Two reports on CNN’s Situation Room on Wednesday about President Obama’s extension of benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and the campaign to overturn Proposition 8 in California featured only left-wing sound bites, and none from conservative opponents of homosexual activists.
The first report from correspondent Dan Lothian, which aired just after the beginning of the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, included clips from a homosexual federal employee and his “husband” who was afflicted with pancreatic cancer, as well as Joe Solmonese of the liberal Human Rights Campaign. Over an hour later, Jessica Yellin’s report on Proposition 8 opponents’ efforts to overturn the ballot initiative which made same-sex “marriage” illegal again, featured two leaders from California “progressive” organizations, the Courage Campaign, and Equality California.
An on-screen graphic during the first segment emphasized “gay anger over pres.’ slow action.” Anchor Wolf Blitzer introduced Lothian’s report along a similar line: “Some of President Obama’s biggest supporters have been- not necessarily been entirely happy with him in recent months. Gays and lesbians say he has been slow to act on their top priorities, but today, some same-sex couples will start getting some benefits.” After detailing the new benefits and featuring the federal employee and his “husband,” both the correspondent and the anchor underlined the “enormous amount of pressure to start doing something, as far as these important gay issues are concerned:”
LOTHIAN: Now, there’s pressure on the president to push hard.
JOE SOLMONESE, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN: He must call on Congress to give him that legislation that would provide health care benefits for the domestic partners of federal employees- that would complete the picture.
BLITZER (on-camera):It was- he has been under an enormous amount of pressure to start doing something, as far as these important gay issues are concerned- hasn’t he, Dan?
LOTHIAN: He really has been under a lot of pressure. You know, I asked Robert Gibbs today at the briefing whether or not that pressure was what led to today’s memorandum. He says, not at all- this is something that had been in the works for quite some time, and he said- but I pressed him on that, in terms of the timing and the pressure on the White House, and he said, listen, there are interest groups who have concerns and opinions, but he stopped short of saying whether the White House felt any pressure at all from these groups to sign this memorandum today, Wolf.
Jessica Yellin’s later report on Proposition 8 opponents, which began 18 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of The Situation Room, all but heralded the strong push by “progressives,” who were apparently inspired by the Obama presidential campaign, to overturn the voter-approved initiative, exactly a year after the California Supreme Court handed down its decision to legalize same-sex “marriage:”
WOLF BLITZER: Meanwhile, it’s a bittersweet anniversary for same-sex marriage proponents in California. Our national political correspondent, Jessica Yellin, is joining us now with more on what’s going on out West. What is going on, Jessica?
JESSICA YELLIN: Well, Wolf, you know that opponents of same-sex marriage are well-funded and well-organized in California. But now, those who support same-sex marriage say Proposition 8 ignited a new grassroots movement, and that progressives here in the state are determined to legalize same-sex marriage in California as early as next year.
YELLIN (voice-over): Activists are marking the one year anniversary of the day gays and lesbians were allowed to marry legally in California by vowing to reverse Proposition 8.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: Undividing love.
YELLIN: Prop 8, passed seven months ago, made gay marriage illegal in the state once again.
RICK JACOBS, COURAGE CAMPAIGN: It was a real wake-up call, and in a very interesting way, I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to the LGBT movement in a long time.
YELLIN: Rick Jacobs runs the pro-same-sex marriage Courage Campaign, and says members of his group believe Prop 8 passed because progressives took their eyes off the ball, and they want the issue back on the ballot next year.
(Crowd chants “Equal rights!”)
YELLIN: Now, they’re taking a page from the Obama playbook. A year before the next election, they’ve launched a ground campaign- already, sending 1,000 volunteers to knock on doors across California.
JACOBS: Our job is to train people, and to go out and talk to people, and to tell stories and to change minds.
YELLIN: His group isn’t alone. Equality California, another same-sex marriage organization, is about to air this ad targeting the African-American community, which CNN polling shows overwhelmingly opposed gay marriage in California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: At its core level, it’s just totally unfair to actually take away anyone’s right.
MARC SOLOMON, EQUALITY CALIFORNIA: We want to show these images, get people to help people get to know gay couples and their families and spur conversation.
YELLIN: Leaders of the same-sex marriage movement say winning new supporters will be difficult, but they’re hopeful that progressives energized by the Obama victory will make this their next campaign.
YELLIN (on-camera): And, Wolf, there’s also an ongoing court fight over Proposition 8. And now, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is weighing in on the issue. In a court filing, he said he believes it’s up to the courts now to decide whether or not same-sex marriage is constitutional- Wolf?
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Jessica Yellin, for that update.
One would conclude from the one-sided nature of the reports that either conservative defenders of traditional marriage were unavailable, or CNN wouldn’t inconvenience itself to contact them.