The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association claims that it has more than 1,200 members and 23 chapters in the United States, with affiliates in Canada and Germany. It is a front for placing gay activists in newsrooms to shape the way their issues are covered. Anyone who protests such advocacy risks being labeled a "bigot," the all-purpose buzzword that can send editors cowering.
What should trouble mainstream journalists is the extent to which much of the big media kowtows to the homosexual activists. There is no similar outreach to people with different religious and political perspectives. There is no "recruiting" for heterosexual, churchgoing, pro-life, conservative Bush supporters, for example. Now THAT would be true diversity.
The public mostly believes the media are biased in the extreme, and such events as this will do little to change their minds. But there is a larger issue than this one particular convention. Why do some groups of journalists choose to form subgroups within their profession that are identified with gender, sexual practices, race or belief? As a conservative and a Christian, I have been asked to join the few small groups that reflect those viewpoints. I have always refused. Accuracy and fairness ought to be the goal of reporters. For columnists, the objective should be accuracy and opinions stated from deeply held convictions, not the result of conventions and strategy sessions designed to coalesce around and promote political and social agendas.
There's a lot of talk these days about ethics in journalism following several scandals involving plagiarism and made-up stories. But the public's major concerns about the media are not being addressed, or even discussed. Journalistic subgroups, which appear to the public to be for the purpose of advancing legislation and cultural change, do not help with journalism's credibility problem. They add to it.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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