Coverage of Baxter's coming out

Posted on 08 Dec 2009 at 8:06am
Meredith Baxter
Meredith Baxter

Interesting how every media source except one (that I found) treated Meredith Baxter’s coming out in a very matter-of-fact manner.

First, I think all the signs were there. Look at the list of films she starred in for Lifetime:

• Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter (1992) (TV) …. Betty Broderick

• A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (1992) (TV) …. Betty Broderick

• A Mother’s Justice (1991) (TV) …. Lila

• My Breast (1994) (TV) …. Joyce Wadler

• After Jimmy (1996) (TV) …. Maggie Stapp

Second: all those failed, heterosexual marriages. Being straight? She just wasn’t any good at it.

While most news outlets covered it, the headlines were mostly pretty neutral. Here’s a sample from a variety of sources around the country:

Boston Globe: “Meredith Baxter comes out”

Los Angeles Times: “‘Family Ties’ Meredith Baxter is a lesbian”

Dallas Morning News: “Meredith Baxter’s revelation”

NPR: “Meredith Baxter: Coming out is both personal and political”

NY Daily News: “Meredith Baxter, mom on TV’s ‘Family Ties’, comes out on ‘Today’ show: ‘I am a lesbian’”

Then, there’s Fox

Always out for a sensationalist headline, Fox broadcast the news like Baxter’s coming out was news that would change the world.

Fox: Family Ties Shocker: Meredith Baxter says “I’m a lesbian mom”

The biggest shocker? After 20 years, the cast is still friendly. Everyone knew for years. A group of people who worked together like each other. Accept each other. Are happy when their friends are in healthy relationships. Well, I guess Fox didn’t see the signs. That headline writer probably doesn’t watch Lifetime: Television for gay men.

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