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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Don’t Even Pretend to Be Fair–Part IV: Unbalanced, Inaccurate, and Unfair

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Posted on February 16 2010 6:00 am

Fox News’ Clayton Morris thinks he’s all it. But in reality, Morris epitomizes how badly biased and unfair the Big Media has become — especially on military and cultural issues like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

How badly biased is the media’s coverage of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Why, it’s so bad that even Fox News has become politically correct on the issue.

On a recent Fox & Friends, for instance, America’s supposedly “fair and balanced” network aired this bit of conventional wisdom with retired Army Colonel David Hunt.

Fox & Friends host Alisyn Camerota began the interview by promising viewers a “closer look at the origin and the pros and cons,” of the policy, but then proceeded to deliver neither. What Fox viewers got instead was Hunt’s one-sided diatribe against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“It’s a failure, an abject failure,” Hunt insisted.

We’ve lost between 11,000 and 14,000 soldiers… and because of the way they had sex, we kicked them out…  Being brave on the battlefield has nothing to do with how you go to the bathroom or how you have sex… If you volunteer to serve this great country, we should welcome you, not push you away, because of some arcane attitude about sex.

Camerotas “fair and balanced” co-host, Clayton Morris, then gratuitously chimed in with his two cents:

Yeah, it’s like a civil rights issue. I find it absolutely absurd.

Wow. So much for fairness. So much for balance. So much for being open minded and listening to “different and alternate points of view.”

So much for all that because, in the minds of the Big Media, there is no other point of view! Opposition to open homosexuality in the military is irrational bigotry, pure and simple. So why waste time trying to be fair and open minded?

Because it’s the right thing to do; because journalists writing or producing straight news stories should aspire to be fair; and because opposition to open homosexuality within the ranks is neither bigotry nor prejudice: It’s wise and moderate public policy.

Indeed, contra Hunt’s hysterical ranting, no one really cares how any soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine has sex; that’s not at issue.

What’s at issue are military training, readiness, and combat effectiveness; the integrity and viability of the American military culture (which is integral to American military success); and our servicemen and women’s First Amendment right to free speech and religious expression — all of which are threatened by open homosexuality within the ranks.

Thousands of years of human history — as well as much recent but covered-up military history – demonstrate this: that sexual yearnings and sexual love are a profoundly powerful and disruptive force. It is simply disingenuous and dishonest to pretend otherwise.

And while losing military personnel is never good, Hunt’s numbers must be viewed in context and given perspective. First, the number of gay servicemen and women dismissed constitutes an extremely small percentage of the overall U.S. military population, which numbers several hundred thousand strong.

Second, as 20-year- military veteran and Contentions contributor J.E. Dyer has observed, most dismissals for cause involve young recent enlistees, and dismissals of homosexuals fit that pattern. Some are seeking to get out of military service altogether, while others have made unwanted sexual advances toward a fellow soldier, sailor, airmen, or Marine. Either way, reports Dyer, these dismissals, for the most part, involve the military’s most inexperienced and least qualified members.

In short, the idea that America is losing many highly trained warriors and skilled linguists due to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” simply isn’t true. In fact, it’s false. It’s a media-manufactured myth.

In Part V of this series we’ll consider what the military and public opinion polls tell us about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and what effect, if any, the polls should have on military policy.

John R. Guardiano is an Arlington, Virginia-based writer and analyst. He served as a Marine in Iraq and is still a military reservist Follow him on Twitter.

Other installments in this series, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Don’t Even Pretend to Be Fair”:

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