As the PR division of the Republican Party, Fox News has the massive burden of improving the public impression of a party that is widely viewed as being intolerant of minorities, dismissive of women, advocates for the rich, and proselytizers for a distinctly right-wing flavor of Christianity. While the GOP claims to want to broaden the appeal of the party, their policies work to do just the opposite. This makes the job much more difficult for Fox News who are trying to solicit favor from Latinos while opposing immigration; from women while opposing equal pay; from African-Americans while opposing affirmative action; and from workers while opposing unions, unemployment benefits, and raising the minimum wage.
Add to these groups the LGBT community. This is a particularly tough needle to thread for Fox and the GOP. They want to appear to be open-minded, but their positions are fervently anti-gay. They oppose marriage equality, non-discrimination in the workplace, hospital and survivor benefits, etc. And they are not particularly welcoming to gay Republican groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans.
This isn’t the only thing Fox is afraid of.
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.
Somehow, Fox News needs to advance its mission of electing more Republicans without alienating their conservative, Tea Party base. In pursuit of that end, Fox ran a story by Dana Perino, former press Secretary for George W. Bush and a Fox News contributor, that sought to expose what she regards as hypocrisy on the part of Democrats. The article was titled “Straight Talk About Gay Republican Congressional Candidate Carl DeMaio,” and questioned why Democrats were withholding their support from a gay San Diego congressional candidate that she thought Democrats should back automatically.
The notion that Democrats have some inherent responsibility to back any candidate on the basis of their sexual orientation is absurd. Democrats will not support gays (or women or African-Americans or Latinos, etc.) who work against the interests of their constituents. To suggest that they should is a remarkably ignorant and narrow-minded view of civic duty. It is also not the course that ethical gays would take. For example, Stampp Corbin, publisher of the San Diego LGBT Weekly, addressed DeMaio’s candidacy saying that…
“The Republican Party platform says Republicans ‘reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.’ The Democratic platform says ‘Gay rights are human rights.’ Could there be more of a contrast? […] Why would LGBT people elect someone who is part of a party that wants to deny LGBT people basic rights?”
Exactly. DeMaio is running against Democratic incumbant Scott Peters, who has been an outspoken advocate of LGBT rights, despite being straight. This is a concept that Perino and Fox News obviously don’t grasp.
However, they do know their audience. Which is why Fox News is not permitting any of them to comment on this story. Even though Fox News allows comments on all of their other news articles, they have closed off comments for this one. Why would they treat this article differently than all of the others? Perhaps because they are aware that the Fox News audience is likely to post derogatory and obscene insults directed at the candidate they are trying to promote. Fox doesn’t want to see the torrent of anti-gay sentiment that they know would occur if they allowed people to post comments.
The same censorship has been enacted at the lie-riddled Fox Nation website. They posted the same story and also prohibited those readers from commenting. Which is even more egregious since Fox Nation is supposed to be the community site where discussion is encouraged. Their mission statement says that…
“The Fox Nation is committed to the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse, and fair and balanced coverage of the news.”
We already knew that, contrary to their claim, Fox has no commitment to tolerance, civil discourse, or fair and balanced coverage of the news. And now we know that they also do not tolerate open debate. Have you ever heard of a community forum website that prohibited the community from engaging in a forum discussion? That’s “straight talk” Fox News style.