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Fewer Gay, Lesbian TV Characters As America Moves Into Election Season

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As America moves into the 2012 presidential election season, there are fewer gay, lesbian, or bisexual characters on TV, no black gay characters, and no transgender representation at all in the 2011-2012 TV season. GLAAD’s 16th annual Where We Are On TV report finds that “after a significant increase last year, the number of regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on broadcast networks experienced a decrease while the overall LGBT character count remains steady on cable television.”

With anti-gay, anti-equality forces moving fast to prohibit same-sex marriage in states like North Carolina and Minnesota, or moving to repeal a same-sex marriage law in New Hampshire, diminished LGBT representation in the media as voters decide whether or not to elect gay-friendly politicians or whether or not to support anti-equality ballot measures across the country is a severe blow to what we know to be true: greater interaction with LGBT people leads to greater acceptance. The media has an obligation to foster tolerance and acceptance.

Ironically, best in show, so to speak, is Fox Entertainment — the sister channel to anti-equality Fox News — ranking number one among broadcast TV networks, “with 6.8% of regular characters being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. In 2007, the Where We Are on TV report found zero LGBT series regulars on the network.”

GLAAD also notes these troubling statistics:

  • ABC is not in the lead for the first time in six years, and has significantly dropped in its percentage of regular LGBT characters, from 7.2% in 2010 to 3.4% for the upcoming season.
  • NBC is in decline for the third year in a row, and will feature three (1.9%) regular LGBT characters out of 154
  • The CW has also taken a step back, and will feature only one LGBT series regular characters out of 67 (1.5%).
  • CBS remains in last place for the fourth year in a row. Out of 134 series regular characters, only one will be LGBT (0.7%), but the network will include several LGBT recurring characters.

On the plus side, GLAAD notes:

  • For the second year in a row, HBO features the greatest number of LGBT characters on cable with 11; seven of which are series regulars.
  • Also making a significant contribution to the count are Showtime with ten characters, ABC Family, FX and TeenNick with four characters each, and TNT and BBC America with three.
  • For the second year in a row, HBO’s True Blood is one of the most LGBT inclusive programs on television with six characters and is tied this year with the Showtime series Shameless.

“GLAAD continues to call for networks to not only include LGBT characters, but ensure that the images reflect the gender and ethnic diversity that makes up our community,” Thompson continued.  “There are zero LGBT African American or transgender characters on broadcast network TV, but storylines like those of True Blood’s spirit-channeling fry cook Lafayette and Degrassi ‘s transgender teen Adam on cable demonstrate how more diverse representations make for popular, original, and compelling television.”

Network executives need to see the LGBT community as a part of a broad and diverse America. With continued siloing of minorities, those that embrace all Americans will find a broader audience. Moreover, the LGBT community needs to demand better representation.

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CRIME

Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre

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On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.

CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.

“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.

“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.

“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”

About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’

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Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”

Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.

“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theoryrepeatedly, and used the term “invasionrepeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.

RELATED: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Blames ‘Video Game Industry’ for El Paso White Supremacist Terrorism: ‘We’ve Always Had Guns’

“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.

Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies

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Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.

Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and  his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.

Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.

“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”

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