Cecil B. DeMille It Wasn't

Let's look at the numbers:
11 protesters.
45,000 festival attendees.
So who gets the attention of the St. Petersburg Times in its reports on this past weekend's St. Pete Pride parade?
Yup, the protesters. They caused a "spectacle," according to today's story by Abhi Raghunathan, and it was just a blessing that the police were there to prevent "violence."
What hooey. I was there. "Spectacle" is hardly the word. Anyone who's been in or near a gay-pride anything in the last, oh, 25 years, would know to expect the arrival of some kind of Fred Phelps-esque Bible-misquoting bunch. OK, this was apparently the first time such a group made an appearance at St. Pete Pride — but given the small impact they actually made, how important was their presence? But oh, the photo op — instead of just confining themselves to the requisite fabulous-drag-queen shot, the Times got to lead Sunday's City & State section with a big ol' photo of a Christian brandishing a banner (one that showed a notably hunky Christ getting whupped) while a gay male couple kissed (violently) in the foreground. It wasn't until the jump page that they ran a crowd photo showing that there were maybe a few other people present (but only one other bit of signage — amazingly enough, a poster for tbt*).
The Trib, on the other hand, did a superior job of covering pride events this year — both in St. Pete and across the country.  Mike  Wells' Sunday Metro story led with the news that the St. Pete Pride crowd was "the largest in the event's history"; interviewed storeowners about the economic impact; talked to Winter Pride's organizer about the future of that Tampa-based event; and gave only passing mention to the protesters, as follows:
"The event also attracted a dozen protesters carrying signs and shouting antigay messages from bullhorns. A few festivalgoers shouted back. Police walked nearby."
That's all he wrote. And that's all that puny "spectacle" deserved.

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