Fox News Largely Ignores Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal

Yesterday marked the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t — an 18-year-old policy that prohibited gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military and forced more than 14,000 qualified men and women out of the armed forces and many thousands more to serve silently in fear of being discovered. Responding to strong pressure from LGBT advocates and congressional Democrats, President Obama signed legislation repealing the law in December 2010 and officially certified the end of the policy on July 22.

But you may have missed the historic occasion if you were watching Fox News. Given its habit of ignoring news that does not appeal to the conservative base, the network largely ignored the story, mentioning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” just 16 times yesterday between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., according to a ThinkProgress search of Critical Mention. Comparatively, CNN and MSNBC covered the repeal 66 times and 84 times respectively:

Fox offered slim coverage of the certification of repeal in July, underreported the passage of New York’s historic same-sex marriage law, and remained mostly silent after a major law firm reversed its decision to defend an explicitly anti-gay law in March. Last year, the network failed to report that former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman — who had orchestrated President Bush’s gay-bashing 2004 re-election campaign — had come out as gay.