GLAAD seeks to add context to anti-LGBT comments

In an effort to ensure journalists are providing the most context possible in their stories, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation has launched the commentator accountability project.

In an effort to ensure journalists are providing the most context possible in their stories, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation has launched the commentator accountability project (CAP).

CAP is a database of people who have anti-LGBT viewpoints who are often called by the media to provide balance in gay and lesbian-related stories. Its goal is to ensure reporters are familiar with the harshest comments these people have said in the past.

For example, Harry Jackson, senior pastor at Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, once said marriage equality is part of “a satanic plot to destroy our seed.”

“So if you're CNN, and you want to bring him on to opine on this issue, you'll have the context of where this person's beliefs are coming from,” said Aaron McQuade, GLAAD's director of news and field media.

Radio talk-show host Kevin McCullough, who is listed on CAP as saying, "Being gay kills people," said GLAAD is a pawn of the devil that wants him dead.

“Someone asked me before I went on the show today, ‘What do you think their end goal in developing this list is? Is it just to get you blackballed off media?'” McCullough told listeners. “I said, ‘no, they want me dead.' They are not going to be happy until my voice goes dark.”

The database includes more than 30 people. To promote the resource, GLAAD held a press call and posted an op-ed on Mediaite. It has also posted to its blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter, about the initiative.

Kelly McBride, a media ethics professor at the Poynter Institute, told PRWeek that CAP is “a good resource.” Several journalism societies did not respond to repeated request for comments on the offering. McQuade said he has gotten positive feedback from several journalists.

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