FOX News & Wal-Mart Sponsor National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Convention This Weekend

By Peter LaBarbera

Fox News and Wal-mart are among the high-level ($10,000) sponsors of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s (NLGJA) 2006 Convention in Miami (Sept 7-10 at Loew’s Miami Beach Hotel). Every year, the NLGJA garners hundreds of thousands of dollars in Big Media sponsorships for its convention; this year it appears (based on the sponsorship list below) that the total is around half a milliion dollars in corporate support.

The NLGJA bills itself as merely a professional organization for journalists who “happen to be gay,” as the liberal cliche goes. But the organization advocates a pro-homosexual “spinning” of the news not unlike the activist group GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Note, for example, the NLGJA’s advice to the media regarding coverage of Lance Bass, the ‘N Sync band member who recently publicly revealed his homosexuality:

  • The term “gay” is the preferred adjective that has largely replaced “homosexual” in referring to men who are sexually and affectionally attracted to other men. “Homosexual” should be used only if “heterosexual” would be used in parallel constructions, such as in medical contexts.
  • Whether in headlines, teases, or body copy, try to avoid using forms of the word “admit,” which is typically used in the context of something shameful or illegal. Some examples of less potentially charged words are “announce,” “disclose” and “say.”

While it is true that the “mainstream” (read: dominant liberal) media is so pro-homosexuality these days that it is hard to discern between media activism and plain old homosexual-group activism, that does not make it right. The media should play it down the middle on homosexuality and other controversial issues, not serve as a cheerleader for the “gay rights” cause.

Yet over the years, NLGJA members have repeatedly suggested that covering “both sides” of homosexuality-related issues is like quoting the KKK on stories about African Americans–a preposterous analogy especially considering that Blacks and minorities poll stronger against “gay marriage” than whites. Thus, if you think the Lance Bass advice above is tendentious, try this from NLGJA National President Eric Hegedus (a page designer for the Philadelphia Inquirer), who repeats the spurious white supremacist comparison on the journalist group’s website (emphasis added):

How appropriate is it to quote interviewees whose ideas could be considered homophobic?… Certainly, news organizations have written extensively about white supremacists and other hate groups. For instance, in October we saw a flurry of stories about 13-year-old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede, who use entertainment to promote the supremacist movement (“Young singers spread racist hate,” said a headline on the ABC News Web site). But I doubt that any journalist is adding them to a source contact list for bringing “balance” to future stories about reparations, interracial marriage, the Holocaust or immigration. That same ethic needs to extend to LGBT coverage, too.

Although not all NLGJA members may share Hegedus’ view on this, clearly the NLGJA is an activist organization with a strong institutional bias against those espousing traditionalist views on homosexuality.

Our question for Fox News executives is: if you are truly “fair and balanced,” will you now give an equal and corresponding grant to Americans for Truth or another pro-family organization, say, Accuracy in Media, that counters the ubiquitous pro-“gay” spin in the media? We’ll be awaiting your answer.

The following are corporate sponsors for this year’s NLGJA conference in Miami:

“Groundbreaker Level” – $35,000

• Miami Herald
• El Nuevo Herald
• McClatchy Co

“Headliner Level” – $25,000

• Planet Out
• Harrah’s
• Jet Blue

“Editorial Level” – $15,000

• MGM Mirage
• BELO
• CBS
• CNN
• Gannett Foundation
• Hearst Corp
• Coca Cola
• Orbitz
• US Newswire
• ESPN
• Verizon
• Microsoft

“Feature Level” – $10,000

• NBC Universal
• Key West
• Gilead
• Toyota
• IBM
• Passport
• (illegible)
• Bloomberg
• Wal-Mart – [That’s right, the same Wal-Mart that recently gave $25,000 to National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is also sponsoring NLGJA–Ed.]
• Sam’s Club
• Fox News

“News Brief Level” – $5,000

• ABC News
• GM
• Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
• Hill & Knowlton
• Kimpton Hotels
• Nielson Media Research
• Q Syndicate
• UBS
• China Grill

“Source Level” – up to $5,000

• Los Angeles Times
• Page & Author
• South Florida Black Journalists Association
• South Florida Sun-Sentinel
• Washington Post
• Tribune Company

This article was posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 9:42 am and is filed under Coca Cola, Corporate Promotion, FOX News, Harrah's, IBM (EAGLE), Jet Blue, Media Promotion, Microsoft (GLEAM), News, NLGJA, Orbitz, Sam's Club, Toyota, Verizon, Wal-Mart (PRIDE). You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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