Tuesday, January 27, 2009
By Lane Hudson
Upon the selection of the Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at Pres. Barack Obama's inauguration, an angry backlash dominated the media cycle for nothing short of four full days. Fiercely eloquent spokespeople such as Hilary Rosen and Mike Rogers properly characterized Warren as someone entirely out of touch with LGBT people. Journalists including Ann Curry of NBC met comments by Warren comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and incest with gasps and looks of shock. He also did himself no favor in proclaiming that, were it not for the bonds of marriage, he would not be able to control his attraction to every good-looking woman he saw.
Fresh off the stinging defeat of Proposition 8 in California, it was easy to connect Warren and his megachurch's support of the ballot measure to discontent with his selection for the highly visible and honored role in the inaugural ceremony. But proper reporting isn't supposed to be easy.
That is where recent media reports in The New York Times and USA Today are examples of shoddy journalism that lack proper context and are devoid of sensitivity and understanding of the LGBT community. Each publication completely mischaracterized the opposition to Warren's selection as being based on his opposition to marriage equality. That's kind of like saying that Jews were opposed to Hitler because he was anti-Semitic. It doesn't come close to explaining the whole story.
I didn't write anything about Rick Warren throughout the entire controversy. I tried. But fellow writers, activists, and media pundits had done such a collectively superb job of providing meaningful commentary and properly framing the opposition to Warren that I was content to allow the public record to stand.
However, when tone-deaf reporters with lazy editors try to rewrite history and characterize "the gays" as simple, uncomplicated, single-issue people, I am no longer content to sit by and say nothing. Simply put, their characterization of several media cycles of opposition to Warren was as lame as it gets....(Click for remainder).