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Inside NOM’s Strategy: Find ‘Non-Cognitive’ Celebrities To Amplify The Anti-Equality Message

By Zack Ford  

"Inside NOM’s Strategy: Find ‘Non-Cognitive’ Celebrities To Amplify The Anti-Equality Message"

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GLAAD has noticed another interesting tidbit in the National Organization for Marriage’s confidential strategy documents that the Human Rights Campaign released this week. Apparently, the organization wanted to find “non-cognitive” celebrities through whom it could feed its anti-marriage equality talking points:

Here’s the bottom line: Hollywood with its cultural biases is far bigger than we can hope to be. We recognize this. But we also recognize the opportunity—the disproportionate potential impact of proactively seeking to gather and connect a community of artists, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous non-cognitive elites across national boundaries. (This is applying the Witherspoon and IAV model to non-intellectual elites.) When people are isolated they are silent and ineffectual; in community they gather courage and also give courage (by being visible to others). Precisely because Hollywood is currently so massively biased, there is an opportunity for a small countercultural community to have a disproportionate cultural impact.

NOM goes on to explain that “All the beautiful people are supposed to be for gay marriage,” and so when someone like Carrie Prejean — the Miss USA 2009 first runner-up — comes out against marriage equality, she gets a lot of attention. Of course, she got so much negative attention that NOM went from using her in ads to disavowing her as a spokesperson. This memo seems to suggest, however, that everything went according to plan.

GLAAD, which has profiled many of NOM’s spokespeople through its Commentator Accountability Project, countered this revelation with a mock-up “Help Wanted” ad NOM might wish to post:

As details from these strategic memos continue to come to light, it becomes increasingly evident that one of NOM’s overarching tactics is to simply take advantage of “non-cognitive” thinking. Whether it’s fostering racial divisions, scaring parents with threats to children, or feeding talking points through celebrity dummies, NOM seems intent on not actually allowing direct discussion on the issue of marriage. They must know that denying freedom to same-sex families isn’t an idea with which they can win.

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