- The Washington Times - Monday, February 28, 2000

Does this statement sound like tolerance to you? "We're going to go after the media outlets, the radio stations that run her, and get her off."

So spoke Cathy Renna of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) of radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, at a homosexual activist conference held last October. Dr. Laura had enraged homosexual activists by opposing their "born-that-way-and-can't-change" myth and their drive to radically redefine marriage.

Unable to "get" Dr. Laura, whose listening audience is estimated at 18 million, GLAAD did the next best thing by hounding Paramount Television, which is planning to launch Dr. Laura's new TV show this fall. Last week, GLAAD cheerfully announced what it regards as a partial victory. While Dr. Laura will have her show, the format will ensure that she include viewpoints contrary to her traditional views of sexual morality.

Fortunately, Dr. Laura can demolish the average liberal activist in about the time it takes to peel a banana. But when was the last time a successful talk show host was required to "open" a show to opposing viewpoints at the behest of a special interest group? Did Oprah Winfrey ever have to "balance" her left-leaning show?

Dr. Laura had always planned to have guests, videos and a studio audience. It appears that she has not conceded anything, but it is a testament to the power of Homosexual activists that Paramount and Dr. Laura felt obliged to issue a joint statement with GLAAD. With GLAAD editing all scripts involving homosexuality, 30 homosexual characters on prime-time television, pro-homosexual themes dominating theater, and homosexual characters dictating morality in Academy Award nominated films, one would think homosexual activists would feel visible. Honored. Even in charge.

They have not conquered every single information outlet, however. Hence the pressure on Paramount and Dr. Laura.

GLAAD Executive Director Joan Garry declares on GLAAD's Web site that "we are not in the business of trying to shut down opposing points of view." Sure. Last May, she applauded two Florida TV stations for refusing to air pro-family "Truth in Love" ads featuring former homosexuals. By doing so, the stations upheld "the principles of fairness and accuracy, which are so fundamental to journalistic integrity," according to Ms. Garry. Shutting down one side of a debate now represents fairness. George Orwell, meet the homosexual activists.

When Rush Limbaugh was asked to "balance" his show, he declared that he is the balance against an overwhelmingly liberal media. The same goes for Dr. Laura. In taking on the homosexual lobby, she has shown great courage and tenacity. This has earned her hate mail, death threats and promises of retaliation from homosexual activists, who say they are only dedicated to tolerance and fairness.

Consider this expression of "fairness" from GLAAD. At a recent symposium on "Responding to the Religious Right," Ms. Renna gave this advice, as reported by CNSNews.com: "One of the most important things you can do is to have these tough conversations with journalists about when it is completely inappropriate to run to some radical group like the Family Research Council because of misguided notions of 'balance.' We have to offer them some more moderate voices, or convince them that there is no other side to these issues." Did you catch that? "No other side."

Another attendee at the symposia compared the American Family Association, headed by Rev. Don Wildmon, a Methodist minister, to neo-Nazi groups: "If they do a story on Gay Pride, they invite the American Family Association to comment. If you did a story on Hanukkah, you wouldn't get the Aryan Nation to comment, would you?"

Dr. Laura was taken to task by GLAAD specifically for using the term deviant to describe homosexual behavior, for opposing the legalization of homosexual "marriage and homosexual adoption of children, for saying that people can change and leave homosexuality, and for using Family Research Council materials.

Well, Congress uses Family Research Council materials. Most people still think it strange for a man to have anal sex with another man. Most people would just as soon not know about it, and most oppose legal efforts to equate such behavior with marital love. Many people have come forward and declared that they have left homosexuality. Yet people and groups espousing these views are routinely castigated by homosexual activists and their allies as "hateful" and "bigoted." It is a shrewd and, sadly, effective tactic.

While GLAAD has not succeeded in intimidating Dr. Laura, the group certainly qualifies for an Emmy for best censorship effort.

Robert H. Knight, a former Los Angeles Times news editor and writer and Hoover Institution media fellow, is senior director of cultural studies at the Family Research Council.

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