GLAAD’s new Commentator Accountability Project (CAP) has one goal: ensure that the dastardly anti-gay comments social conservatives have made in the past are not ignored or forgiven when they make mainstream media appearances. Blogger Jeremy Hooper, a significant contributor to CAP, has pointed out that many of these individuals have been allowed to play “split roles,” railing against the LGBT community on conservative talk radio, then playing the part of “buttoned-up conservative” pundit on cable or local news. And in the day since the project launched, many of its targets have proven exactly why this accountability is necessary:
- The Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber called CAP an “Orwellian blacklist” established by “homo-fascists” trying to “silence Christian warriors.”
- Focus on the Family claimed that GLAAD was trying to “intimidate the media into forfeiting their constitutional right to freedom of the press.”
- Kevin McCullough railed against CAP as a guest host on American Family Association radio and told Politico that GLAAD is trying to “shut people’s voices down.”
- The Alliance Defense Fund claimed that CAP “targets free speech.”
- Ex-gay activist Randy Thomas defended the several individuals on the list, claiming they “would never say anything offensive for the sake of simply being offensive.”
In every case, these anti-gay voices are claiming to be victims, but they are only victims of their own quotes. In a way, the Commentator Accountability Project represents a culmination of the work LGBT bloggers have been doing for years, capturing the vitriolic rhetoric of equality opponents for all to see. The mere fact that they feel the need to respond by condemning GLAAD’s effort validates the value of this project. Now there is an accessible hub for these quotes — albeit not a full archive (by design) — to ensure that pundits don’t get away with being conservative standard-bearers without taking responsibility for the many dangerous lies and offensive values that define them. The jig is up.
The genius of CAP is that it creates a lose-lose situation for these would-be pundits. They can try to compensate by doubling down on their most offensive talking points and how loudly and widely they share them. Or, they can proceed with their typical media appearances and attempt to use the victim mentality to obfuscate responsibility for their own views. Either way, they stand to lose public favor, and no matter how they condemn GLAAD, that’s surely why they’re so perturbed.