It took GLAAD two weeks to demand an apology from conservative talk show host Bill O'Reiley and on-air guest Rod Wheeler following their outrageous claims that lesbian gangs were taking over D.C. schools. They've issued a call to action asking members of the LGBT community and their supporters to contact Fox News and demand an apology for statements GLADD believes were not rooted in any statistical facts. I'm just wondering what took the folks over at GLAAD so long to respond to O'Reiley's claims. I was watching The Factor the night this story aired and I was outraged. I actually wrote about it here . GLADD has supplied the contact info of Rod Wheeler and the big wigs over at Fox News. I urge you to watch the video for yourself and determine whether or not you feel our community has been misrepresented and take action.
CALL TO ACTION !
On the June 21 edition of Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News Crime Analyst Rod Wheeler detailed what he called a “national network” of so-called “lesbian gangs” that prey on young girls. Using exaggerated, sensational language, Wheeler claimed there are more than 150 such gangs in the Washington, D.C., area alone.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) contacted the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department to research the statistics Wheeler cited and found that the information he reported is highly suspect. Sgt. Brett Parson, a member and the former commander of the D.C. Metro Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, says the numbers are grossly exaggerated.
Parson is quoted along with GLAAD in a Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report article titled, “The Oh-Really Factor,” which debunks the June 21 report, pointing out its numerous flaws and highlighting its sensationalistic tone.
"We have 150 to 175 total gangs in the D.C. area, and out of those only nine where the predominance of members are female," Parson said. "You simply can't make the jump that they are lesbians. I think it is fair to talk about violence and female gangs. But to sensationalize or marginalize a community by making a statement like that seems irresponsible."
Gaithersburg, Md., Detective Patrick Word is President of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, an intelligence-sharing organization of 400 criminal justice professionals in Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia. He told the Intelligence Report, "there is no evidence whatsoever of a lesbian gang epidemic in this region...our membership reports only one lesbian gang."
GLAAD is calling on The O'Reilly Factor, which touts itself as the "No Spin Zone," and Fox News Crime Analyst Rod Wheeler to provide background information and evidence to support the wild claims made in the "Lesbian Gang Epidemic" segment. GLAAD is also strongly urging The O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly and Wheeler to correct the information in a follow-up report and to issue a formal apology to the lesbian community.
"The O'Reilly Factor segment essentially reported a national epidemic of lesbian gangs preying on young girls without offering one solid statistic or credible source," said Rashad Robinson, GLAAD's Senior Director of Media Programs. "This type of inaccurate tabloid journalism perpetuates dangerous stereotypes about lesbians and feeds a climate of homophobia, anti-gay discrimination and violence. That's the real national epidemic, but not one you're likely to see reported with such zeal by Bill O'Reilly."
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Please contact John Moody, SVP news editorial at Fox News Channel, Amy Sohnen, executive producer, The O'Reilly Factor and Rod Wheeler, Fox News Channel crime analyst and ask them to provide facts and statistics to substantiate the bold assertions in "Lesbian Gang Epidemic" and to live up to the show's "No Spin Zone" motto. Demand an on-air apology for the sensationalistic report.
Capitol Investigations (He touts his company as "a full service criminal and civil investigations firm.")
Mr. John Moody
Senior Vice President, News Editorial
Fox News Channel
Executive Producer, The O'Reilly Factor
Fox News Channel