Nets Promote Prop. 8 Protesters
Network coverage of the victory of
The networks covered Prop. 8 heavily between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9, the five days after Election Day. In a total of 13 network news stories, only four supporters of traditional marriage appeared on air, compared to 15 opponents. Only one story, a package aired on ABC's Nov. 9 Good Morning
Network coverage revolved around the battle cry of “equality” and the bruised feelings of Prop. 8 opponents. NBC aired footage of homosexual protestors shouting, “What do we want? Equality!” on the November 6 and November 9 Nightly News broadcasts. The November 9 Nightly News also featured an unidentified woman stating, “I had never felt such a sense of being less of a person.”
ABC's November 9 Good Morning America featured rally organizer Ian Thompson calling Proposition 8 “discriminatory.” Married lesbian Robin Tyler stated during CBS's November 7 Early Show, “We are a civil rights movement. We're entitled to full equality.” Diane Olson, a “same-sex spouse,” told CBS Evening News on November 5, “The fact that some people would like to undo our 'I do' makes me very sad.”
No network stories discussed the moral and societal implications of changing the definition of marriage, nor did the networks allow any supporters to provide a detailed defense of Proposition 8.
In contrast, all three networks gave platforms to Prop. 8 opponents to assert that marriage is a “fundamental right.” Star Trek's George Takei, who “married” his partner Brad Altman in September, told CBS's Maggie Rodriguez on the November 7 Early Show, “This is a fundamental right, all-inclusive, as the Supreme Court of California has ruled, and this is taking away that fundamental right.” Ron Buckmire, a homosexual activist, told ABC's Bill Weir on the November 9 Good Morning America, “We had the fundamental right to marry in the state of California and by popular vote, the people of California decided to strip that right away from us, to carve out an exception that everyone in the state would have the right to marry except for same-sex couples.” Later that night Lorri Jean from the Los Angeles Gay and