Monday, June 3, 2013

Badge Of Hypocrisy

As June begins, our entire staff is back in action, and we can't think of a better time to be at full strength. For once, it appears both the House and Senate may be in session long enough this month to actually get a few things done - though one of those may be to metaphorically blow the place up. The Supreme Court is also going to hand down four major decisions this month on DOMA, Prop 8, Affirmative Action, Voting Rights, and may choose to get involved in the right of the President to make recess appointments.

That dense but important list of subjects on the schedule for June doesn't even begin to address the foreign affairs issues that will likely face the White House and Congress this month - including the ongoing civil war in Syria - or domestic issues like the effects of the ongoing sequestration and the continuing rollout of Obamacare.

With all of these serious topics coming to a head, we'd hope our colleagues in the media are ready to get down to real journalism, and quit screwing around with fake scandals. However, considering the way May ended, we have our doubts.

For example, an important story ignored by much of the media in the ridiculous scandalmania at the end of May was a major announcement by the Boy Scouts of America. Officially, as of May 23rd, the BSA has ended its longstanding ban on openly gay members under the age of 18, which prohibited self-identified gay scouts from participating in official scouting activities.

While the move toward acceptance has been met with support from major religious institutions like the Catholic church, and hope from some political pundits, sadly - but not surprisingly - the Scouts' move has also been met with bigotry and intolerance from other religious groups, like the Baptists.

The hypocrisy doesn't end there.

While the Scouts' new policy does allow gay members under the age of 18, as soon as a member of the BSA turns 18 and gains adult status, the organization's ban on 'adult Scout leaders' and support personnel kicks in. This means that youngsters who were 'gay but OK' to join the club on Tuesday will be thrown out of the group on Wednesday - their birthday - through no fault of their own.

There are a whole host of reasons why this hypocritical decision by the BSA makes about as much sense as a bunch of homophobic men wearing tight khaki shorts and thin brown shirts being freaked out by gay kids - which is to say no logical sense at all. One of biggest examples of hypocrisy includes a little-known subsidiary organization of the Boy Scouts called "Learning For Life" - an educational supply company, created by the BSA that's taken millions of dollars in Federal tax money, and which openly embraces LGBT members.

The right-wing dominated national media gave comparatively little time to this small but important part of the Boy Scout story - likely because many of them knew the money trail would lead to the hypocrisy under the BSA's own roof. Instead, they spent most of the last two weeks keeping everyone distracted with bogus "scandals" that Americans clearly don't care about - which should tell you all you need to know about the difference between right-wing media and real journalism.

That they continue to pretend their coverage is "fair and balanced" is almost as ridiculous as your average 50 year old bigot wearing too-tight boy shorts accusing anyone else of sexually inappropriate behavior.

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