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No More Mother's Day?
A school's decision to stop celebrating Mothers and Fathers Days leads to the scapegoating of gays and lesbians by the New York Post

Action Alert from GLAAD

Homophobia and the "New York Post"

May 8th's "New York Post" features the sensationalistic front-page headline: "SCHOOL KILLS MOTHER'S DAY: Gay parents force principal to ban cards." The headline refers to a column entitled "Mother's day banned...at P.C. school with same-sex vex." on page 5 by columnist Andrea Peyser. You can view the cover image and story on the front page of www.glaad.org.

The column stems from a letter sent to parents of students at Rodeph Sholom Day School, a private New York City school. The letter (written by Cindi Samson, director of the school's lower elementary division) announced that the school would not be celebrating Mother's or Father's Day. The school based its decision on the lack of academic benefits of the celebration, as well as respect for children of diverse families.

Peyser's opinion piece (which the "Post" misleadingly represents as a news item) mixes the text of the letter, additional quotes from Samson and several unattributed quotes from unnamed sources with speculation and innuendo in an effort demonize gay people. Worst of all, the entire foundation of Peyser's column is based on her unsubstantiated claim that a gay man boasted last week that he had persuaded the school to drop Mother's Day. Peyser does not identify the man, nor does she corroborate his claim.

Also troubling is the fact that the "Post" did note the school's stated reason for its decision but chose to disregarded it in favor of Peyser's sensationalistic speculations.

Peyser's column was the subject of a full day's worth of "news" stories on Fox News Channel. Both the "New York Post" and Fox News Channel are owned and operated by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

When a media corporation works internally to legitimize spurious rumors through repitition in its own outlets, rumor quickly becomes reported as "fact" throughout the news media. Such abuse of ownership and attempts to corrupt news coverage is inexcusable, and GLAAD is working to educate other news outlets both as to the problems with the "Post" story and with regard to Peyser's questionable journalistic practices.

As long as News Corp. continues to promote bias and intolerance through sensationalisic "journalism" in service of an anti-gay agenda, GLAAD and the LGBT community must publicly hold the conglomerate and its editors accountable.

Flood the "New York Post" and News Corp. with e-mails protesting these defamatory attacks on the gay community.

New York Post
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Managing Editor: Stuart Marques
Phone: (212) 930-8525
E-mail: smarques@nypost.com

News Corporation
1211 Avenue of the Americas, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10036
President and Chief Operating Officer: Peter Chernin
Phone: (310) 369-3986
E-mail c/o Andrew Butcher: abutcher@newscorp.com

Contact GLAAD by e-mail at glaad@glaad.org or by phone at 323.658.6775 (LA), 212.629.3322 (NY), 415.861.2244 (SF), 202.986.1360 (DC), 404.614.3700 (Atlanta) and 816.756.5991 (Kansas City)

Feel free to pass GLAADAlert on to friends, family and associates! Report defamation in the media and breaking news of interest to the LGBT community by calling GLAAD's Toll-Free AlertLine! 1-800-GAY-MEDIA (1-800-429-6334) Visit GLAAD Online at http://www.glaad.org

"GLAAD" and "Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation" are registered trademarks of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Inc. GLAADAlert may be freely distributed and reprinted in all forms of media under the condition that any text used carry the full attribution of "Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)."


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copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson