CNN’s Cafferty Promotes NYT Story on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
Two days after the CNN/YouTube Republican debate, where the news network failed to mention a questioner’s affiliation with Hillary Clinton’s homosexual steering committee, "The Situation Room’s" Jack Cafferty, in his "Cafferty File" segment, asked whether "it is time for the U.S. to rethink ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ when it comes to gays in the military," and featured statistics from the New York Times and the top homosexual advocacy group in the country, without verbally attributing these sources.
The "Cafferty File" segment began 10 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour, and in the midst of the two breaking news stories of the evening - the train crash in Chicago and the hostage standoff at Clinton’s campaign office in New Hampshire. Cafferty began by citing that "twenty-eight retired generals and admirals say that it's time for this country to repeal the U.S. military's policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.' On the fourteenth anniversary of this being signed into law, they've signed a letter calling for Congress to get rid of it." He then cited two statistics, which were also displayed on the screen - that there are supposedly 65,000 gays and lesbians in the military, and that there are more than 1 million gay veterans.
Cafferty then went on to cite a third statistic - that 12,000 gays have been discharged from the military since the implementation on ‘don’t ask,’ don’t tell.’ The final statistic, and the source of the all 3 statistics was only displayed on the screen for 4 seconds, so if the viewers weren’t paying attention, they might have missed it. The sources cited were the Human Rights Campaign, the homosexual lobby’s largest organization, and the New York Times.
In fact, the entire "Cafferty File" segment could have been pulled straight from the New York Times story on the efforts of the retired general and admirals, whose letter will be read by two of the generals at an upcoming event sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, along with other homosexual organizations.
Interestingly, both Cafferty and a press release issued by HRC about the retired generals and admirals cited a CNN/Opinion Research poll released in May 2007 that "showed that 79 percent of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military."
The full transcript of the "Cafferty File" segment from Friday’s "The Situation Room:"
CAFFERTY: Twenty-eight retired generals and admirals say that it's time for this country to repeal the U.S. military's policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.' On the fourteenth anniversary of this being signed into law, they've signed a letter calling for Congress to get rid of it. They say there are 65,000 gays and lesbians serving in the military, and there are more than a million gay veterans, all of whom have "served our nation honorably." In the years since Bill Clinton enacted the 'don't ask, don't tell policy,' that allows gays to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation secret, more than 12,000 gays have been discharged from the service. The retired officers say they have dedicated their lives to defending the rights of our citizens to believe whatever they wish. They highlight recent comments by General John Shalikasvili. He was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when this policy was adopted. He now argues for repealing it. Efforts to get Congress to repeal the legislation have not gotten much traction. Top Pentagon officials have said they will follow the lead of Congress.
When it comes to the presidential race, all of the Democratic candidates say they favor a policy change. The Republicans want to leave it as it is. The public seems to side with the Democrats. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll that we did last spring shows that 79 percent of those surveyed are in favor of allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
So, that's our question -- is it time for the U.S. to rethink 'don't ask, don't tell' when it comes to gays in the military? Your thoughts to Caffertyfile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/caffertyfile -- Wolf.
At the close of the 5 pm hour, Cafferty read some of his viewers responses to his 'Question of the Hour,' and they overwhelmingly supported letting homosexuals into the military.
CAFFERTY: This is the 14th anniversary, Wolf, of 'don't ask, don't tell,' and a bunch of retired generals and admirals have signed a letter, 28 of them in all, suggesting it's time to rethink this policy in the military for gays. And that's our question, "Is it time to rethink 'don't ask, don't tell' when it comes to gays in the military?"
Donna writes from California, "I was in the Army 30 years ago. The difference between another woman hitting on me and a hetero male was the woman gave up when I declined their advances. Yes, change the policy. Didn't we lose many qualified Arabic linguists over this, i.e., we tons of intercepted intelligence and not enough people to decipher it?"
Patrick writes, "If someone is willing to pick up a gun, wear the uniform of our country, and die for my freedom and yours, they're a hero, whether they're homosexual or heterosexual."
Todd in State College, Pennsylvania: "If the government can tell businesses -- this is interesting -- that they cannot discriminate against employees or potential employees based on sexual orientation, then why can the government discriminate against employees of the American people?"
Dan writes, "When Clinton came out with the 'don't ask, don't tell' idea, he not only did it to allow gays into the military, but also to protect them from unwanted harassment. I know people can be intolerant, so in my opinion, the military shouldn't ask or care if you're gay. However, gay soldiers should be prepared for outing themselves in such a conservative institution as the U.S. military."
John in Oklahoma: "As a two-tour Vietnam veteran, I can tell you when you're under fire the last thing on your mind is the sexual orientation of the man next to you. You're just doing your best to keep each other alive."
And Dan from Cincinnati: "The policy should be repealed. The Republicans, who pretty much want it to remain as is, should remember what the subversive pacifist liberal named Barry Goldwater once said: 'It matters whether someone can shoot straight, not whether he is straight.'" Wolf?