Is the news media biased when reporting on gay scandals?

Dr. Michael Brown explains his view by comparing the reporting of the Ted Haggard scandal with the Larry Brinkin scandal.


According to published reports, when Larry Brinkin was arrested two weeks ago, the police found… [CENSORED BY WK]. Yet the media has barely reported this terribly disturbing incident.

But, you ask, who was Larry Brinkin? He was “a central figure in the gay rights movement,” a man who was so influential that, “The San Francisco board of supervisors actually gave a ‘Larry Brinkin Week’ in February 2010 upon his retirement.” It was Brinkin who first used the term “domestic partnerships” in a legal dispute, marking a watershed moment in gay activist history, yet news of his alleged crimes against infants and children, not to mention his alleged White Supremacist leanings, has received very little media attention.

Is there a double standard here? Imagine what the media would be doing if Brinkin had been a conservative Christian leader.

When evangelical leader Ted Haggard fell, the media was quick to pounce, suggesting that this exposed the corrupt nature of evangelical Christianity as a whole. And media leaders have done this repeatedly whenever there has been a scandal connected to an evangelical (or Catholic) leader, and the news is blared from the headlines. But where, I ask you, is the outrage or the front page news when a gay leader commits atrocities such as those allegedly committed by Larry Brinkin? And why isn’t the media claiming that Brinkin’s transgressions expose the corrupt nature of gay activism as a whole?

The failure of a Christian leader is considered endemic and representative; the failure of a gay leader is considered an aberrant exception. Why the unequal treatment?

[…]The answer is that Brinkin’s arrest has received relatively little media attention because he was a gay activist leader, not a conservative Christian leader, and there is no hiding the mainstream media’s pro-gay, anti-conservative Christian bias. And because Brinkin’s arrest has not been widely reported, the general public has not been confronted afresh with the horrors of child pornography.

[…]Brinkin, for his part, was no smalltime player, with the San Francisco Examiner describing him as an “iconic San Francisco gay activist who brought the nation’s first domestic partnership lawsuit in 1982.” And he was, after all, a respected, long-term leader within the Human Rights Campaign, the world’s largest gay activist organization. Why hasn’t the HRC been tarred and feathered the way evangelicals (or Catholics) are after one of their leaders falls? Why the inconsistency?

I reported on the Larry Brinkin scandal in a previous post.

2 thoughts on “Is the news media biased when reporting on gay scandals?”

  1. The bias here could simply be narrative. Stories about hypocrites are more attention-getting. The thing that made the Ted Haggard incident so newsworthy was the fact that he opposed gay marriage.


    1. You have a point. The problem is that child porn isn’t something that should be subject to that kind of bias – I think almost anyone in this country can agree with that, whether they are god or God-fearing or not. The media should have jumped all over Larry Brinkin for that, and they didn’t.

      If it were some megachurch pastor, there would be front-page stuff all over the country, even if said pastor is a twit that most of us disclaim; and rightfully so. Anyone who engages in this should be subject to ridicule and all the rest in proportion to how well known they are. The fact that Brinkin didn’t receive that kind of massive media backlash displays exquisitely just how biased the media is.


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