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American Television, News  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  

Nevertheless, problems remain. Too often television news programs continue the practice of giving a platform to representatives of hate groups, who are allowed to spout misinformation and sometimes unadulterated vitriol. While no responsible news program would feature openly racist or anti-semitic guests, many have no qualms about giving voice to homophobes.

They grant this platform in the name of fairness, and defend their practice by saying that every controversy has at least two sides. Yet they frequently fail to vet the bona fides of these homophobes and their "facts" and too often permit them to cite discredited studies by people who are charlatans.

Sponsor Message.

Two of the most ubiquitous guests on news programs who pontificate about glbtq people are Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. The organizations represented by Fisher and Perkins have both been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and both Fischer and Perkins unabashedly engage in inflammatory and untruthful rhetoric.

The presence of openly gay and lesbian newscasters and informed commentators means that the most outrageous claims of the opponents of equal rights are now often challenged on the more responsible networks and cable channels. But, on some media outlets, such as Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network, they are not.

Indeed, some of these channels, conspicuously including Fox News and several religious programs on cable networks, have staked out a position of hostility toward equal rights for glbtq citizens.

In one of the most disgusting examples of this hostility, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist who is a Fox News contributor, took the occasion of the announcement that Chaz Bono would appear on ABC's Dancing with the Stars to warn parents not to let children watch the show because seeing Bono dance with a woman might somehow cause a child to become transgender. Like much of the commentary on Fox News about glbtq people and issues, Ablow's remarks were both malicious and ignorant.

Notwithstanding the great progress that has been made in recent years in presenting glbtq issues and individuals fairly on American television journalism, more needs to be done.

Greg Varner
Claude J. Summers

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arts >> Overview:  American Television, Drama

American television has made significant strides in its portrayal of homosexuals in dramatic series and movies, but cable networks have been more daring than the "big three" broadcast networks.

arts >> Overview:  American Television, Reality Shows

Reality television viewers have come increasingly to expect the appearance of gay men and lesbians on these shows because their presence helps further underscore the "reality" in Reality TV.

arts >> Overview:  American Television, Situation Comedies

American television sitcoms have consistently reflected the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, often in distorted and stereotyped ways, but occasionally in ways that acknowledge our humanity and complexity.

arts >> Overview:  American Television, Soap Operas

Treatments of gay relationships on network soap operas have always been limited; recently, however, gays and lesbians have created their own soap operas to tell the convoluted stories of lesbian and gay entanglements.

arts >> Overview:  American Television, Talk Shows

For glbt people, television talk shows have been both promising and problematic; they have brought glbt issues to public awareness, but until recently they have also presented glbt people as stereotypes and freaks.

arts >> Overview:  Documentary Film

The queer community has used documentary film to resurrect historical memory and to permit the marginalized to bear witness, as well as to build an image base that reflects our diversity and counters distorted representations.

social sciences >> Overview:  Political Blogs

The explosion of political blogs has served to multiply greatly the number of voices    participating in glbtq activism and to expedite the transmission of political information to glbtq communities.

literature >> Albee, Edward

The American dramatist Edward Albee, whose career flourished in the 1960s and then waned as a result of homophobia, wrote plays with gay subtexts in which loving is the ultimate act of violence and violence is the most effective expression of love.

social sciences >> Boykin, Keith

Activist and author Keith Boykin has committed his life to advancing the rights of the African-American and glbtq communities and to enhancing communication between them.

arts >> Cooper, Anderson

Award-winning television journalist Anderson Cooper, famous for his reporting from war zones and scenes of natural and man-made disasters, ended years of speculation by confirming his homosexuality in 2012.

arts >> DeGeneres, Ellen

No matter how great her contribution to the world of comedy, Ellen DeGeneres will probably be best remembered as the first lesbian to star as a lesbian on her own network television show.

arts >> Dong, Arthur

The documentaries of filmmaker Arthur Dong, including several works that examine the roots of anti-gay attitudes in American culture and society, are distinguished by their humanity and complexity.

social sciences >> Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is a watchdog group dedicated to promoting accurate representations of the glbtq community in the media.

arts >> In the Life

America's only nationally broadcast gay and lesbian newsmagazine, In the Life began in 1992 as a variety show, but has since evolved into an acclaimed public-affairs program.

literature >> Inge, William Motter

Although he was closeted and created few homosexual characters, playwright and novelist William Inge frequently acknowledged the existence of gay culture and desire in both his dramatic dialogue and prose.

social sciences >> Kameny, Frank

One of the founding fathers of the American gay rights movement, Frank Kameny helped radicalize the homophile movement, preparing the way for the mass movement for equality initiated by the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

literature >> Kramer, Larry

Controversial playwright, novelist, and essayist Larry Kramer has been a pioneer in the gay political response to AIDS in America.

arts >> lang, k. d.

Long before she came out, lesbians had made singer k.d. lang their own.

arts >> Maddow, Rachel

Political commentator Rachel Maddow became the first out lesbian to host a prime-time television news program when "The Rachel Maddow Show" premiered on MSNBC in September 2008.

social sciences >> Mixner, David

Although he has mostly worked behind the scenes, as an organizer and consultant and campaign manager, David Mixner has been described as one of the great activists of our time.

arts >> Nyad, Diana

Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.

arts >> O'Donnell, Rosie

Comedian, actress, television talk show host, and openly gay mom, Rosie O'Donnell has achieved remarkable success in her relatively short career.

arts >> Roberts, Thomas

One of only a few openly gay anchors on national television news, Thomas Roberts has emerged as a visible symbol of new opportunities for openly gay people in society generally, as well as in journalism in particular.

arts >> Rodriguez, Richard

Essayist and memoirist Richard Rodriguez, perhaps the most widely read of Latino-American authors, positions himself as an outsider in America, not only because of his ethnicity, but also because of his sexuality.

literature >> Savage, Dan

Best known for his syndicated sex-advice column, Dan Savage is also the author of books chronicling his and his partner's experiences in adopting a child and dealing with the issue of same-sex marriage

literature >> Shilts, Randy

Randy Shilts pioneered as an openly gay journalist in the 1970s and 1980s and was an astute interpreter of the various issues affecting American gay men and lesbians.

social sciences >> Signorile, Michelangelo

Michelangelo Signorile is a prolific, and often provocative, writer and activist whose books and articles, radio show, newspaper columns, and website champion the cause of glbtq rights.

social sciences >> Silver, Nate

Analyst Nate Silver first came to public attention in 2008 when he correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential election in 49 out of 50 states and forecast accurate results for all of the 35 senate races.

social sciences >> Socarides, Richard

The son of a homophobic psychoanalyst, Richard Socarides became the first openly gay man to serve in a prominent White House staff position.

social sciences >> Sullivan, Andrew

Social and political commentator Andrew Sullivan has established himself as an influential participant in Anglo-American political discourse.

literature >> Vidal, Gore

The multifaceted Gore Vidal is important in the gay literary heritage because of the straightforwardness with which he pursued gay themes and included gay characters in his work.

literature >> Williams, Tennessee

Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.


    Bibliography
   

Alwood, Edward. Straight News. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

Downie, Leonard, and Robert G. Kaiser. The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril. New York: Knopf, 2002.

Hernandez, Greg. "Out in Hollywood Exclusive: A Chat w/Miguel Marquez of ABC News . . . ." Out in Hollywood (January 30, 2007): http://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/2007/01/out-in-hollywood-closeup-migue.html.

Hillis, James. "Gay Newsmen--A Clearer Picture." AfterElton (May 13, 2007): http://www.afterelton.com/TV/2007/5/gaytvnewsmen.

Kaiser, Charles. The Gay Metropolis. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Kennedy, Sean. "The Insider Is Out." The Advocate (June-July 2008): http://www.advocate.com/article.aspx?id=22550

Loughery, John. The Other Side of Silence: Men's Lives and Gay Identities. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.

Pike, Laurie. "Anchored Woman." The Advocate (October 2009): http://www.advocate.com/printArticle.aspx?id=98258.

Varner, Greg. "A Look at the Dark Side: Documentarian Arthur Dong Asks Killers of Gay Men Why They Did It." The Washington Blade (June 12, 1998): 36-37.

www.inthelifetv.org.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Varner, Greg ; Summers, Claude J.  
    Entry Title: American Television, News  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated January 7, 2014  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/am_tv_news.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
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    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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