Wednesday, June 26, 2013

No Media Equality in Marriage Debate

   Those who worry that today's Supreme Court ruling effectively upholding same sex marriage will lead to polygamy or incest should calm down. Ain't no way. Phil Davis was right in "Philip's Code" when he said "the slope doesn't become slippery until the media greases it."
    His dictum holds in almost all news stories, but the coverage of  same sex marriage is the best example I can think of.  Right from the start, I wondered why arrangements other than same sex weren't on the news budget. After all, thousands of couples live in polygamous marriages, although they are illegal. And in parts of the South people reach a milestone when they become the first to marry outside their family. All kidding aside, polygamy is, and was, a huge issue. Federal troops went in to Utah which was forced to renounce the Mormon practice. Are today's journalists like everyone else in that they have short memory spans or have no regard for the past? If so, they shouldn't be
.   Some might think I am biased because I am part of today's mixed marriage, by which I mean one between a man and a woman. No. I frankly don't care who gets married as long as they are consenting adults. I do h  ave concerns about a church being forced to marry someone, but that is not what I want to write about. I want to focus on the media, because I think the media foc-us - the public - on this one. (BTW: I saw a spokes person for gays - speaking to a row of  TV cameras and microphones - say "f--- Eight" after today's ruling. Lots of class.. I don't want to get in to how "gay"  and "straight" were imposed. She was speaking, of course, in San Francisco.)
    When I said "right from the start," I meant San Francisco where it all started when Mayor Gavin Newsom married homosexuals. All a reporter had to do was ask him if he would perform a ceremony for more than two people, regardless of gender. A few days later, a national TV reporter did and Newsom answered with some flip remark about marrying a horse.  After today's ruling, Newsom thanked a lot of people. All he had to do was thank the media which limited the debate by simply using the term "marriage equality" which Newsom said several times in his "thank you" address. Recently, in a "guest perspective" column for the San Mateo Daily Journal, Assemblyman Mark Leno delivered "marriage equality" at least three times.
 The issue wasn't one of "marriage equality," which would involve everybody. It was about same sex marriage - nothing else. Are we leaving in the age of "newspeak?" Do reporters have agendas? Is this the result of  "liberal media?" I think there is much more involved. For one thing, I miss the old United Press International, the one that had reporters who asked tough questions, giving the AP fits. I sometimes think objectivity died with the old UPI, which  had a logo featuring the silhouette of a fedora topped reporter who held a notebook in one hand and a pencil in the other. Today that reporter would have all sorts of electronic gear, doing dozens of jobs instead of the main one, which is to question authority. The problem today is that mass media is the "authority." .





No comments: