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9/7/09

Washington Post Apologizes For Saying Gay-Marriage Opponent Is "Sane"

Opposing Gay Unions With Sanity & a Smile. This unwelcome headline from a self-proclaimed bisexual journalist caused leftists to complain, and the Washington Post eventually to apologize to its readers.

"I agree that the story fell short... Hesse said she decided to let Brown tell his story, as opposed to extensively quoting what others say about him. Her editors didn't object to the concept. Having Brown's story told in his "voice," Hesse reasoned, would allow readers to best assess his arguments.

Fine in theory. But it deprived readers of hearing from others who have battled Brown and find him uncivil and bigoted. To them, he represents injustice. They should have been heard, at length...

Compounding the story's problems were passages like: "He takes nothing personally. He means nothing personal. He is never accusatory or belittling."

These types of unattributed characterizations are not uncommon in feature writing. But many readers thought Hesse was offering her opinion of who Brown is, as opposed to portraying how he comes across.

Finally, the headline: "Opposing Gay Unions With Sanity & a Smile." To many readers, The Post was saying Brown's views are sane."


Comments on Hesse's article included: "one of the biggest pieces of crap The Post has published in recent memory... What's next, a piece on how a KKK leader is just 'someone next door' and 'really a nice person'?”

Huffington Post called it "pathetically worshipful."

CampusProgress.org said she wanted to “couch [NOM’s] bigotry in non-personal, intellectual language,” in her report about executive director of the National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown.

Hesse did in fact give the gay activists plenty of space to tear him down, btw, contrary to the apology.

And there is no problem when it comes to articles about gay activists that portray them as sane that don't give opponents any say, like this one.

Apparently Hesse was stunned from the angry response, that she had expected "anti-gay-marriage conservatives who might view the story as "snide.""

Obviously they don't read your paper any more Hesse! Only wacko gay militants do! Insane people don't like it when you call sane people sane!

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