The anti-gay rhetoric coming from the political right continues to grow and it's evident in the way it reflects in the right-wing media.
The leading voice in the right-wing media is Fox News. Over the years, Fox News has found a way to harbor some of the most conservative voices together in one network to promote their agenda. One of the top commentators at Fox is Eric Erickson. In addition to his hosting duties on Fox News, Erickson also owns and operators his own conservative website and blog, Redstate.com. In a recent blog post, Erickson spoke about the alleged bias in the media concerning LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, complaining that there isn't enough anti-gay news media.
"John King and Erin Burnett were chatting as Erin promoted what was coming up on her show. A pastor was losing his church because he supported gay marriage. His congregation had left and there was too little money coming in. "It's a pretty powerful story of conviction and also the bias that is still very prevalent in certain places in this country," Burnett gravely stated. "Bias ... in certain places."
At the top of the seven o'clock hour, Burnett ran a David Mattingly story about Grace Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul, Minnesota. The real story happened seven years earlier. The pastor of the African-American church, way back then, supported gay marriage at the 2005 national meeting of the United Church of Christ over the desires of his congregation. Most of the congregation left his church. The week of June 5, 2012, would be perhaps, in David Mattingly's words, "the last service before the church closes its doors for good. What I saw was a far cry from the days when the seats were full."
It is not that Erin Burnett and David Mattingly's report clearly made the pastor who defied his congregation the hero and his congregants who demanded faithful adherence to their scripture the bigots. The media does this all the time. In a nation whose voters routinely tells pollsters they support gay marriage while routinely voting against gay marriage, most of the media is very much in favor of gay marriage. Stories about Christian pastors seem to focus on the bigoted and hateful few contrasted with a few open minded, tolerant Christians whose churches are dwindling as they embrace alternative lifestyles.
But we are a nation where a majority of states, through democratic processes, prohibit gay marriage. And the story was cast not as a preacher disobeying his congregation and dealing with the consequences, but as "bias ... in certain places" causing a church to close down."
A recent poll by USA Today shows that support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high. The only areas where the majority isn't in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage are among Republicans and seniors 65 and older, which just happens to be the target demographic for Fox News. The news media isn't bias in favor of same-sex marriage, they just happen to reflect the opinions of the majority of the American people, something Eric Erickson and Fox News can't seem to get their hands on.