Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brody's Scribbles... Is the Advocate Overreaching In Its News Coverage?

By Brody Levesque (Washington DC) DEC 8 | In today's online edition of the Advocate, staff writer Michelle Garcia, covers a story originally published by the Fresno Bee newspaper regarding a 17 year old high school senior charged with sexual assault against a 14 year old freshman.
Here's what troublesome about this story to me, not as a journalist mind you, but as a Gay man.
According to the Bee:
"In a crowded gym during practice in front of parents and coaches, the Buchanan High School wrestler tackled a teammate and executed a move his coaches taught him.
He inserted his fingers between the boy's buttocks.
It's called the "butt drag," in which a wrestler grabs a rival's butt cheek and puts fingers in the anus to get leverage. The move is widely used at matches around the country and has been around for decades.
But now it is at the center of an uproar after Buchanan High wrestler Preston Hill was expelled and charged with a sex crime for using it on a teammate. A Clovis police report says that at a July 15 practice, he molested a Buchanan freshman teammate by inserting his fingers deep into the boy's anus, causing him pain."
Okay, that's the substance of the article which continues in greater detail. Now, given its a legitimate news story and I have no disagreement as far as a main stream press outlet publishing it goes, but, why did the Advocate find it necessary to publish it?
When you consider that a principal fight in the battle over equality rights for LGBT persons revolves around perceptions, can the Advocate justify running this story? I don't believe that they can.
Anyone with a modicum of common sense whose identity is that of being part of the greater Gay community would immediately see the possibility of a Gay equality rights opponent grasping at straws and casting the specter of homosexual abuse as an explanation. After all, if the finger fits...
The problem here is clear, if there are sexual assaults incidents of the same gender, American culture and society seems to immediately gravitate to making "homosexuality" the catch all bogeyman and by proxy Gay males of any age. This is especially true of the far right and the Christo- Fascist's like the American Family Association or the Family Research Council which spin such news, blaming Gay people.
Why then does the Advocate need to contribute to that crap?
It doesn't and the editors need to be considerably more circumspect regarding any stories of this nature.


Trab said...

So right, Brody. There is enough to be misconstrued all over the place without adding to it ourselves.