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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yahoo Thinks Gay Marriage Is All About Mardi Gras



Here's a curious screen shot. Yahoo.com featured an article today about the state court decision barring gay people from other states going to Massachusetts to get legally married:

Court: Gays Can't Come to Mass. to Marry

found at:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060330/ap_on_re_us/gay_marriage

The article now has an accompanying picture that is germane to the article — a proponent of marriage equality protesting in Massachusetts.

That wasn't the case during the first hour the story was posted, however. As the screen shot shows, the story ran with a photo of two semi-clothed, gay men — in leather vests — on a motorcycle — during "Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade" — in Sydney, Australia. How much more stereotypical could they get? Were all the drag queens on a 15-minute break?

I'm not making a judgment call on what anyone wants to do or wear during a public celebration. But I am questioning the editorial process at Yahoo here. Would it be appropriate for Yahoo to illustrate a story about a court case involving heterosexual marriage rights in Wisconsin with a picture of co-eds showing off their private parts for beads in New Orleans?

It would be easy for Yahoo to claim the disparate elements were the result of some automated process — the photo is from a gay and lesbian event, after all. But that doesn't cut it. Some individual must have made some decision along the line to think this picture was indicative and illustrative of the story. Someone had to automate the conjoining of the story about a court decision involving gay people with an image tagged "Mardi Gras" (that is the topic under which the Australian picture was tagged). Presumably, that same person was involved with the decision later on to change the accompany image to something from the "Same-Sex Marriage Issues" file. I hope that was motivated by enough people seeing the original photo and subsequently complaining that someone's conservative bias was seemingly creeping into a news source that, I assume, strives to be objective.

Who does Yahoo have editing these days? Jerry Falwell? Fred Phelps — that hateful preacher who has taken to protesting at soldiers' funerals with anti-gay billboards? Or is Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney — who flippantly said he doesn't want Massachusetts to become "the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage" — now on staff?


Update: Despite the new style guidelines from the Associated Press that suggest employing the term "gay" rather than "homosexual" to describe people who are…ah…gay — guess how the Australian photo is tagged on Yahoo Photos. Yup — "…australia_homosexuals"

Methinks it might be time for some diversity training…

4 Comments:

Blogger K said...

Yep. The online "press" is about as unbiased as the printed press. Oh, well, at least they're consistent.

1:41 PM, March 30, 2006 <$BlogCommentDeleteI
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good As You also did something on this this AM

Good As You

2:06 PM, March 30, 2006 <$BlogCommentDeleteI
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the Katrina story where the white people in the picture were "searching for food," while the black people were "looting." Way to go, Yahoo.

8:35 PM, March 30, 2006 <$BlogCommentDeleteI
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the Katrina story where the white people in the picture were "searching for food," while the black people were "looting." Way to go, Yahoo.

8:35 PM, March 30, 2006 <$BlogCommentDeleteI

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