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02/12/2009

AP link love: What's the formula?

by Jeremy Hooper

So this is a little weird. On the AP's story about this morning's protest at NYC's marriage bureau, they are running this footnote:

On the Net:

Marriage Equality USA: http://www.marriageequality.org

Join the Impact: http://jointheimpact.com

Family Research Council: http://www.frc.org

The first two make sense, as both groups are referenced in the AP article. However, FRC is not at all. No quotes or quips. No reference to Tony Perkins or cohorts. Nothing involving the Family Research Council is mentioned in the AP article. So why are they directing readers to learn more about the anti-gay outfit?

We understand the media's need for objectivity and to present other views. We also think the FRC is a newsworthy player in American politics. But on a story like this, fully about civil marriage equality in New York state, wouldn't it make more sense to local opposition? Lawmakers who stand in the way? A past story about a NY marriage ruling? SOMETHING that would provide insight on this specific matter rather than just blanket condemnation of gay rights in general?

Like many LGBT matters, we have to put this up to the "other groups" test. Whereas it might make sense to link to a condemnatory outfit if they are specifically referenced in the story, would the AP provide a unsolicited/unprovoked link to groups who, as a blanket policy, back discrimination for other kinds of people? We don't think so.

Discuss.

NYC marriage bureau rebuffs same-sex couples [AP via Google]

*Note: The above link is to Google's version of the wire story. However, the "on the net" thing is on several other versions (with FRC mentioned in none of them).

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Your thoughts

I totally agree and THAK YOU for calling out the media's "false objectivity". Even if an issue is contentious, as gay marriage is in the U.S., bring out both sides of the *issue*.

Referring to the FRC here, is akin to writing an article about Obama's controversial stimulus package and posting a link to a KKK group who don't believe black people should hold public office. We don't see a KKK rep every time a black person is interviewed on TV, why do they feel the need to 'balance' every gay story by interviewing a hate group?

Posted by: Strepsi | Feb 12, 2009 11:54:37 AM

It's because they fear the Anti-gay groups backlash. No matter how much we may make fun of them for being idiots, they DO have enough of an influence for them to notice in the news industry, unlike the car and soda industries. Newspapers are especially at risk, since less and less people are buying newspapers. It's sad, really.

Posted by: Clicky the Fox | Feb 12, 2009 9:09:06 PM

The AP was taken over a while back by an extreme rightwing zealot whose name escapes me at the moment. Since that time, AP's once proud reputation has taken a beating by it's incessant Republican-inspired propaganda and one-sided reporting. These links do not surprise me, after all, they are even suing the guy who created the Obama poster.

Posted by: niles | Feb 12, 2009 10:51:43 PM

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