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Tag: Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow’s LGBTOMG: Ungaying the gay and coming out of the coffin

By Eden James

For your Sunday morning enjoyment, check out these two priceless videos from Friday night’s Rachel Maddow show — something quite serious and something quite, er, curious (h/t to ???î?????? in the comments):

September 17: Rachel Maddow on her show talked about infamous Richard Cohen (“Coming Out Straight: Understanding and Healing Homosexuality”) and the connection of his “cure the gay” movement to Christine O’Donnell, Republican candidate for Delaware Senate seat — “LGBTOMG: O’Donnell history built on anti-gay hucksterism.” O’Donnell’s organization, S.A.L.T. (The Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth), among other nutty things, was promoting the notion that homosexuality can be cured using odd and absolutely unscientific techniques.

Wayne Besen from Truth Wins Out is Rachel’s excellent guest:

And,

If you want to come out of your coffin as well, click here to discover your identity at the Vampire Name Generator.

83 Comments September 19, 2010

Rachel Maddow: Lack of DADT questions at Obama press conference “weird”… But why?

By Eden James

On Friday, Rachel Maddow — one of the foremost opinion leaders on DADT since her program launched in 2008 — talked about the historic DADT decision by Judge Virginia Phillips on Thursday night and interviewed Major Michael Almy.

The 9-minute segment is well worth watching (h/t to ???î?????? for posting in last night’s comment thread):

At one point, Rachel talks about how “weird” it was that no reporters asked President Obama about the DADT decision at Friday’s press conference. It was indeed strange that on the morning after this historic decision, not one reporter chose to ask the President about it.

At White House press conferences, President Obama calls on reporters to ask questions. In some cases, he is aware that a reporter covering a particular “beat” — for example, the Middle East — is likely to ask a question about that particular beat. By calling on reporters, the President (Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc) can, to an extent, control the content of many questions.

That said, there were reporters from The Advocate (Kerry Eleveld) and Metro Weekly (Chris Geidner) — both publications that cover the LGBT community — present at the press conference. Geidner wrote about “The Presidential News Conference, And What I Didn’t Ask” on Friday:

“Although it was exciting to consider the possibility that I might ask President Obama a question at today’s news conference in the East Room of the White House, it apparently was more important to allow Fox News to ask the president about the “Ground Zero mosque” and the would-be-Koran burner than it was to allow an LGBT media outlet (or anyone else, for that matter) to ask about last night’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ruling.”

While Obama may not be familiar with Eleveld and Geidner, who write for less “prestigious” publications than the more familiar mainstream media outlets, the President is briefed ahead of time by Robert Gibbs and his press operation on which reporters to call on at these press conferences. And though Gibbs knows both Eleveld and Geidner, having called on them at several White House press conferences, I’m guessing Gibbs didn’t make a point of recommending that Obama call on them.

Still, the blame is shared by the “multi-issue” beltway reporters from traditional media outlets that are ostensibly responsible for addressing the most important issues of the day. And they failed to ask Obama a single question about one of the hottest topics in the news, on the day after this historic decision.

Perhaps it was because, until Friday, the DADT case had never been very prominent in the news, as Judge Virginia Phillips talked about in a New York Times profile piece yesterday:

“Honestly, I did not expect it to get as much attention as it did,” Judge Phillips said. “During the course of the case, there wasn’t a lot of attention paid to it.”

Indeed, the case did not receive much tradmed or new media coverage until the ruling came down, even from Rachel Maddow or in this forum (which is primarily focused on the Prop 8 trial and the right-wing organizations that made the passage of Prop 8 possible). In fact, aside from reporter (and Prop 8 Trial Tracker contributor) Karen Ocamb’s excellent coverage of the DADT trial on LGBTPOV, it seemed like the case was barely mentioned in the blogosphere either.

Karen wrote about the lack of attention on this case back on July 19:

Most of the LGBT leadership and equality activists yawned when LCR’s federal challenge to DADT commenced Tuesday, despite hours of testimony from DADT expert Nathaniel Frank and obnoxious objections from the Justice Department lawyers.

I drove up from West Hollywood for Tuesday’s opening arguments and was startled at how few non-attorneys showed up. After all, this is essentially the military equivalent of the federal Prop 8 trial – evidence in a court of law about how gays are officially treated as second class citizens by the federal government. But for all the high decibel attention over repealing DADT and the Pentagon’s homophobic survey – no one showed up with picket signs to demonstrate outside or packed the courtroom to support the plaintiffs in this serious David versus Goliath legal battle. What does this thundering absence tell the government about how much LGBTs really care about this horrendous law?

Was driving to hot Riverside just too inconvenient? Does the fact that the plaintiffs are gay Republicans play a role in LGBT and civil rights groups ignoring the case? Would there be a similar deafening silence if the plaintiff was photogenic Lt. Dan Choi or some fire-breathing progressive who wanted to stick it to President Obama, the Pentagon or the Department of Justice?

What does it say about the real principles of the LGBT movement for equality that no one but three local LGBT activists, a couple of Log Cabin members from Palm Springs and a handful of reporters showed up for part one of this trial?

For much, much more, read the rest of Karen’s post.

As a former reporter, here’s my take on why this case hasn’t received much coverage in the media:

The center of gravity in the repeal of DADT has resided in Washington, D.C. for years, as political pressure to overturn the policy has increased outside and inside the Beltway, driven by advocacy organizations as well as policy leaders. Unlike the Prop 8 case, in which the “action” was taking place in California, the “action” on DADT has been reverberating around Washington for years, from the White House and Congress to the Pentagon and inside the D.C. punditocracy. With the repeal of DADT seeming like a foregone conclusion to many traditional media reporters (who are fewer and farther between these days, due to the decline of the newspaper industry), this case failed to make it onto the radar of most “gatekeeper” editors and producers tasked with determining the day’s news. Without much news coverage emanating from the Riverside courtroom, many bloggers who rely on news accounts as the foundation of their content and analysis, took the tradmed’s cue and ignored the trial as well. And the negative feedback loop continued, as reporters, who rely on bloggers for news tips quite often, noticed the lack of coverage in the blogosphere as well.

There’s so much more to it than that, of course. But that’s my take, in a nutshell.

What’s yours? In the comments, tell us why you think there has been a lack of attention to the DADT case (until the ruling was announced)?

233 Comments September 11, 2010

Rachel Maddow on Prop 8 and the Trial

By Julia Rosen

Tonight on her show, Rachel Maddow dedicated over 10 minutes to discussing marriage equality, Prop 8 and this trial. She interviewed Ted Olson and David Boies during the segment, saying “You truly are an odd couple.” Rachel, as always, is well worth watching. Here’s the clip.

6 Comments January 12, 2010