This past Friday, Buzzfeed sparked controversy over an opinion piece published by political strategist and avid Trump supporter Chris Barron. The article revolved around Roger Stone’s supposed role in the LGBTQ community. Buzzfeed writers and social media users criticized Buzzfeed’s decision to post the op-ed via Twitter. What caused the outrage was not a mere disagreement with the author’s opinions, but rather that Barron blatantly ignores Stone’s and Trump’s roles among anti-LGBTQ efforts in order to make it appear as though they are avid supporters of the community. Barron even goes so far as to claim that Donald Trump is the first president to take office fully supporting marriage equality, even though Trump has never outright endorsed marriage equality and has previously stated that he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. In these dangerous political times, news sources must be held accountable in making sure that opinions stay just that, without attempting to invoke twisted falsehoods to a vulnerable general public.
Let’s get one thing clear: a person’s character can be strongly influenced by the people they are around the most. For Stone, that means Trump. For Trump, that means the several anti-LGBTQ judges he has nominated, the anti-LGBTQ event he addressed last week and the anti-gay executive officials he works with. Trump has even gone so far as to joke about Vice President Mike Pence’s anti-LGBTQ stance, stating that Pence wants to hang them all. Now, it cannot be denied that Stone does deserve some sort of credit for disagreeing with Trump’s transgender ban on the military; but as far as the public knows, he has never attempted to confront Trump on this issue, on on any anti-LGBTQ issues, for that matter. Is an ally not meant to stand up for those who do not have a voice? Didn’t Barron attempt to portray Stone as someone who has always fought alongside gay rights? What exactly stopped Stone from defending the community against Trump?
Barron’s article fails to justify itself and purposely comes off as glorifying ignorance as decent common sense. A simple Google check can verify that Trump is not the best candidate for LGBTQ rights. Attempting to pass off Trump propaganda as a supposed LGBTQ opinion piece is both disrespectful to the community as well as completely misleading. There is a line between praising a certain set of values because of your opinions and attempting to pass off your biased claims as the only right perspective.
The mere fact that in 2017 we still have to discuss the validity of fact-based opinions is absolutely ridiculous. Opinion pieces are meant to solidify opposing viewpoints or ideas by providing different sides of an argument with a platform to defend themselves. In an era of fake news, the line between equal opinions and bigotry has been crossed over more often than not, and is one that must be enforced at all costs for the sake of nonpartisan and partisan journalism alike.
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them. Email Melanie Pineda at [email protected]