Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Creeping bigotry

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog points out yet another example of far-right fabrications making their way into the mainstream media:
Ilene Lelchuk, a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, quoted the leader of a known hate group (without identifying him as such) as a scientific expert on gay issues in a story just published Monday. The "expert" in question is none of than Paul Cameron. You may recall that I've been writing a lot about Cameron in the past few weeks (as has Pam Spaulding, as the lead religious right groups keep pushing his hate "science."

What's the problem with Cameron? He's a man who has suggested that the extermination of gays might be necessary. Per the Southern Poverty Law Center:

He told the 1985 Conservative Political Action Committee conference that "extermination of homosexuals" might be needed in the next three to four years. He has advocated tattooing AIDS patients in the face, and banishment to a former leper colony for any patient who resisted. He has called for gay bars to be closed and gays to be registered with the government.

He was kicked out of the American Psychological Association, and was publicly rebuked by the Nebraska Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association. And he has been called the leader of a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, America's number one civil rights organization for tracking the klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The Southern Poverty Law Center went so far as to say that "Cameron's 'science' echoes Nazi Germany."

The Chronicle subsequently ran a "clarification" that gave more information about Cameron's background, but failed to correct its characterization of Cameron as a "scientific expert" when he is no such thing.

Mind you, it isn't quite as egregious as Lou Dobbs channeling Madeleine Cosman or broadcasting white-supremacist propaganda about "Aztlan", but it is disturbing how often we're starting to see this lack of appropriate vetting of their source material by mainstream journalists -- and more importantly, their lack of skepticism when it comes to material from the far right.

No comments: