AP Smears DeSantis, Conservatives as Fueling 'Anti-LGBTQ Hate' Online

August 11th, 2022 5:29 PM

The Associated Press acted as publicists for "anti-hate" leftists again, the ones that hate free speech. Their headline on a Wednesday story by AP "misinformation reporter" David Klepper was: 

Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law fuels anti-LGBTQ hate online

It wasn't "misinformation" to call it the "Don't Say Gay" law, apparently. Klepper's thinly disguised press release began like this: 

Research that analyzed social media posts finds that hateful references to gays, lesbians and other LGBTQ people surged online after Florida passed a law that bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

References to pedophiles and “ grooming ” rose by more than 400 percent in the month after Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” measure was approved, according to a report released Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy groups, and the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit group that tracks online extremism.

These are both hard-core leftist groups, but AP doesn't do ideological labels for their friends. "Groomer" is a loaded word, but this study (and the reporter) imply that no one could possibly use the word accurately or without "hate."

The only evidence that this isn't a press release is a statement from DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw: 

“If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming,” Pushaw tweeted.

In response to questions about the report, Pushaw said the Human Rights Campaign and other critics of Florida’s new law are the ones linking it to LGBTQ people.

“There are groomers of all sexual orientations and gender identities. My tweets did not mention LGBTQ people at all,” she wrote in an emailed statement.

This "Digital Hate" study offered the usual tactic of characterizing all criticism of LGBT activism as "hate speech," and then demanding all this criticism be removed from the public square (online and in real life).

The authors of the report warn that the increased anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is inciting hatred that could lead to violence. They say social media platforms must do more to enforce their own policies on hate speech. Researchers said they reported 100 of the most hateful tweets they saw to Twitter. Only one was removed.

“Online hate and lies reflect and reinforce offline violence and hate,” said Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate. “The normalization of anti-LGBTQ+ narratives in digital spaces puts LGBTQ+ people in danger."

In the report, CCDH boss Imran Ahmed is blunt about censoring all this "hate" stuff. "We are calling on Twitter and Meta to act on anti-LGBTQ+ hate and to stop hosting these harmful slurs. Social media companies that celebrate Pride Month while profiting from dangerous hatred against LGBTQ+ people should put their money where their mouth is."

We should note that deep in the footnotes, one example of "hate" ads on Meta is MRC's Tierin-Rose Mandelburg asking people about the Florida law. Another is an MRCTV piece on Disney employees speaking in protest of their company's wokeness. 

Brad Slager made this point on Twitter, that AP just repeat the leftist censors without questioning their allergy to free speech. You don't actually know if the AP reporter read the report, or just retyped the press release.