Monday, February 15, 2010

Rachel Maddow: Being gay & being an honest journalist isn't a contradiction

The Washington Post's media critic, Howard Kurtz, profiles MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, and raises the question of whether a lesbian can honestly cover "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The real question is why these issues are never raised about heterosexual journalists. Everyone on this planet has a sexual orientation. Why doesn't anyone ever ask heterosexuals if they can fairly cover LGBT rights?

And so it goes...

5 comments:

Salamander 奥托 said...

I didn't even know Maddow was a lesbian. As for heterosexuals, there are liars, exaggerators, pundits on the take and lots of other things that can question their credibility. Maybe the argument that if you check out all the lesbians, it narrows down the number of journalists whose credibility they have to check. That would mean it’s just a numbers game. But somehow, I have the feeling the article you site is just plain biased.

Nancy Jane Moore said...

This is all part of the idea that the viewpoint of middle-to-upper class straight white men is "neutral." You see the same thing in fiction criticism -- a white male character represents "everyone," but if the same character were black, or female, or Asian, or gay, they would be viewed as only representing some smaller part of humanity -- as being in a way less than human.

Straight people can obviously be very biased on gay issues. And some of the worst coverage of every issue out there comes from people bending over so far to be neutral that they give idiocies the same level of respect as solid fact -- like when they interview some advocate of creationism to "balance" a story on evolution.

Diane Silver said...

Thanks for the comments, both of you. Nancy, I'm so pleased you brought up the issue of which people = the default norm and which ones don't.

aaronw80 said...

I agree 100%! No one ever asks a straight person if they can handle issues that involve straight people.

It's like the judge in the prop 8 trial. People who would ask him to step might as well say that black judge shouldn't handle civil rights cases.

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