Friday, January 7, 2011

Spaulding and LaVictoire Get It Wrong on McCain's DADT "Flip-Flop"

This is a story that was blown way out of proportion last night in the queer blogosphere, with bloggers like Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend proclaiming the Senator John McCain had "flip-flopped" in his opposition to the repeal of DADT. Lez Get Real's Bridgette LaVictoire titled her post on the story, "In Flip-Flop, John McCain Supports DADT Repeal"

Each of these two bloggers, whom I respect very much, got it totally wrong with this story. So what's all the flap about? Senator Scrotum Face appeared on Fox Business Report Thursday, where host Don Imus asked him about the repeal of DADT. His response was:
"I think I have to do everything I can to make sure that the impact on the morale, retention, recruitment and battle effectiveness of the military is minimized as much as possible. It is a law and I have to do whatever I can to help the men and women who are serving, particularly in combat, cope with this new situation. I will do everything I can to make it work."
Nowhere in this statement does it say, "I've changed my mind", "I was wrong" or "I support repeal of DADT." What it does say, to anyone who passed the Reading Comprehension part of their 4th Grade final exam, is that McCain still believes the new policy is harmful and that our troops need to be protected from the gay Bogey Men and Women who are out to rape them in the latrine.

Why is this such a big deal? Pam's House Blend and Lez Get Real each have tens of thousands of daily readers who rely on them to get their daily dose of LGBT news and information. Each of the sites now have a team of regular contributors made up of some of the top queer activists and journalists in the business. There is just no excuse to get something so simple so wrong. Yet last night these two tweeted and FaceBooked for hours their inaccurate calling out of McCain for something he didn't say and certainly didn't mean.

Why is this such a big deal to me? Because one of the things I've noticed about posting to social media sites is that people only read the headlines before they make up their minds about a story and post a comment about it. They don't bother to read the full story. That's the unfortunate state of affairs in blogging these days. If you're looking to boost your readership, your story title has to be catchy enough to grab the web surfer's attention, but compelling enough to get them to stop and click the link to read the full post.

However, if you are the one writing the story, you have to get past the 140 characters, do the research and go the extra mile to get it right, or you end up embarrassing yourself like Spaulding and LaVictoire have done.

Ladies, I admire and respect you both, but you were soooo wrong on this one. Shame on you.

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