Nickelodeon hustles for homosexual activists
Ed Vitagliano
Ed Vitagliano
AFA Journal news editor

August 2002 – Christians and other cultural conservatives have complained for well over a decade that the entertainment industry – especially those parts responsible for television and films – has unapologetically served the interests of the homosexual movement.

Meanwhile, during that same time period, the supposedly neutral news media regularly slanted their reporting in favor of “gay” rights – but at least they have attempted to do so with a fair bit of camouflage. In recent months, however, any pretense of objectivity has vanished, and the news media have played the shill for the carnival barkers who are pushing the homosexual agenda.

News for kids?
This was clearly evident in the decision of the Nickelodeon children’s cable channel to air a special promoting the homosexual lifestyle – as a supposedly objective kids’ news program – despite an outpouring of public fury.

The June 18 program, titled Nick News Special Edition: My Family Is Different, was hosted by Linda Ellerbee, an award-winning journalist and well-known advocate for homosexual rights. Ellerbee quizzed participating adults and young people about their views for the half-hour show, including three Christian young people who voiced their disapproval of homosexuality.

A few weeks earlier, word had leaked out about the upcoming program, and Nickelodeon admitted that it had received at least 50,000 letters and E-mails protesting the show – although pro-family groups suspected the number was far higher. Nevertheless, My Family Is Different was aired as scheduled.

The network’s explanation was that the program was simply a news piece. At its Web site, Nickelodeon posted a promotion for the show (Nick News airs in a regular weekly time slot): “Every week Nick News keeps you in the know about the issues that are important to you. …Linda Ellerbee, Nick News anchor and world-renowned journalist, brings you the news the way you want it.… The Nick News motto is ‘If you want to know, ask!’ because no matter who you are – even a kid – you have the right to know!”

Since this was a promotion that was presumably written by adults working for Nickelodeon, it was evidently meant to convey the fact that children were the ones clamoring for information about homosexuality.

One can only wonder if the same children who watch Sponge Bob and Rugrats cartoons are truly wanting to know about same-sex “families.” Was Nickelodeon’s My Family Is Different really the drink that quenched the thirst of curious kids? Is homosexuality really one of the issues that are important to children?

Advocacy as news
However, such questions are probably never meant to be answered, because the truth is that Linda Ellerbee wanted kids to know, and the show manifested that politically correct urge on her part.

In fact, according to the Washington Post, Ellerbee freely admitted that groups like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) were invited by Nickelodeon to give their input concerning the show as it was being planned. Both groups confirmed to Fox News that they were involved.

Both of these groups, however, are homosexual activist organizations with a clear agenda. Such a partnership between the producers of a supposedly objective news program and agenda-driven groups is mind-boggling. It is no wonder, then, that many pro-family groups viewed My Family Is Different as an advocacy piece, rather than a fair presentation of the issues.

AFA President Tim Wildmon noted, “Besides Ms. Ellerbee, there were only three other adults on the set of the program during the discussion, and they were all openly homosexual – including lesbian actress and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell. It seems the deck was purposefully stacked in favor of a pro-homosexual point of view.”

My Family Is Different did include brief taped comments from two national Christian figures who said homosexuality was condemned in Scripture. As Ellerbee said just prior to their segment, “If we’re saying that gay people deserve tolerance and respect, we’re also saying that people are entitled to their own opinions.”

However, those were opinions that were not allowed to linger very long in the minds of kids watching the program. Instead, they were immediately dismissed by comments from Winnie Stachelberg, Political Director of another homosexual pressure group: the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

“Regardless of whether people think being gay is wrong or right, people should be treated fairly and be treated equally,” Stachelberg said, impudently waving off thousands of years of Judeo-Christian thought.

Of course, any child who was curious about what Stachelberg meant by “fairly” and “equally” could visit the organization’s Web site. HRC advocates same-sex marriage, “gay” adoption, and a host of other agenda items.

Redefining the family
Wildmon said that My Family Is Different really had only one purpose. “The show was exactly what we expected: a slickly-produced program that pretended to be about tolerance, but in the end redefined the concept of family to include same-sex couples,” he said. “Kids who were watching would have been strongly persuaded to accept that premise, and I think that was Nickelodeon’s intention.”

In the closing segment, for example, Ellerbee said: “I think we’re pretty much all agreed here on this set today, talking, that we can agree to disagree, but we’re all agreed that hate is wrong, hate crimes are wrong, discrimination is wrong, and hate words are wrong.”

Naturally, not many people would argue with Ellerbee that “hate is wrong.” However, homosexual activists regularly use words like “hate crimes,” “discrimination,” and “hate words” to refer to Christian beliefs about homosexuality. In other words, do we all really agree that “hate words” are wrong – if by that Ellerbee means words like, “homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God”?

As if to mercilessly drive home Ellerbee’s real message, the special ended with a montage of photos, images and young voices put together by the Family Diversity Project, a national effort by homosexual advocates to normalize same-sex “families.”

Although Ellerbee had earlier said that all people were entitled to their own opinions, there was only one message allowed in this closing segment: any combination of people can be a family – including combinations headed by same-sex couples.

As one teenage girl explained, “There are families that are Jewish. There are families that are Catholic. There are families that are Muslim. There’s no one type of family. I mean, who defines what a good family is?”

In this case, Nickelodeon did.

But remember – My Family Is Different was not an advocacy piece. It was “news.” And who defines what that is anymore?  undefined