GLAAD on MRSA v Heath Ledger
I hope all is well. We’ve outlined our work on the MRSA story in the statement below. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Associate Director of Public Relations & Communications
The MRSA story involved complex medical research. When we first heard of the story, we needed to get fully educated on all the issues. To this end, we consulted with The Gay & Lesbian Medical Association. Their expertise informed our ability to analyze the media coverage accurately. We felt it judicious to take the necessary time, care and caution to understand completely the story so that we could offer the best suggestions for media to report on the MRSA strain in the most fair and accurate way. As always, most of our media advocacy work happens behind-the-scenes – criticizing media outlets in the most effective way the situation calls for. We would have done a huge disservice to our media contacts and to our constituency had we spoken before we had all the facts. Since our statement and outreach we’ve been encouraged by the quality of coverage as put forth in the The New York Times and Newsweek.com, and are encouraging other outlets – including those who misreported the story earlier – to run similar pieces.
To expand on our behind-the-scenes work: we provided resources to The New York Times San Francisco Bureau Chief, Jesse McKinley, who did a comprehensive follow-up to the MRSA story exploring the anti-gay right's manipulation of the story and the researchers’ missteps in their original statements. We also blasted our Eye on the Media document to nearly 50 health reporters at 28 national and key regional news outlets. We pitched GLMA's President Joel Ginsberg into and provided resources for an ABCNews.com follow-up piece which explored the MRSA controversy (http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/Germs/story?id=4172257=1). And we’re actively pitching follow-ups to the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the San Francisco Chronicle (the latter two of which reprinted, without scrutiny, problematic statements by researcher and lead author Dr. Binh Diep).
Heath Ledger’s role in
forever ties him to the media history of our community. Responding to his tragic death was an acknowledgment of his iconic performance and of the lasting influence film has to change hearts and minds. Brokeback Mountain