June 29, 2005

"Our mere existence offends people."

Just anoter sign of the times in "puritanical" America: MTV launches new gay cable TV channel:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The prospect of a television channel entirely devoted to gay programs for gay people may strike some as unnecessary and others as a sign of immoral times. Media giant Viacom thinks there's money in it. [Ya don't say? --ed.]

Logo, launching on Thursday under the MTV Networks umbrella, is not the first channel to target gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, but it is the most widely available, on cable boxes in 10 million homes.


Janice Crouse, a senior fellow at Concerned Women for America, which describes itself as a conservative Evangelical group of 500,000 members, said it was "a sad day for America."

She said MTV was in a powerful position to influence youth and it was "unconscionable" to present in a positive view of a promiscuous lifestyle that causes "illnesses and diseases."

"I see it as indoctrination of children to present the gay lifestyle as something that's normal, as something they don't have any choice over," Crouse said in an interview.

Logo General Manager Lisa Sherman cited studies saying there were some 15 million openly gay people in America, an attractive demographic for advertisers, considering that many will have no children, meaning more disposable income.

Logo's advertisers include travel company Orbitz, carmaker Subaru, mobile phone maker Motorola and Miller Lite beer.

Frank Olsen, founder and major shareholder of Q, a small satellite subscription gay channel, said the reason there were now three players was simple -- money.

"I don't think anybody has become more tolerant of gay people. The Christian right still says we're going to be condemned and we're going to be in hell," Olsen said. "But Ford needs to sell more cars and if they can sell them to gay people without offending straight people, they will." [Chrysler and GM have similiar practices. --ed.]

Q and Here! market themselves as just another of the many niche options out there, from golfing to gardening channels. [Golf is a sport (well, debatably so) and gardening is a hobby...so that would make homosexuality...what exactly? --ed.]

Colichman said more than 30 percent of his viewers were straight -- a figure he says includes feminists and liberals sick of the way women are portrayed in the mainstream media, and straight men who will watch anything about lesbians.


Despite that, Musto said Logo appeared to be treading cautiously.

"We live in a very puritanical culture that gets very queasy about sexuality issues of any kind and that may be why Logo is soft-pedaling the sexuality issue," Musto said. ["Puritanical"... right.... --ed.]

Posted by Kyer at June 29, 2005 01:23 PM