The Daily Telegraph story claiming that the gay lobby wanted to ban the words ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ in schools, which we posted here has been exposed on Mediawatch on ABC TV as a complete beat up. I’m posting this up so that it has the same prominence as the original article, as any correction should get, but often doesn’t.
The Media Watch transcript is well worth a read, and is very entertaining. Here’s a brief quote:
So, is it official? Of course not. It is true that the Director-General of the NSW Education Department, Michael Coutts-Trotter, opened a one-day conference in Sydney last Wednesday aimed at combating homophobia in schools. But did he mention or endorse the banning of terms like mum and dad? No
So where did the story come from? Where was the gay lobby and its bans?
Answer: Reporter Bruce McDougall picked up a one-page checklist for teachers from one of many stands in the foyer, this one run by a small youth group called Twenty10.
Number eleven out of thirteen points asked whether:
Staff refer to “partners” rather than “husband”, “wife”, “spouse”, “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” when speaking with students or families.
— Twenty10 checklist
That’s it. One question, or perhaps suggestion, from a youth support group, on a flyer. Nowhere on the pamphlet – or to be fair, in Bruce McDougall’s story – do the words “mum” or “dad” appear. That was an invention of the Daily Telegraph’s headline writers – they’re nice short words, you see.
It’s worth reading the entire article.
This shows the sort of sensation that newspapers want in order to drive sales, where truth is irrelevant. Both the gay community and the Christian community are great fodder for the media. All the more reason to remember to treat our fellow human beings in love, and be careful not to jump to conclusions based on the press telling the truth.
‘Beat-up’ is probably too kind a word for parts of that article. ‘Complete lie’ would be more accurate.