Fox News give Tony Perkins yet another free pass
I actually have a theory that Tony Perkins is raising a stink over CPAC more because he wants to raise the profile of his own, alternative conference, the Values Voters Summit, than to protest gay conservatives' attendance at the former. But whatever the reason, here's the FRC prez on Fox News talking about both CPAC and his group's inclusion on the Southern Poverty Law Center's "hate groups" list:
"Civil discourse"? Well, Fox news anchors: Why not act like an oh, I don't know, fair news organization, and ask Tony about the ACTUAL REASONS why his group was added to the SPLC's list! This is what SPLC writer Evelyn Schlatter highlighted in her writeup:
Headed today by former Louisiana State Rep. Tony Perkins, the FRC has been a font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history. It relies on the work of Robert Knight, who also worked at Concerned Women for America but now is at Coral Ridge Ministries (see above for both), along with that of FRC senior research fellows Tim Dailey (hired in 1999) and Peter Sprigg (2001). Both Dailey and Sprigg have pushed false accusations linking gay men to pedophilia (see related story, p. 31): Sprigg has written that most men who engage in same-sex child molestation “identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual,” and Dailey and Sprigg devoted an entire chapter of their 2004 book Getting It Straight to similar material. The men claimed that “homosexuals are overrepresented in child sex offenses” and similarly asserted that “homosexuals are attracted in inordinate numbers to boys.”
More recently, in March 2008, Sprigg, responding to a question about uniting gay partners during the immigration process, said: “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them.” He later apologized, but then went on, last February, to tell MSNBC host Chris Matthews, “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.” “So we should outlaw gay behavior?” Matthews asked. “Yes,” Sprigg replied. At around the same time, Sprigg claimed that allowing gay people to serve openly in the military would lead to an increase in gay-on-straight sexual assaults.
Perkins has his own unusual history. In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican State Rep. Louis “Woody” Jenkins of Louisiana, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation. In 1999, in fact, GOP chairman Jim Nicholson urged Republicans to quit the group over its “racist views.” A short time later, after an Intelligence Report exposé but before Perkins’ 2001 speech, Republican House Speaker Trent Lott was embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group.
And to these points we could also add:
- Tony Perkins routinely says his opposition (including but not limited to gays) is "held captive by the enemy"
- FRC has issued a same-sex marriage pamphlet that compares gay unions to those that might theoretically exist between a man and his horse (complete with a horse's picture on its front page)
- Peter Sprigg on how to handle sexually active gay men: "The CDC spokesman is cited as saying, 'There is no single or simple solution for reducing HIV and syphilis rates among gay and bisexual men.' This is plainly false. There is, for example, a single and simple solution for smoking-related illnesses, and we have all heard it—'If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit.' It’s long past time for public health authorities to say the same about men having sex with men."
- Perkins once said that gay teens try suicide because they know homosexuality is "abnormal."
- Sprigg's emphatically stated that the idea of homosexuality being present in infants at birth "has been disproven scientifically."
- FRC's Tom McClusky voiced support for Sen. Jim DeMint's belief that gay teachers should be fired.
- Perkins said those who criticized or even simply questioned a bakery for refusing to make rainbow cupcakes are engaging in "economic terrorism."
- FRC has given multiple platforms to the beyond-incendiary Bryan Fischer. Most prominently, at this past September's Values Voters Summit.
- FRC uses grim reaper photos to illustrate what non-discrimination will supposedly do to America.
-And because it's more shocking in video, here are two of the Peter Sprigg comments that SPLC specifically mentioned:
*SOURCE: Gays seek immigration reform [Medill Reports]
Etc, etc. We'll stop there, because we could seriously be here all day. That's not even a joke. We have six years of archives on FRC that more than justify why they, unlike other "pro-family" groups, met the SPLC's high bar of qualification. Any objective observer (i.e. what a mainstream news organization should be) can understand why this group earned heightened scrutiny.
So if you're looking for a controversy to drum up, Fox news, then THIS ONE, where conservative groups seek the exportation or criminalization of gays, should be a gagillion times more compelling than those Republican-identified humans who wish to attend CPAC while homosexual! It certainly reaches and affects more people, especially when highly-rated news programs give the very same group a platform that comes across more like PR than actual news.
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