Joy, joy, joy! Just before midnight last night the New York Senate passed and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. At 5:30 this morning the Associated Press reported, "Champagne corks popped, rainbow flags flapped and crowds embraced and danced in the streets of Manhattan's Greenwich Village."
The article quoted nine people, all ecstatic about the new gay right. Queens teacher Eugene Lovendusky was typical: "I am spellbound. I'm so exhausted and so proud that the New York State Senate finally stood on the right side of history." Reporter Karen Zraick even quoted one official saying the new law is "good news" for city tourism.
But what about the AP's "Statement of Ethical Principles"? The first sentence under the heading "Integrity" states, "The newspaper should strive for impartial treatment of issues and dispassionate handling of controversial subjects." Impartiality and dispassionate handling were nowhere in evidence yesterday and today, but that's not surprising on this or other controversial issues where all reasonable people know what the right side of history is-right?
This coverage showed once again that worldviews typically direct the reporting of controversial issues. Most liberals see same-sex marriage as a human right and opposition to such as ethical cancer. We cheer medical advances that fight particular kinds of cancer, and no one sees the need to balance out anti-cancer viewpoints with pro-cancer ones.
Was AP coverage improved by its follow-up report at 9:03 a.m., which stuck on-like a fig leaf-brief sentences by opponents of same-sex marriage? (Maybe someone remembered AP's ethics code.) Not really, because the story did not even mention the past few days of State Senate negotiations concerning what will become the new battle in New York: What happens to the religious freedom of those who want to uphold biblical standards concerning marriage?