When was the last time you saw a story about gays/lesbians on the TV news? I saw one not too long ago — I do not recall what it was about, however, I do recall that they interviewed the local religious crazyspokesperson to get their slant on the issue. The reason they do this..? To bring balance to the story, of course. Why else would they do it?
Balance? Does this mean that when they cover an issue pertinent to women, they are going to get the male slant on it? When they cover an issue pertinent to African-Americans, are they going to provide commentary by the local Ku Klux Klan? When they cover issues of immigration, they are going to include comments from the local rednecks? Who are they kidding?
Maybe I am over-reacting to this situation, but to every issue there areat least two sides — plus the truth. It is apparent to me that the media does not understand that these stories are about PEOPLE not issues. So who is going to explain it to them? And why is it that only on issues that affect the homosexual population, we are offered the opinion of the ignorant as well?
It is obvious to me that this special handling of gay/lesbian issues by the media is no more than their feeble attempt at sexy news. You know, the type of story they throw into every commercial because they know it will bring more folks to tune in to their station’s news. I think it is time we understood that the news media does not take us, or our issues, seriously. If they did, they would report them as they do every other story. So how do we change our image? Or at least wise up the news media?
Some folks advocate the use of closeting our more… shall we say … flamboyant individuals. Just put the normal looking folks out there in front. Can hiding folks get us ahead? Sometimes it is because of the more outrageous folks that we — and issues that affect us — end up in the news. So that could be counter-productive as well.
Some folks advocate that we stick to issues that normal folks can understand. Marriage. Adoption. Wills. Well, for me personally, marriage and wills are issues that even the most normal citizen could understand. And there are many other issues that need to be addressed. Such as teaching kids that homosexuality is not a bad thing. We have kids who kill other kids simply because they are different. Seems to me we need to get on that problem before it is completely out of control.
Perhaps the answer is not in who we are, or our issues. Perhaps the answer is for us to start acting like consumers. When the local news runs a story, but provides a forum for the ignorant side, we need to call, write or email that station and demand to be taken seriously. And if they will not, we will stop watching them. We can call, email or write their advertisers as well, stating our dissatisfaction with where they are putting their profits — profits made off of our purchases.
We can make a difference — and it is time we took steps to do just that.
Until next time…