ABC, CBS Hype ‘Growing Backlash’ Against North Carolina

Both ABC and CBS on Wednesday hyped the “growing backlash” against North Carolina in the wake of the state’s law that stops localities from adding ordinances protecting gay rights. Highlighting the effort against the socially conservative effort, CBS This Morning’s Gayle King promoted, “More than 80 business leaders released a yesterday calling for a repeal of the measure. They include Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, And Apple's Tim Cook. North Carolina's largest corporation, that's Bank of America, also tweeted it wants a repeal.” 

She also featured a clip from an ACLU representative who declared, “This law is simply about discrimination.” Unlike the reporters at ABC, who just allowed just a news brief, CBS's Mark Strassmann offered context: “But the law's chief defender, the state's governor, insist the real issue is privacy rights and calls criticism a vicious nationwide smear campaign.” 

He noted that the law “requires transgender people to use only restrooms and locker rooms that match the gender on their birth certificate.” 

Strassmann closed by returning to the protesters: “Additional critics is the NBA which is reconsidering whether to have next year's all-star game in Charlotte. And the governor of three states, New York, Washington, and Vermont, have told non-essential state employees not to travel to North Carolina on official business.” 

Over on ABC’s Good Morning America, however, Paula Faris managed just a 15 second news brief with no quotes or video from those supporting the law: 

PAULA FARIS: And in North Carolina, hundreds of demonstrators blocked the streets of chapel hill. They are protesting the state law that eliminates anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgendered people. Dozens of major companies right now are urging state leaders to repeal that law. 

A transcript of the CBS This Morning segment is below: 

3/30/16
7:11

CBS GRAPHIC: North Carolina Backlash: Protesters & Businesses Demand Repeal of LGBT Law

GAYLE KING: North Carolina faces a growing backlash over a new that’s law blocking protection for lesbians, gay, bisexuals and transgender people. Protesters spilled into the streets of Raleigh last night. More than 80 business leaders released a yesterday calling for a repeal of the measure. They include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, And Apple’s Tim Cook. North Carolina’s largest corporation, that’s Bank of America, also tweeted it wants a repeal. Mark Strassmann is at the state capital with the standoff dividing North Carolina’s leaders.  Mark, good morning. 

MARK STRASSMANN: Good morning. Ever since this became law exactly a week ago, calls to repeal it in grown. But the law's chief defender, the state's governor, insist the real issue is privacy rights and calls criticism a vicious nationwide smear campaign. 

PAT MCCRORY: North Carolina has been the target of a vicious nationwide smear campaign. 

STRASSMANN: North Carolina Governor Pat Mccrory is digging in as calls to reverse the state's new law grow louder. With last week's approval of House bill two, North Carolina passed litigation that prohibits local governments from creating their own ordinances to protect the gay and transgender community. It also requires transgender people to use only restrooms and locker rooms that match the gender on their birth certificate. The state's Attorney General Roy Cooper has refused to defend it. 

ROY COOPER: Not only is this new law a national embarrassment, it will set North Carolina's economy back. 

MCCRORY: When you are the state's lawyer, you are a lawyer first and a politician second. 

STRASSMANN: Hours later, Governor McCrory took aim at Cooper, his opponent in the state's governor race this year. 

MCCRORY: He can't select which laws he will defend. 

STRASSMANN: Several activist groups filed suit against the state on Monday saying the law violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment. 

JAMES ESSEX (ACLU): This law is simply about discrimination. 

STRASSMANN: James Essex is with the American civil liberties union, one of the suit's plaintiffs. 

ESSEX: The country is responding to the law we don't support legislation against anybody including lgbt people. The direction America is moving in and disappointing to see North Carolina going the other way. 

STRASSMANN: Additional critics is the NBA which is reconsidering whether to have next year's all-star game in Charlotte. And the governor of three states, New York, Washington, and Vermont, have told non-essential state employees not to travel to North Carolina on official business. Dana? 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.