In 1984 The New York Times released an article titled, The Slow Response to AIDS, in which a sense of relief was conveyed in knowing that AIDS only existed in homosexual and bisexual men, intravenous drug users and hemophiliacs. However, the article then goes on to point out that AIDS may also be sexually transmitted by someone who shows no symptoms what so ever. Although extremely tame, the author attempts to criticize the American Government for its slow and effortless response to the current issue at hand. The main source for the story appears to be the House Committee on Government Operation who was said to have shunned the Public Health Service for turning down the initial funding to further study of the deadly disease. The article seems to be framed for the more conservative reader while still trying to shed some light on the dissatisfaction of some.
Quite opposite to this approach, The Washington Post published an article in 1985 titled, The Spread of Fear, in which Mary McGrory expresses pure and utter disgust with the reactions of American society to the issue of AIDS. She points out the various references to the disease that portray gay men in the most negative of lights. Once considered the "gay plague" and "God's punishment of homosexuals for their perverted lifestyle," McGrory attempts to use statements from such officials as politicians, doctors and Health and Human Services Officials to dispel these false theories. The writer suggests that the fear that is spreading among parents for the safety of their children at school is purely absurd. McGrory uses a variety of sources to get her point across and appears to be targeting the every day citizen. Her writing is powerful, compelling and radical for its time.
While both of these articles show some sense of discontent with the nation for their inability to handle such a fragile tragedy, the writing for The Washington Post is clearly the more dramatic and honest. They do share a certain commonality however. As both of these articles were written in the mid 80's they are a testament to the changing of the way in which reporters choose to express themselves. Never before would we have seen such out right insult to the American people or a challenging of the status quo to this degree in a major news publication. Historically homosexuals have always been discriminated against by the news media. Here we see a coming of age in which people feel confident in their right to stand up for a minority group and speak their truth. Articles like that of The Washington Post should be praised because they represent true, raw journalism.