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03/26/2012

GLAAD touched a nerve: Jennifer Roback Morse edition

by Jeremy Hooper

Cap Header Final 0-3Jennifer Roback Morse, head of the National Organization For Marriage's affiliate Ruth Institute, is the latest Commentator Accountability Project personality to respond to his or her listing. Let's have a look at the way she joins the choir of voices trying to spin sunlight into some sort of unfair "silencing."

First lie:

According to the GLAAD website, I have held myself out as someone who purports to be an “expert on the lives of LGBT people.” Evidently (and unbeknownst to me) I have devoted my career “making life more difficult for LGBT people.” Although these extreme statements have since been scrubbed from the site, the organization continues to claim that “Bias is Not Balance.”

Bullcrap! Nothing has been "scrubbed" from the GLAAD site! Both of those claims were made in the Politico piece than ran on project launch day, and both are still there now. But saying whatever she thinks will make her look better is par for Ms. Roback Morse's course.

Second lie:

GLAAD’s systematic policy of slapping negative labels on their opponents without actually engaging them in debate reduces the quality of discourse in the public square.

This is not the policy of this project. Trust me -- I know this project intimately. The goal, from beginning to now, has been for more honest debate. The "ask" is for media figures to actually note some of the things that these folks make a habit of saying, but usually only when in forums where they know they can more easily get a pass. By accurately noting the record in more visible appearances, we will heighten the quality of the discourse, not reduce it!

Ms. Morse then goes on to pick out one of her listed comments -- the least obviously hostile one, of course -- and act as if it and her associated "explanation" absolve her of being on this list. She then concludes with:

Redefining marriage raises questions that deserve to be fully aired. Trying to discredit skeptics changes the subject. Equating all disagreement with evidence of bias lowers the intellectual level of the discussion. These rhetorical tactics do not do the gay lobby any credit. In fact, responsible people of all parties should shun these strategies and make room for honest debate on this momentous question of changing the fundamental structure of our most important social institution.

Again: This is fallacious. Nobody is "equating all disagreement with evidence of bias." This project simply shines more light on what these people have themselves said, and asks them to speak to it when they are booked in the media. Responsible people do not shun transparency. But then again, responsible people also don't claim that there are chilling parallels between the modern equality fight and Nazi Germany.

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*Note: Ms. Roback Morse also seems to take issue with there only being four comments listed on her profile. So a promise to her: she will have more by day's end.

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