Sunday, July 08, 2007

Yet more incompetence on FOX News

A couple of weeks ago, Bill O'Reilly did a segment on a "Lesbian Gang Epidemic." I don't usually watch FOX News (my cable company doesn't carry it), but whenever I do, I'm just stunned by the fearmongering and their, shall we say, loose association with facts. This "OMFG the lesbians are coming, run, run, run" segment was no exception.

O'Reilly invited "FOX News crime analyst" Rod Wheeler on to lay it on thick. Here's some of the crap Wheeler was spewing:

Well, you know, there is this national underground network, if you will, Bill, of women that's lesbians and also some men groups that's actually recruiting kids as young as 10 years old in a lot of the schools in the communities all across the country... We've actually counted, just in the Washington D.C. area alone, that's Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, well over 150 of these crews...

O'REILLY: Now, when they recruit the kids, are they indoctrinating them into homosexuality?

Yes," Wheeler answered. "As a matter of fact, some of the kids have actually reported that they were forced into, you know, performing sex acts...

It's all over the country. I mean, you go from New York to California to wherever you want to name, you can see these organizations. Now, the other thing, too, that our viewers are going to find very, very interesting, is the fact that they actually carry—some of these groups carry pink pistols," Wheeler said. "They call themselves the pink-pistol-packing group. And these are lesbians that actually carry pistols...

Shadowy homosexual conspiracy? Check. Nationwide crisis? Check. Gays molesting children? Check. Lesbians with weapons? Check. OMFG!!1!

The Southern Poverty Law Center did an excellent fisking of this report, and it turns out that every single thing this guy reported was complete bullshit. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a so-called study that was being unquestionably reported by the press, even though its conclusion were clearly ridiculous. This is no different.

The 150 lesbian gangs roaming the DC area as we speak? It turns out there are only about 160 gangs of any sort in the DC area. Only nine are mostly female and there's no indication that any of those are a lesbian gang. There hasn't been a single media report about a crime committed by anyone with a "pink pistol," yet this fucking incompetent on FOX claims there are entire groups of people carrying them.

It's not that this guy was wrong or just exaggerated a bit that peeves me. It's that this was such a towering edifice of incompetence. That even if every gang in the DC area actually was a bunch of raging dykes he still managed to inflate their numbers by 1500%. That he managed to get every single fact he reported wrong, yet this still made the air. That's what ticks me off. So it doesn't really surprise me when the SPL pointed out that this idiot was part of an anti-gay church.

Apparently this had drawn some attention because the idiot Wheeler has taken down his entire website, and replaced it with a "disclaimer" that reads in part:

I mentioned that there are "over 150 of these gangs" in the greater Washington DC area. What I actually meant is that there are over 150 gangs in the Washington DC area, some of which are in fact lesbian gangs. Lastly, I mentioned in the segment that there is this "national epidemic" of lesbian gangs. A better choice of words would have been to say that there is a growing concern nationally, and especially in major urban areas, of increased gang activity, which includes some lesbian gang activity.

So if this segment was just about increasing gang activity in this country, then why the focus on lesbian gangs? Could it have something to do with a political axe to grind? Hmm... Not surprisingly, this story has been picked up by the right-wing nutjob press. Just here in Illinois, both Porno Pete and Stacy Harp have mentioned it. Facts are just so inconvenient when you have bigotry to spread.

(Via Pam's House Blend and Replace the Lies With Truth.)

UPDATE: Orcinus has also picked this up.

UPDATE II: Also picked up by Feministing and Pandagon


Ryan said...

God who ARE these people? It's funny that are religions supposedly about love is so hateful.

Narc said...

Ryan, the snarky answer is that these are the famous "values voters." Bearing false witness not, apparently, being a "value."

Ryan said...

God, I must have been on crack when I wrote that grammar is ridiculous. ha.