Gay groups asking networks to stop promoting Ann Coulter
GLAAD, HRC request news outlets to drop right-wing personality
by Mark Smith
HRC, GLAAD want Ann Coulter out of print and off the air.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is urging community members and allies to call on NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN and FOX News Channel to publicly state that they will refuse to continue providing a platform for Ann Coulter’s vulgar anti-gay prejudice.
During her March 2 appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)in Washington, D.C. — which aired on C-SPAN Coulter said, “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so, kind of at an impasse, can”t really talk about Edwards, so I think I”ll just conclude here and take your questions.”
This was the second time in the past year that Coulter, who is represented by the William Morris Agency, had used this slur against a public figure. After claiming during a July 2006 appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” that former President Bill Clinton is gay, Coulter said, “He may not be gay, but Al Gore, total fag.”
Following considerable public condemnation of Coulter’s on-air use of the slur at the Conservative Political Action Conference, including criticism by three leading Republican presidential contenders, Coulter used her March 5 appearance on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes” to defend her use of the slur and claim that the epithet is not offensive or anti-gay: “It”s a schoolyard taunt.”
Coulter’s appearance on FOX News clarified three important facts. First, Coulter believes that calling people “fag” and “faggot” on television is perfectly acceptable. Second, she also considers schoolyard bullying and harassment acceptable and is intentionally extending that bullying and harassment into the media. And third, she intends to continue injecting such vulgarity and bullying into her future media appearances.
“Coulter has long been rewarded for her outrageous comments with increased levels of media visibility. That must stop,” said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano. “The dangerous message that news networks send by their continuing embrace of Coulter’s rhetoric is that there is no downside and considerable benefit for those who use vulgar slurs on national television.”
GLAAD has conducted a preliminary analysis of Coulter’s media appearances over the past two years. To date, GLAAD has tracked 124 national news network appearances since January 2005, two-thirds of which (82) have been on the like-minded FOX News Channel (with nearly 60 percent of those on “Hannity & Colmes,” where her most recent use of an anti-gay slur was defended by host Sean Hannity on March 5). Coulter also continues to be a regular guest on CNBC’s “Kudlow & Company” (17 appearances), FOX News’ “The Big Story with John Gibson” (13 appearances), “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Your World with Neil Cavuto” (nine appearances each).
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has undertaken an effort to have Coulter removed from United Press Syndicate.
HRC addressed the issue in the pages of Editor & Publisher magazine, while some ;in the media raised questions about the group’s efforts dangerously verging on censorship.
“We believe that this is not a question of censorship. There are plenty of other people on the right who share Coulter’s values and views but understand the value of civility and respect.
“Ann Coulter is free to spew her vile and hateful speech but as a community we are also free to exercise our collective power. And when Coulter defends herself on FOX News by saying ‘faggot isn’t offensive to gays,’ it is our responsibility to make sure she, and those who carry her columns, understand that we know otherwise. ‘Faggot’ is a loaded word — a word that too often is used as a weapon to demean and wound our community.
“If she had made a racist or anti-Semitic remark, there would not have even been a question of whether a newspaper should continue carrying her columns. We must speak out in order to move the ‘F word’ into that same column of universally understood hate speech.”
Take action now!
Please contact NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN and FOX News Channel today and call on them to publicly state that they will no longer feature Ann Coulter as an on-air commentator.
Let these outlets know that in light of Ann Coulter’s relentlessly vulgar behavior, no responsible news organization can afford to continue offering her a media platform. The events of the past year demonstrate that such behavior only rewards, feeds and escalates Coulter’s vulgarity, and that publicly affiliating with her brand of bigotry creates unacceptable exposure and risk for any credible news organization. Please ensure that your emails and phone calls are civil and respectful. Forward this link to any of your friends and others who may also wish to take action: www.glaad.org/action/calls_detail.php”id=3984.
John Moody, Senior Vice President
FOX News Channel
News Editorial 212-301-3000 firstname.lastname@example.org