks Dan for posting this -- I heard this report this morning and nearly lost my shit. Unbelievable that NPR let this make it on the air. I do think it was a misguided attempt at "balance," since it ran immediately after an interview with Gavin Newsom. But it was tremendously one-sided and shallow reporting.
75
NPR has become largely irrelevant, IMO, but I sent the Ombudsman an e-mail about how disappointed I was about the soon-to-be out-on-the-street. Oops--another witch hunt. I guess I'll get on my broom now, and take a victory lap.
76
As a gay male, I'm just soooo very sorry that my happiness causes so much pain and sadness to complete strangers. I'm just so selfish that way.
77
Yep, was just shaking my head in disbelief at this so called "news report" when I heard it this morning. It was a joke.
Is anyone running NPR these days that understands what producing a factual objective news report means?
78
Here are my 5 cents. First, as an african american gay I am both torn and conflicted by the points I observe on this topic. I am extremely angered by the passage of Prop. 8. I am also equally angered by the hostility that I and other african americans received after it's passage. Why? because the so called anger over homophobia in the african american community and it's support of Prop.8 was directed at any available african american, including the victims of that homophobia like me. This was wrong and was what KGB's interviews were attempting to address. Further, NPR has been a long source of news information for me and will continue to be. Why? Because I want news that gives me both sides of the issue, not tell me what I want to here (can we say Fox News). I have heard, for example, John Lewis interviewed on NPR where he emphatically supported gay marriage. Enough said. Finally, I believe, with the exception of needed boycotts, we are expending too much political capital on Prop. 8. If Dan Savage, and other so called community leaders, were truly leading, we would be focussed on federal rights (yes, civil unions for now) that are recognized in all 50 states, not just marriage in California. My issue with Dan is his leadership is only leading us to conflicts with: 1) the african american community; and 2) NPR. Who next, the Sierra Club? How is this helping us to build needed bridges which we need now more than ever?
79
I don't buy the notion that an interview with Newsom balances this report.

This claim that supporting Prop 8 was merely an act of religious expression is a meme that has yet to be analyzed or questioned by the media. Prop 8 slides way past religious expression and well into the realm of imposing religious beliefs on the broader community and on citizens outside the faith(s). That's the story that would balance this report not another media moment for Newsom.
80
What I wrote to Ombudsman:

Please get the story right, civil rights trump religious rights. If the reverse were true, in many other religions, Ms. Bates wouldn't even be allowed to be a reporter.

And I suppose if Ms. Bates found herself in that position, where a state proposition was voted on and stripped her of her rights as a woman, turned back time where she could not longer be educated, join the workforce, or vote. If she decided to protest those who pulled out their checkbooks, the businesses that she helped fill their bank accounts, stood outside those businesses and begged other women not to give them any more money because more women would be put in that position, she'd be a Witch Hunter, eh?

Please, NPR, air reports that use common journalistic sense.
81
NPR is homophobic all the time. I stopped listening to Fresh Air with Terry Gross because, aside from being a pretentious buffoon, she has absolutely not one single interrogated notion of how deeply offensive and cavalier she is with her homophobia. I AM SURE she'd be shocked to read this because she is such a good straight, white, bourgeois liberal. I have been so angered by her program and NPR reporting in general that I don't even listen anymore.

The truth? The middle east needs its own damn channel because I don't want to hear about it, nor do I want to hear impoverished about grape growers in Nicaragua (pronounced, of course, with an ostentatiously enunciated Latino accent). The world sucks and I have my own problems...like being homosexual and surrounded by dumb-ass straight people every fucking day.
82
81
Mark
Have a donut.
Would you like some ketchup on it, also?
83
There was nothing wrong with that story.

The first quote in the NPR piece was from someone linking prop-8 donations with hatred, and the writer's point that some were calling the backlash a "witch hunt" is fair comment.

Beyond that the story contained important information about anti-8 boycotts and raised an important issue - that of people being hurt financially for their political stands. She doesn't say boycotts and protests are wrong, nor that people should be compelled to buy from businesses they don't like.

Every news piece has a bias; all I expect from a story is that it be fair and accurate. For the rest of it I make up my own mind. Expecting to be spoon-fed your own opinion and shutting your ears to whatever you don't like is both lazy and dangerous.

Most importantly, you don't shoot the messenger, and frankly I wouldn't trust a news source that would shy away from taking a critical look at any issue, especially one I support.
84


There's no bashing in objectivity and honest reporting. Every story has two sides that need to be heard.

I reporter did her job, for once. This is much to do about nothin, Move on cuz this is not important.
85
Loveschild @84

Still waiting for your generation to die.

Obviously, your generation doesn't understand spin or media sensation. Then, again, that was obvious by the mass media, and hippy reaction, of the '60s.

Get your own brain or get out.

Thanks.
86
"devout Roman Catholic father of 10"

Is this supposed to make us admire and thus feel sorry for this guy? His choice of faith and active reproduction have likely been to his benefit, but I don't see how either of those benefit the rest of us. If NPR had identified him as "a cheery man who has taken in 10 homeless people", I might have begun to like him.
87
check out KGB's bio:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story…

"Before coming to NPR, Bates was a news reporter for People magazine."

Incredulous hack of the day, indeed!
88
In a way, this reminds me of when I was in the USAF at a training facility in San Antonio, Texas and we were all taken for the mandatory haircuts that we would have to pay for. I proceeded to tell the barber how I wanted him to cut my hair but he snidely told me that he would decide. I bolted from his barber chair and told him that I would not be requiring his services. I do not feel that I was engaging in a "witch hunt" but in my free exersize to spend my money as I see fit and as benefits me. Spending money at the business of a person who is supporting the abrogation of my rights is something I feel I have the perfect right not to do without having it typified as a "witch hunt."

NPR's Ms. Bates may have had a specific focus or a limited time for her piece so I'm not sure whether is she or her producer/editor who chose the disastrous "witch hunt" identifier. I would certainly like to have seen a more balanced approach in the piece and one in which there was an investigation of how religion, politics and money intersected and the legal implications of that. We heard coverage of gay groups picketing churches but none about the possibly illegal political advocacy of Prop. 8 on the part of those churches - especially those in Utah.

DCGuide
89
Thanks, Dan. I just wrote to the Ombudsman and to Morning Edition. I heard that story when it aired, and couldn't believe the bias and the sloppiness.
90
I was so pissed when I listened to her story that morning. I already wanted to pull my support from NPR due to unbalanced reporting at 89.3 KPCC - FM on the Save San Onofre campaign. Now this poor excuse for journalism by Karen Grigsby Bates on Proposition 8 (witch hunts?) was the nail in the coffin. Good-bye NPR, hello K-Jazz public radio at Cal State Long Beach. They deserve my money more than NPR ever did.
91

Excellent post, caught the NPR News group doing the usual FOX News Lite hackery. The DC base new programs have devolved into Right wing cheerleaders over the past several years (http://nprcheck.blogspot.com/).

The Ombudsman has a (lame rebuttal), but comments are open, play nice:

http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/2009/03/bac…
92
As a lover of all things Savage, and hater of all things pro Prop 8, I will say that I don't find this NPR piece homophobic.

It was just tone deaf, and in a sort of generational manner. The result is the same, however, and kudos to Savage for giving them a much-needed correction.

NPR just sounds generationally out of touch: just listen to their theme music. It sounds like some big brassy clangy acoustic late 70s or early 80s mess.

Most of the time, NPR is gold. They f'd up big time on this one, and they need to really confront their own generational issues.
93
I'm sad that in the 21st century, reporters are still so irrational. This is sad for mankind. It seems we have not evolved.
96
God only create man and woman, so there is no man with woman's heart or woman with man's heart. period.
97
There is no in between. It's very sad to hear this.
111
Man, I'm really sad to read this.
113
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117
IMO, people need to be friendly to each other. They are the ones that are gay, not you.

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