Saturday, June 10, 2006

Alternative media carry the day

All the hoopla regarding the Marriage Protection Amendment was interesting to follow, but one aspect of the week's proceeding went virtually un-commented upon by the media, and that is the role of the gay media in helping the other side carry the day.

First, it's important to note that groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council spill a lot of ink -- and I think justiably so -- criticizing the mainstream media for their anti-Christian and anti-conservative bias.

Yet where did Focus and the FRC go when they wanted to buy ads promoting the Marriage Protection Amendment? To the mainstream media. They put ads in the Washington Post and the New York Times – two publications that had editorialized AGAINST the amendment and whose readers also generally oppose the amendment.

On the other hand, when the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign (HRC) wanted to mobilize its base, it took out ads in 26 homosexual newspapers.

Obviously, the pro-homosexual side and their alternative media strategy won.

Focus on the Family Action, the entity that actually placed the ads, said otherwise, of course. Spokesman Christopher Norfleet, in response to my questions about this, said they "already had avenues for communicating" with those who read Christian newspapers and magazines. Presumably through their own radio program, magazine, and e-mail lists. Neither would he disclose how much money was spent on the ad campaign in the mainstream media, but the number was probably in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I would argue that Focus and the FRC, to put it bluntly, wasted their donor's money -- and provided aid and comfort to the enemy to boot. For one thing, every time people get a chance to vote at the state level on this issue, the pro-family position wins overwhelmingly. Senators are way out-of-step with their constituents, so the way to change this is to mobilize the conservative activists -- who mostly don't read the mainstream media.

Secondly, there's this fundamental principle of "situational ethics," which presumably the people at Focus on the Family would agree with: "The end does not justify the means." The fact remains that when you advertise in the mainstream media, you are providing financial "aid and comfort" to their worldview. You are enabling them to do what they do. Focus and the FRC are, to turn an old expression on its side, "feeding the mouth that bites them."

By the way, to read my "straight news" account of what happened with the MPA, hit this link: