Wow, FoTF: How’s your headline gonna read when equality actually/inevitably *does* win?

Yesterday’s Prop 8 development was basically procedural. Largely unemotional for both sides. A setback in terms of time, but not a victory or a loss for either side in terms of the law (and in fact, groups like NOM actually seem to like the decisions).

Oh, but leave it to Focus on the Family, ever on a quest to make the 9th Circuit seem radical and out of touch with America, to turn the court’s processes into further slaps in their faces. This is seriously the headline the group’s using for its coverage of yesterday’s developments:

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[SOURCE]

*Note: The religious freedom part refers to a separate case revolving around the Mt Soledad cross.

So only the “undermines marriage” part affects us.

Wow — we know they’re all kinds of caught up in the unflattering 9th Circuit portrait-painting that they’ve taken on as a past time in recent months. But to say yesterday’s decision “undermines marriage”? Why that’s kind of like saying Bob and Joe’s benign happiness under the civil government to which they contribute taxes somehow destroys heterosexuals’ marriages.

Oh wait a minute…




Good As You

—  admin

AFA Highlights/Recycles FOTF Campaign Against Perceived Gay Public School Agenda

Oh, the hard-hitting, up-to-the-minute journalism of OneNewsNow, the “news” outlet for the American Family Association‘s (AFA’s) “Reporter” Bill Bumpas.

In the OneNewsNow piece of Bumpas’s (and no, I’m not trying to be funny — I’m not making up the last name for this OneNewsNow “reporter”) , entitled Combating Homosexual Promotion In Schools, Candy Cushman {of Focus On The Family’s (FOTF’s) activism arm — CitizenLink}. recycles her months old talking points. Nothing up-to-the-minute here.

So, for some background: Candi Cushman’s job title at CitizenLink is “Education Analyst.” Although Cushman graduated cum laude from Baylor University with a double major in English and journalism, there doesn’t seem to be any public documentation (at least that I could find) that indicates how and why she is labeled by CitizenLink as…

…a leading national expert on education issues affecting public and private education, including school choice and home school initiatives, the promotion of homosexuality in public schools, censorship of Christian students and the evolution debate.

Her resume, perhaps, is how she became an expert? Maybe her stint at her stint at World Magazine made her “a leading national expert on education issues”? Perhaps an anointing with oil by Dr. James Dobson? Perhaps being a wife and mother who was active in her children’s Parent-Teacher Association?

I actually have no idea how or why Candi Cushman was declared to be “a leading national expert on education issues” on the CitizenLink‘s website. That’s because there is no information included in her CitizenLink profile that indicates how someone who graduated cum laude from Baylor University with a double major in English and journalism became “a leading national expert on education issues.” Instead, we just have a declarative statement in a short bio by a by an unidentified CitizenLink employee declaring Candi Cushman “a leading national expert on education issues” — in other words, we’re all to take her status as “a leading national expert on education issues” on faith.

But, Cushman sure does have her talking points down. “Hard-hitting journalist” Bumpas gives us nothing beyond what one can view and hear in the CitizenLink video Report: Identifying Gay Activism in Public Schools (uploaded August 17, 2010) , and articles that Cushman wrote last June.

Such as, a quote from Cushman in the video (00:58):

[Below the fold: Comparing Candi Cushman's previous statements to her statements for OneNewsNow.]

“But just to really easy way to start researching what’s happening in your school, just go to your school’s online library catalog. Most K-12 public schools nowadays have their library catalog online.

“So, just go to your school district’s website, look for the library section, and put in some key terms in the search function. Like, homosexuality, gay, lesbian — gender identity and sexual orientation are terms that are coming up a lot now too. And if you start pulling up a whole bunch of books with homosexual themes, that’s a really big red flag to you. Because technically, the library is supposed to reflect the overall philosophy of the school and the curriculum, and it’s also a place for teachers to go to pull out resources for their classrooms.”

A quote of Cushman’s in the OneNewsNow piece:

Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, tells OneNewsNow that one simple way to stay on top of the issue is to go to the school’s online library catalog.

“Enter key terms in the search function like ‘lesbian,’ ‘gay,’ ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’…and if you start pulling up a lot of books with homosexual themes, that’s a real red flag to you because technically, the library should reflect the school curriculum,” Cushman explains. “It’s also a place teachers can go to pull out resources for use in the classroom.”

Cushman also states in a CitizenLink piece she wrote (published online on June 10, 2010), entitled Capturing Children’s Minds:

Watch out for school programs with innocent-sounding titles like “family diversity,” “safe schools” or “tolerance.” Many of these programs contain homosexuality components. By categorizing pro-gay teaching within a subject like “family diversity” or “social justice,” school officials often try to skirt parental control. They argue that since this teaching is categorized as a social issue – and not labeled as sex education – they no longer have to give parents prior notice and/or the ability to exempt their children from the class. You have the right to ask to see lesson plans. And if you find there’s a problem, don’t be afraid to mobilize other parents to take action.

And from another piece at CitizenLink piece (published online on June 23, 2010) entitled More Parental Rights Backlash, Cushman wrote:

Yet more evidence of a parental rights backlash surfaced this week: The Delaware Legislature is considering the Parents Right to Know bill, which would require schools to notify parents before their children are exposed to controversial materials or instruction dealing with sexuality, profanity, drugs, etc. It also provides for parents to exempt their kids from objectionable material.

…It’s also encouraging that Arizona now has a Parents’ Bill of Rights law, signed by the Governor this May, requiring schools to obtain parents’ signed, written permission for children to participate in sex education classes. It also requires schools to notify parents when materials about sexuality are presented in non-sex education classes.

These quotes are mirrored in a quotation of Cushman within “hard-hitting journalist” Bill Bumpas’s OneNewsNow piece (published online on August 30, 2010) that recycles the points found in Cushman’s articles from June:

“A lot of states have policies that allow parents to opt out or exempt their kids from controversial teaching, especially in the sexual realm,” Cushman adds. “So you want to know about that and exercise that right.”

So if “Hard-hitting journalist” Bill Bumpas is not going to do any more than recycle the already available talking points of Focus On The Family/CitizenLink and Candi Cushman, why not just post the video with a transcript? Why not crosspost Cushman’s CitizenLink articles?

This is hardly up-to-the-minute news. And, according to OneNewsNow About Us webpage (emphasis added):

At OneNewsNow.com, you will get your news from reporters you can trust to give the latest news without the liberal bias that characterizes so much of the “mainstream” media.

Damn that liberal bias!

Oh, but on point — what exactly is the “latest news” that OneNewsNow is actually covering in Combating Homosexual Promotion In Schools? And, liberal or conservative bias aside — can Bill Bumpas tell us rationale behind Focus On The Family/CitizenLink claiming Cushman is “a leading national expert on education issues,” and/or why her viewpoints should be taken as having preeminence over other experts with more formal education on primary and secondary education — and with stronger resumes?

In my mind, OneNewsNow appears to be barefacedly recycling old pronouncements from Candi Cushman to promote Focus On The Family’s (and the American Family Association’s) Religious Right Agenda®.

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Next: The Problems With Focus On The Family’s And Alliance Defense Fund’s Model Anti-Bullying Policy

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Related:

* Focus On The Family/CitizenLink Sees “Sneaky” Gay Agenda In The Public Schools

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—  John Wright