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08/30/2007

'Mother,' may I form my own thoughts please?

by Jeremy Hooper

So you might remember that earlier this week, the folks at Mother Jones presented what seemed to be a reasonably fair and balanced look on the gay/"ex-gay" discussion. And you might remember that our take on the piece was that even though it did seem quite even-handed in its approach, the arguments on the "ex-gay" side of the fence still seemed quite weak and unable to hold up to much scrutiny:

'Mother Jones' examines the 'overbearing mother made you jones for gayness' set [G-A-Y]

Well, it wouldn't seem that ours is the response that Mother Jones or the writer of the piece, Gary Greenberg, is wanting readers to take-away, as we just got hold of this press release:

Picture 7-69

WHAT THE CRAZY ONE-SIDED?!?!? Why have they cherry-picked research from the piece in order to lead the witness into adopting one definitive conclusion?! They are making sound as if they are breaking some sort of news, with Mr. Greenberg making it sound as if he desired a certain take-away message. They are taking a long, complex examination and boiling it down into one brazen political presumption. This would seem to go against everything for which Mother Jones stands!!!!

We have contacted the above emails to let them know as much. You may either feel free to do the same, or you may not. After all, we would never be so bold as to tell you exactly what you should and should not take away from our analyses!!

**UPDATE: This came to us from one of the flacks:

Hi Jeremy--

I found your discussion of the article quite interesting and agree with you
that anyone who reads the full article has all the information needed to
come to an informed conclusion. The points highlighted in the release,
though, are those I felt most likely to pique people's interest.

Jeremy's response:

Oh, I see -- so basically it's a trade off between the ethics of journalism and the "hook" that's so important to PR?

Unsurprisingly, we have yet to hear anything else.

**UPDATE 2
: We have swapped some much nicer and more mind-appeasing words with Gary Greenberg, the author of the piece. The thing we'd like to say to cap this off is that all PR people need to be careful about letting their need for hype trump accuracy! In regards to this particular situation: Those of us who challenge the "ex-gay" movement and realize its dangers constantly have to deal with trying to connect the dots of a very complex situation so that people understand (a) how short-sighted or just plain WRONG their research so frequently is, (b) that they are all in bed with the political groups who oppose gay rights, and (c) that we aren't opposed to anyone's right to "self-determination," only the movement that tries to pass of medically unsound disinformation as fact. When we see PR people muddying those waters with what is, in our estimation, an unacceptably deceptive press release, we can't help but rage.

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Your thoughts

I would like to write, but I'm busy self-determining my sexual orientation.

.........Done, and I'm still gay. I might as well write them.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Aug 30, 2007 4:45:21 PM

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