Brian Fitzpatrick

The liberal media worked overtime against California’s marriage amendment, Proposition 8, which the voters passed 52 to 48 percent.   After the Nov. 4 vote, the media quickly jettisoned professional objectivity – and respect for democracy – to spin a yarn about the pain of victimhood.  Now they are working to elevate angry gay protesters who are vilifying opponents and targeting churches.

As reported by CMI’s Colleen Raezler, ABC, NBC and CBS aired a total of 13 news stories on Prop. 8 in the five days following the vote.  Six of the stories, nearly half, emphasized the reactions of the roughly 18,000 same-sex couples whose California “marriages” have been invalidated.  Only four Prop. 8 supporters made it on air, compared to 15 opponents.  None of the networks could spare even 15 seconds of precious air time to explain why keeping intact the foundational institution of human society might be a good idea. 

The worst example we’ve seen of TV reporting on Prop. 8 protests came from the local CBS station in Palm Springs, Calif.  On the grounds of City Hall, furious “gay” protesters knocked a Christian cross out of an elderly woman’s hands and stomped on it.   The woman remained calm and collected.  When reporter Kimberly Chang tried to interview her, protesters screamed and blocked the camera with their signs.  Hilariously, the station identified the victimized woman as “Phyllis Burgess, Involved in Prop 8 Rally Altercation.” That’s like saying Poland was involved in a border altercation with Nazi Germany.  In a masterpiece of moral equivalence, CBS anchor Kris Long told viewers, “There’s a lot of anger and a lot of hate, quite honestly, on both sides.” 

Print journalists have more freedom, time and space than their broadcast colleagues, so they should have produced a more balanced account of the Prop. 8 controversy.  They did, for roughly 48 hours. 


Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick, a writer, editor, and commentator on political and cultural issues, is the Senior Editor at Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute.

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