In a May 9 story about the National PTA’s differing treatment of PFLAG and PFOX, the Washington Times misquoted a key source.
This misconduct by the Times is not surprising — former editors at the Times have told me (and many other Washington journalists) that the newspaper’s front-page stories deliberately misquote key sources on a daily basis; top editors rewrite reporters’ Page One stories to change or conceal facts deemed politically inconvenient.
By distorting the news, the newspaper’s owners — the Unification Church of self-professed messiah Sun Myung Moon — give the newspaper appeal as a “news” source among allied religious rightists, including Exodus president Alan Chambers.
On May 9 in particular, the Times quoted PFLAG deputy executive director Ron Schittler as saying, among other things, “Our beliefs are superior.” The article also quotes Schittler recalling the PTA’s 2004 convention invitation to PFLAG because of the group’s campaign to “end rampant anti-gay bullying” in schools.
Schittler set the record straight about being misquoted — but Alan Chambers of Exodus declined to share the clarification with his followers.
Instead, Chambers repeated the claim that Schittler boasted of superiority, without acknowledging the dubious source of his information or Schittler’s repudiation of the claim. (Indeed, Chambers used the Times to parrot his own press release.) Chambers also omitted mention of antigay harassment as a key concern for the PTA and PFLAG.