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How does Bill Donohue feel about being ignored? Tune it at 11

by Jeremy Hooper

While I absolutely get the desire and the motivation, and while I have deep respect for the groups involved, I, Jeremy, have to question the messaging here:


GLAAD joined with Call To Action and the Interfaith Alliance today in urging media to ignore desperate attempts by anti-gay activist Bill Donohue to distract attention from the latest revelations in the deepening abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Donohue, who has a long history of outrageous and defamatory attacks on gay people in his capacity as head of the New York-based Catholic League, recently renewed those attacks following media coverage of developments in the U.S. and Europe — coverage that turned a spotlight on new revelations about the reassignment of abusive priests.

“As the media attempt to look at the root causes of the abuse crisis, Bill Donohue’s attacks against gay people and the media only serve to take away focus from the real victims here: the thousands of children who have been abused by Catholic clergy and nuns,” said Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director of Call To Action, a Catholic movement working for equality and justice in the Church and society.


So why do I question it? Well, because let's be honest: The media is not going to ignore Bill Donohue any more than they would ignore Tiger Woods' latest mistress, the most overheated voices of opposition to healthcare reform, or someone who claims to have firsthand knowledge about Kate Gosselin's inability to simultaneously Unknown-1dance and raise eight children. We live in a media saturated world, and controversies, rabble rousers, and shit-stirrers get attention: BIll Donohue is holding the spoon and laughing his way all the way to the green room! In just a cursory search of these here Internets, I can find evidence of Donohue making multiple appearances on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, the late Air America radio, the Opie and Anthony Show, Michelangelo Signorile's show, The 700 Club, The Colbert Report, and his own YouTube channel, among many others. Donohue's saturation has been so intense that he was even parodied on "South Park":

So in my humble O, it's just silly to think that any ratings-motivated booker is going to ignore him now that he has ratcheted up his attacks with a highly noticed New York Times ad. This being the case, I think the headline should be: "MEDIA URGED TO CHALLENGE/REFUTE/DEFUSE/SCOFF AT/WHIZZ ON/*FACEPALM*/CONDEMN BILL DONOHUE'S LATEST ANTI-GAY ATTACKS." Okay, so maybe I'm kidding about a few of those. But the point is that the "ask" of the message is super important. It needs to be strong, it needs to be staunch, and it needs to be obtainable. I just don't think the "please ignore" request is a viable one in this 24/7 media world. And I wonder if it seems a little weak, considering how fully Mr. Donohue refuses to ignore us.

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