Is Fox Promoting Bullying by Omission?

The suicide of gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer inspired Zachary Quinto to come out and has now driven Lady Gaga to starting an anti-bullying Foundation.

Fox News barely mentioned it.

That’s the finding of a media study by Equality Matters. In the two weeks following Rodemeyer’s death, Fox mentioned the story once, while discussing proposed new anti-bullying legislation in New York.

Instead Fox devotes its airtime to running segments criticizing efforts to reduce anti-LGBT bullying. They’ve run numerous segments attacking New Jersey’s new anti-bullying law and California’s FAIR Education Act, which requires public schools to include representations of LGBT people in history lessons.

Equality Matters notes that Fox bias is shown in what it doesn’t cover and what LGBT-related issues it instead chooses to promote.

Neither the passage of same-sex marriage in New York nor the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were reported for the news events they were. Nor was the news of former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman — who had orchestrated President Bush’s gay-bashing 2004 re-election campaign — coming out as gay. When it was discovered that Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) husband was involved with so-called“ex-gay” therapy, the news was everywhere else in the reporting of the Republican Presidential campaign, but Fox said nothing.

October was National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and during the same period, CNN and MSNBC ran several segments covering both Rodemeyer’s death and anti-LGBT bullying in America. Fox took a different approach to bullying.

Instead it promotes the idea of those opposing efforts to stop the bullying and victimization of gay teens as being the victims.

In September and October, Fox has run at least nine segments lamenting Vanderbilt University’s non-discrimination policy, which prohibits religious groups from excluding LGBT students from leadership positions. The network has promoted Rosie Marie Belforti, a town clerk in New York state who refuses to sign same-sex marriage licenses, and the Texas student, Dakota Ary, who was temporarily suspended after voicing his opposition to homosexuality in class. That student’s story was followed up in local media and found to be exaggerated. The ongoing bullying of the gay teen involved was also reported locally, but not by Fox.

Says Equality Matters:

There’s a legitimate debate to be had about the risks of over-sensationalizing stories about bullying-related suicide in the media. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Fox’s approach – ignoring real bullying stories while attacking anti-bullying efforts – is aimed at making the problem of anti-LGBT bullying seem exaggerated and trivial.

This kind of one-sided reporting plays directly into the hands of anti-gay groups, which work tirelessly to stand in the way of creating safe environments for LGBT students. As a report from People for the American Way recently noted:

“Ignoring the clear signs of bullying directed towards gay and gay-perceived students does more than perpetuate the problem and lend undeserved credibility to Religious Right attacks on LGBT people and their allies. It undermines the creation of safe and welcoming schools, and puts the well-being and the very lives of American students at risk. [emphasis added]“

Once again, Fox has demonstrated its willingness to abandon its “fair and balanced” slogan in order to toe the far-right line. This time, it’s some of the most vulnerable people who will likely suffer as a result.


Related Stories:

Jamey Rodemeyer Death: Police Open Criminal Investigation

A-List Actor Zachary Quinto Comes Out

LGBT Mix: The Booing of a Gay Soldier


Photo source: Jamey Rodemeyer YouTube screenshot


Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran6 years ago


Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M6 years ago

Fox is evil. I would never watch it. No one should waste their time doing so.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

In answer to the article's title question: YES.

Joan M.
Joan Makurat6 years ago

Well no one in their correct (can't say right) mind would ever accuse them of being 'fair and balanced'.

Scott Habowski
Scott H6 years ago

@ Catherine O. - Woodrow Wilson was the first president to institute czars in the United States. Also, the term czar here is just an informal title. This is the issue, you take what Fox says as gospel, without bothering to check it.

Chris M.
Chris M6 years ago

Folks - a precious young man KILLED HIMSELF for crissakes. Why? Because of an internalized hatred for the core of his soul that has nothing to do with "choice" or "options" or "preference." Where did he learn this hatred? In places like HERE where the lot of some of you are spewing it. Crawl back under your stones instead of throwing them.

Kelly W.
Kelly W6 years ago

Catherine- Fox is usually the first organization to point out the disgusting and deceitful things the dems ( especially Obama, the most corrupt politician in recent history) do on a regular basis. Dems don't care, they are too happy being led by the nose.

Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons6 years ago

Fox is a bully they don't need to omit anything.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

Thanks, so what else is new...

Catherine O Neill

FOX news was the 1st ones to point out all the Czars that Obama surrounds himself with.I like FOX news & no I'm not an idiot before anyone decides to call me one ok