Gaston Gazette: Try, try again

by Matt Comer  Editor
Published: September 9, 2011 in Blog

Earlier, we posted about the Gaston Gazette‘s doozy of a lopsided and biased report following-up on a town hall meeting hosted at a Dallas, N.C., church on Thursday by sponsors of a proposed anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment. The article recounted a great deal of the anti-gay histrionics and bigotry state Sen. James Forrester, a primary sponsor of the amendment, threw toward LGBT people. At the same time, the paper offered no opposing viewpoints and included no accurate balance to Forrester’s false and bizarre claims that gays’ lifespans are 20 years shorter than heterosexuals.

“Forrester, a physician,” reporter Wade Allen wrote, “said the lifespan of homosexuals is decreased by at least 20 years due to the increased risk of developing AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases.”

Not. True.

That was near 4 p.m. Just shortly over an hour later, the Gazette followed up and interviewed the openly gay chair of the Gaston County Democratic Party and the president of the local PFLAG. It’s a nice start, but the Gazette still left completely unaddressed the false claims made by Forrester — claims they made credible by noting their source as “a physician” and by taking not even the smallest amount of time to fact-check.

Gaston Gazette reporter Wade Allen and his editors need to return to the drawing board and try again. It is absolutely abhorrent that journalists would shirk their responsibility to the public and publish such bizarre madness without offering even the slightest accuracy or balance. That isn’t journalism, folks; “propaganda” is a much better term for it.