On Tuesday CNN’s Kyra Phillips reported on attempts to repeal a California law requiring state health officials to seek a cure for homosexuality. Sadly there are plenty of absurd laws on the books across the U.S., so its good to know legislators are working to get rid of this one. Phillips’ piece wasn’t really about the law, though. It was a thinly veiled excuse to bring Richard Cohen, discredited spokesman of the so-called “ex-gay” movement, on her show to spout his bullshit.
The notion that Cohen was there to present a counterpoint and bring the story balance is absurd. Bigotry from someone who was expelled from the American Counseling Association for violating it’s ethics standards isn’t a needed alternate opinion, it’s just hate masquerading as therapy. Especially when the segment began with Phillips asking, “Homosexuality — is it a problem in need of a cure?” So why was did this interview happen?
AfterElton.com contacted CNN to ask A) why Phillips would phrase her question in such an offensive way B) why they deemed it necessary to present both “sides” of whether or not gay people can be “cured” when it’s been so widely discredited and C) why they deemed the discredited Cohen — whom they termed a sexual orientation “expert” — as someone qualified to speak about the subject.
Here is CNN’s response:
“By bringing this story to the fore, we engage various advocates from all sides. This story does not end here and CNN will continue to explore other views and positions.”
Because this is a story that was simply demanding to be brought to the fore.
Pam’s House Blend reports that Phillips has a history of promoting the ex-gay argument. You can watch the segment at the previous link, though Cohen doesn’t have much to say that wasn’t covered when Rachel Maddow took on his special brand of homophobia.
GLAAD is calling on folks to contact CNN and tell them not to promote Cohen as an expert while ignoring credible scientific authorities. CNN should promptly respond and set the record straight, which they have so far failed to do. Contact info for CNN can be found here.