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NPR spikes ‘Outrage’ review that named names

By pams
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 20:00 EDT
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Enabling homophobia is still the MSM editorial standard. A review by NPR’s Nathan Lee of the new documentary “Outrage” was sliced and diced to remove the names of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former Senator Larry Craig from it, resulting in Lee removing his byline.

This is the real outrage — the MSM’s pervasive homophobic double standard of protecting closeted pols as a private matter while deeming the personal lives of straight pols fair game — a theme woven throughout the film — is proven yet again. Eugene Hernandez @ IndieWire:

Citing a policy of protecting the privacy of public figures, an NPR superior cut the names of current Florida governor Charlie Crist and former Senator Larry Craig from the review after writer Nathan Lee and his assigning editor at NPR had agreed on the text of the piece. However, a photo of Larry Craig accompanies the review and says that the former Senator is a subject of the documentary. It also hints strongly at the inclusion of Crist in the doc.

Lee was not told of the NPR policy about public figures when he was assigned to review the new film.

NPR has a long-held policy of trying to respect the privacy of public figures and of not airing or publishing rumors, allegations and reports about their private lives unless there is a compelling reason to do so,” Dick Meyer, NPR’s executive director of Digital, told indieWIRE late Sunday night. “This may be considered old-fashioned by some, but it is a policy we value and respect. We neglected to inform the author of the ‘Outrage’ review about this policy when the piece was commissioned, a simple oversight we regret.”

Only an overriding public need to know can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy,” the NPR policy, posted on its website.

There is a world of things wrong about NPR’s excuse for shredding this review. First of all, Larry Craig’s little airport bathroom stall toe-tapping isn’t a private matter — he was arrested and confessed to the act, which occurred in a public place. That’s a matter of public record. FAIL, NPR.

Second of all, it’s not as if coverage of Crist is invisible. It’s been mentioned in other reviews of the film. Plus, Crist has announced his run for a U.S. Senate seat (see more below the fold), and if he wins, he will vote on LGBT-related legislation. He has an ample anti-gay record in his state. Is this not relevant to the news media?

The local media has reported on his closet, for god’s sake. For crying out loud, when he announced his engagement, the ridicule was heaped upon the governor by readers in a Sun-Sentinel poll (I got a screen cap for posterity, right). FAIL, NPR.

Third, NPR has no business tossing out the “privacy” card when it couldn’t resist deeming John Edwards’s heterosexual tomcatting newsworthy, underscoring that there were legitimate political reasons for the reporting:

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has admitted to having an extramarital affair, but has denied fathering a child by the woman. The affair has been reported in recent weeks in the tabloid press.

Alex Chadwick speaks with NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving about the political implications of the revelation.

It even held a roundtable on the affair. FAIL, NPR.

The editorial paranoia at NPR is out of control; when Lee left a comment to say that the pre-butchered review had been approved by his editor prior to some nervous homophobia enablers higher up the food chain it was removed by the administrators. In it, he said:

“I asked that my name be removed in protest of NPR’s policy of not ‘naming names’ of closeted or rumored-about politicians – even those who actively suppress gay rights, and thus whose sexual identities are of significant importance to the press,”

More below the fold. Mike Signorile:

This is the same idiotic behavior we’ve seen coming from many in the media for 20 years on this issue. It’s encouraging that some news outlets have moved on it — the LA Times, Philly Inquirer and others reported on those discussed in the film — but it’s pathetic that some just can’t seem to break out of their rigid and ultimately biased thinking.

By not discussing the names of those in the film, NPR is most certainly passing judgment on homosexuality, on the filmmaker and on the public figures involved — deeming that, if they have secret gay lives, it is the most horrible thing imaginable. They are also deciding to suppress legitimate news because of that distaste and bias.

Exactly. The film is about the political hypocrisy of closeted individuals who deal with their dual lives by working to deny LGBTs civil rights. There is nothing wrong with being gay, NPR (and the rest of you nervous nellie editors out there). The MSM is not shy about reporting the questionably newsworthy marriage travails of Britney Spears or the adoption of babies by Brad and Angelina — those are private matters, no? Oh wait, they are heterosexual.

Neither of those stories has any impact on the rights of a group of people, yet NPR and other outlets feel they cannot do their jobs and report on legitimate stories that do have an actual political impact on the lives of taxpaying Americans who happen to be LGBT. And you know that none of the people who made the decision to slice away at Lee’s review would consider themselves homophobic or bigoted in the least — overt anti-gay behavior is not the only way to foment homophobia. Enabling it with this poor editorial judgment, NPR, works quite nicely as well.
When a pol gets booted from the closet, many are not closeted in their social circles mind you; their friends, staffers and colleagues know of the person’s orientation. The ones who are socially out choose to lie by omission because it suits their day jobs sucking up to the religious right or their voter base. This closet is full of campaign managers, fundraisers and legislators in the corridors of power, ready to elect officials with homo-hating tactics and ready to pass anti-gay measures, even as they enjoy man-on-man sex. The MSM knows them all, and deems the hypocrisy a “private matter.”

The subset of these hypocrites who are truly self-loathing turn up in Outrage — they cruise for homo-sex in the shadows, hating themselves the next day and atone for their “sin” by casting votes against taxpaying citizens.

The closet cases all need to be exposed because some of them are head cases who are clearly unfit to lead. They hold positions of power that make it unethical to ignore this level of hypocrisy, but too many editors out there — like those at NPR — are spineless and show their bias when they continue to cling to this double standard.

UPDATE: Crist makes it official — he comes out…as a U.S. Senate candidate . Via MSNBC’s First Read:

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announces he’s running for the Senate, giving GOPers their most high-profile recruit of the 2010 cycle and improving their odds of holding on to Mel Martinez’s seat. But this is worth noting: Florida has closed primaries, meaning that you have to be a registered Republican to participate in the GOP primary. So that could make Crist’s primary match-up against the conservative Marco Rubio, the former speaker of the Florida House, more competitive than many think it will be. In particular, Crist’s public support of Obama’s stimulus — remember that Crist appeared at an Obama town hall on the subject — could be a major issue in the primary. That said, a GOP official says that if Crist gets in, he will receive the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s full support. “We think highly of Marco and believe he has a bright future, but Crist is the GOP’s best hope of keeping this seat in the GOP column.”

*** UPDATE *** Here’s Crist announcing on Twitter at 9:10 am ET: “After thoughtful consideration with my wife Carole, I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate.”

I guess Carole’s ready for the sh*tstorm…

Related:
* The Talk of the Green Iguana: Will American voters elect the first gay vice president in November?
* Charlie Crist’s engagement mocked on MSNBC
* Tongues wag whether Crist’s ‘girlfriend’ is ‘the one’
* Poor Charlie Crist – he’s really desperate for that VP slot
* Howie Klein: Charlie Crist Has A “Girlfriend”– A First Step Towards Getting On The Mccain Ticket… To Nowhere?
* Oh my — more GOP closet doors are flying open…
* It’s official: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist endorses marriage amendment

 
 
 
 
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