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Reporting ill of the dead

by Jeremy Hooper

Wanna see a tasteless, callous display of journalism? Well check this out.

The right-skewed Cybercast News Service has run a story on Lawrence King, the 14-year-old who was shot dead by a fellow classmate seemingly because he was gay. They start off said piece with a standard write up of the situation:

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(note: King has been pulled from life support since this piece ran)

Okay, so it reads like it's going to be straightforward story. However, after giving a bit more background of the situation, CNS lets you know that it's not going to be an even-handed take when they say the following:

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Seized on? Try have been EXTREMELY distraught over what appears to be a crime of bias and hate!

So then after CNS runs the above line, they proceed to run comments from both GLSEN's Kevin Jennings and Matthew Shepard's mother Judy, both of whom address the highlighted need for safe schools and gay acceptance. Which is honestly the only issue we should be talking about at this point -- how to keep other kids like Lawrence King safe!

But here's where CNS goes off the rails of objectivity and turns their entire article into a right-wing propaganda piece. Immediately after running the pro-acceptance quotes from Jennings and Shepard, writer Susan Jones goes on to say this:

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Yes, that's right -- they are actually turning a piece about a murder -- A MURDER! -- into a forum for the rabidly anti-gay Randy Thomasson's war against tolerance in Caliornia's public schools! They are using quotes about how much Christian students must "endure" in a news story about a gay teen who had to endure DEATH!!!!!!!! We've seen plenty of disturbing and cold assessments of gay issued in our day, but this very well may take the homo-hostile cake!

In situations like this, the anti-gay crusade against LGBT-inclusive schools deserve about as much credence as the dump I just took. SHAME ON YOU, Cybercast News, for this repellent misuse of a keyboard!

Hate Crime Charges Against Teen Who Shot 'Feminine' Boy [CNS News]

**UPDATE: And what makes it even more disgusting (as if it needs any more layers), is that this doesn't even appear to be a quote Thomasson gave Susan Jones specifically for this piece. The quote is from a news conference that he gave on 2/11 to talk about his "Rescue Your Child" project:

CCF Press Conference [Save California]

So it's not even like she wanted to get a right-wing opinion on this particular story. She simply inserted this contrarian view so as to fulfill CNS's agenda!

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Your thoughts

I don't say this about many people but Susan Jones is evil.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Feb 15, 2008 4:15:47 PM

I'm inclined to go with Timothy on this one.

How anyone can turn "a boy was murdered for being gay" into "Christian children need to be rescued from sexual indoctrination" is beyond the ability of my rather active imagination to even begin to comprehend.

Posted by: Jarred | Feb 15, 2008 4:41:23 PM

What else do you expect from CNS? I disagree with the reasons of the nutjobs in this article, but I don't have a problem if folks want to send their kids to private school or even homeschool them. If public schools in California are anything like they are in Virginia, they suck and give kids a lousy education.

Posted by: John | Feb 15, 2008 4:56:29 PM

John: I don't expect THIS from even CNS! It's just so out of place. They felt like they had to work in some sort of anti-gay angle, so they throw in Thomasson's campaign.

While there will surely be other right wing spins on this (most likely denying any hate was at play), I don't even think most are going to try and get mileage out of the idea that LESS TOLERANCE is what we need! If they do, then GOOD! It will surely only help our side.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 15, 2008 5:01:28 PM

Agreed, Jeremy. Yet I DO expect this from CNS and other extreme rightwing media. Wanna bet that World Net Daily is even worse in reporting this story? This is the kind of nonsense from both the extreme left and right that we've seen for years now.

Posted by: John | Feb 15, 2008 5:08:07 PM

As a father (and a gay father, at that), I find this completely REPULSIVE! I've already written to Ms. Jones, though god knows what good it will do.

Posted by: Christopher | Feb 15, 2008 5:37:51 PM

Actually, I can think of one angle that I would consider more repulsive, and I'm almost certain someone will bring it up. That's any sort of "blame the victim" argument suggesting that this horrific shooting wouldn't have happened if King would've just "kept his sexuality to himself" or even "butched it up."

Yeah, the CNS article sort of touches on that angle, but doesn't get explicit about it.

Posted by: Jarred | Feb 15, 2008 6:09:27 PM

I am interested in gay, wanna know more things about LGBT.
These simple words are not simple at all when it comes to real life. Am a bisexual girl, it's ok to show you my recent photos at ***bimingle dot com***, but i need yours at the same time. Would you please let me know your MSN first? Check me here.

Posted by: kalyone93 | Feb 16, 2008 9:03:39 AM

Public schools may not dish out the best education, but at least the education is more well rounded. These people are just brainwashing their children by homeschooling them and sending them to "christian" schools. These children never get a chance to hear any other opinions then the ones their parents' want them to hear. In so they don't really learn to think for themselves continuing the vicious cycle of ignorance.

Posted by: Roxanne | Feb 16, 2008 3:53:46 PM

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