Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What passes for journalism these days....

So, on the bright side, this article made me want to post again for the first time in over a year (or maybe that has something to do with being back in academia).  On the down side, nobody is going to read this because I haven't blogged in a year...

This article in a local newspaper is one of the worst pieces of journalism I have ever read.  It is about the city's decision to fly the rainbow flag in support of LGBTQ athletes in Russia.

Not only does the article completely fail to contextualize the reason for the rainbow flag flying at city hall, but it presents some incredibly hateful views without refuting them or even suggesting that they might be discriminatory.

A few quotes...

"Raising the rainbow flag at Tom Davies Square will confuse children, one Star poll respondent believes."

I have children.  Neither of whom have ever been confused by a rainbow flag despite multiple exposures to them.

"“It's discrimination against married couples, having something like that,” another said, while a third person agreed."

Ignorance is discrimination against everyone... I win.  Also, note the completely heterosexist assumption that all married couples are straight.

Finally, the stats presented are absolutely absurd -

Of thirty-seven people called in to the poll hotline, 35 were opposed to the flag being flown. On the website 67% said no, 30% said yes and 3% were unsure.

Note that the other 165,000 people who live in this city decided that the rainbow flag is such a non-issue that they don't feel the need to pick up the phone to complain about it!

Seriously though, here is the problem - the average person reads this, shakes their head and moves on.  But people who hold homophobic opinions read this, feel that their opinions are validated and that most people think like they do, and they continue to spread hateful opinions on the internet, in schools, in the workplace, etc etc.