Why Fox didn’t run first-person gay soldier stories

Timothy Kincaid

December 20th, 2010

Fox News runs a lot of military stories. Their pro-military reporting has made them a welcome sight on bases around the world and they often have access that is not as ready (or perhaps even as desired) by other news outlets.

One thing they also had over the past year was a steady stream of gay soldiers wanting to tell their story. But they did not choose to tell that story. Embedded reporter Dominic Di-Natale tells us why.

Oddly, it wasn’t resistance on the part of network execs. Nor was it hostility to the political efforts to lift the ban. Rather, according to Di-Natale, it was a matter of logistics and timing. The entire article is an interesting read and suggests to me that implementation may be less difficult than the handful of elderly retired veterans would have us believe.

(The Gay Soldiers that Wanted to be on Fox)

Truth is it’s a new layer of resilience both sides are now obliged to acquire. Straight soldiers will need to assimilate. And gay soldiers will need thicker skins, too, because as open as they will now be allowed, frank, confrontational responses will come from those with firm convictions against them.

But if each serviceman and woman remembers, as they must, it’s mission first, soldier second, I believe over time the military will be better balanced and, yes, stronger.

BobN

December 20th, 2010

“The entire article is an interesting read”

The only thing really interesting is your willingness to accept it.

Ryan

December 20th, 2010

When repeal passed, the Fox article online opened with declaring that it was a victory for “Obama, liberals, and the gay community”. I think that sort of speaks for itself. And the comments on that article were indistinguishable from those on Free Republic. I think Fox knows its audience and that this reporter’s reasons seem pretty implausible.

Stephen

December 20th, 2010

This is ridiculous.

Ray

December 20th, 2010

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Then he outed their online community and worried about how military chaplains would feel. (rolling eyes)

Ptttt!

cooner

December 20th, 2010

I’d agree, I’m pretty skeptical about the claim that it was a matter of timing, not agenda or politics. Ryan, I noticed the FOX attribution to “Obama, liberals, and the gay community” too … of course they can’t say this is a win for the military or for America.

But I think the observation Timothy brought up in his final paragraph is an interesting one: that apparently in many segments of the military, gay soldiers are already living and working openly, and it hasn’t caused a breakdown of unit cohesion in daily operations. Of course, many of us figured that and the military study supports it, but even a FOX News reporter has to acknowledge it as well.

Seraphiel

December 20th, 2010

After all the jingoism and outright lies Fox indulged in to get the war started– knowing that they would get people killed for bullsh!t– there is no way they could reasonably be considered “pro-military” by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.

Pro-nationalism, yes. Pro-war, pro-Defense-Department, certainly. I’d even grant pro-militarism.

But not pro-military.

mikenola

December 21st, 2010

wow! a few of you posters here really need to get off your ego and pitty pot and actually read the article.

I am no fan of Faux News and I have no conscious knowledge that I have ever heard or read a report from Di Natale before this.

that said, stories and interviews of gay soldiers in country in Iraq or Afghanistan are few and far between. Reporters (and editors) have made a conscious effort not to out or highlight gay service members.

Taking care that units and locals are in no way indicative of where those in the few interviews that were given.

That Di Natale got the approval at a time when it was impractical at best to do the story in no way discredits him or casts him as anything but doing his job.

I am a retired Navy Chief and have served all over the world, in all theaters and under all conditions that face military members, in war or at peace. I can say with some authority that the restraint by Faux News powers-that-be and reporters on the ground in NOT reporting on gay soldiers or outing them, must have been tremendous on their part.

Faux News operates by keeping the fringe agitated. The more distractions they can create, and mud they can splatter on others, keeps their base in a tizzy and angry about everything. That anger and confusion is enough to keep more moderate right wing people paying attention to if not wholly buying in to the hate mongering.

Outing gay soldiers on the battlefield would be like raw meat to a junkyard cur, but they showed restraint and I believe a tacit understanding that outing gay soldiers in combat would backfire on them in a massive way.

The more moderate righties would have freaked and fled from their station. Notice that 80% of the U.S. population believes the repeal is a good thing. That includes right wingers.

So guys, read the story and stop creating drama and distraction where it doesn’t exist. Faux News and the Republicans do it so often that your help is unneeded and unwanted.

Aeval

December 21st, 2010

“Rather, according to Di-Natale, it was a matter of logistics and timing.”

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, with no will there will be excuses.

I have seen other news media doing reporting on and with gay military service members and their everyday struggle with DADT, apparently other news media finds a way since they have the will.

Priya Lynn

December 21st, 2010

Mikenola, faux is pronounced “fo”, not “fox”.

John in the Bay Area

December 21st, 2010

I continue to find it amazing that this foreign owned and controlled media outlet (FOX) has been able to so easily take over and dominate conservative politics in America.

MIhangel apYrs

December 22nd, 2010

Priya Lynn
as you know “faux” is French for “false”, and the spelling of it works when read, if not spoken. A reasonable pun

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