Cable news anchor Lou Dobbs can generally be relied upon to provide a strongly worded, passionately argued, oft-inflammatory commentary each Wednesday on CNN.com.
But while Dobbs relatively calmly diagnosed how “we all bear responsibility for failing an entire generation of students in our public school system” yesterday, it was Focus on the Family Action founder James C. Dobson who drew bloggers’ attention this week for his piece at CNN.com entitled “Media provides cover for assault on traditional marriage.”
Discussing the U.S. Senate’s action earlier this month to again vote down a constitutional amendment defining marriage “as being exclusively between one man and one woman,” Dobson wrote:
“Rarely has there been a greater disconnect between members of the Senate and the American people who put them in power. With the help of the media, which laid down ‘cover’ by claiming voters didn’t care about marriage, 40 Democrats, one Independent and seven Republicans turned their backs on this most basic social institution.”
Defying “the claim that traditional marriage lacks support in the court of public opinion,” Dobson blamed “the liberal press” for producing “a series of trumped-up polls indicating the issue was of no interest nationally,” while ignoring 19 other polls “represent[ing] the 19 states in which voters overwhelmingly defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.”
From there, Dobson denounced the media’s failure to cover a 20th vote, in Alabama on June 6, said the Senators who voted against the amendment were hypocrites with “pitiful” excuses and stunningly compared the movement to abolish Britain’s slave trade with “the battle to protect marriage.”
Bloggers replied tp this diatribe with near-universal scorn — whether for Dobson or for CNN.
The idea that “the ‘liberal media’ favors gay marriage,” wrote Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men, “is so thoroughly ridiculous that no rational person can really look at the news and find some inherent pro-gay bias.”
“[I] really, really, really want to know HOW gay people getting married ruins the institution of marriage,” Got Detroit? asked. “Give me one — one — good reason. All I ever hear is that it does. Never once have I heard why.”
“Does Dobson provide any data to support his allegation that ‘the media’ are biased against his definition of the family?” asked StrayPackets. “No. Does Dobson provide any data to support his implication that a single decision by an invisible cabal directed the editorial stance of the majority of American media outlets? Of course not.”
Meantime, other online scribes took aim at CNN’s judgment. “CNN validates professional gay hater James Dobson by allowing him to provide ‘commentary’ on the media and gay marriage,” wrote Philip Barron. “What to expect next week? CNN validating former Klan leader David Duke by allowing him to provide ‘commentary’ on race relations?”
“Good grief — CNN, clearly in a fit of spasms over a perceived need for ‘balance,’ has given Daddy Dobson space to rail on in with a neat homobigot commentary piece,” added Pam’s House Blend, pointing out the “Special to CNN” byline.
Amid the anger, a blogger called isaacf stands apart, writing simply that “Dr. Dobson criticizes the mainstream media for failing to report on state initiative constitutional amendments on marriage, where traditional marriage proponents have typically succeeded by supermajorities.”
A blogger by the moniker of greyfox was particularly steamed.
“Why was this even allowed to be printed?” he asked CNN. “Your wide readership and circulation should demand that you be more responsible with this sort of thing.”