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03/24/2011

Hey NOM: Why not mention that Thomas Peters works for you?

by Jeremy Hooper

Thomas Peters, the prolific Catholic writer who writes the American Papist blog for CatholicVote.org, works directly for/with The National Organization For Marriage. He's on their conference calls and strategy sessions, and assists with various online endeavors. He also writes some of their blog posts, albeit pseudonymously. Perhaps even for pay, though I'm not sure about that last point.

So how do I know this? Well, my first lead came when I noticed that if one hovers his or her on-screen pointer over the "written by NOM staff" link at the bottom of each of the org's daily blog entries, one gets varying results. Sometimes the generic-sounding return does in fact show the author as being equally generic-sounding:

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Though other times, the mouse hover shows "Opus" as the author:

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"Opus" refers to the Catholic Opus Fidelis network, to whom NOM has outsourced much of its social media outreach. Sometimes "Opus" is credited as Opus-Admin" instead:

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But other times, hovering the mouse over the "NOM Staff" link gives a more specific name. Specifically, that of Thomas Peters, American Papist blogger:

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So after seeing that revelatory name in my browser's footer, I did further research on the matter using my extensive NOM sources. That's when it was in fact confirmed to me that Peters is on the inside of the NOM operation in every way, with a clear personal interest/stake in supporting their work. I dare Brian Brown or Maggie Gallagher to publicly challenge me on any of this.

Okay, but why do I care? Why should you care? Well, because today, NOM is linking to a piece Peters wrote on his own American Papist outlet: A writeup and link in which NOM acts as if Thomas' "findings of fact" about the supposedly flawed methodology in a new Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) on Catholics who support equality are simply the findings of an independent commentator who just so happens to buoy NOM's beliefs:

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But of course NOM never reveals any sort of ties to Peters: Only the generalized idea that he is a truth-teller belying the supposedly false claims of a "gay-funded poll." As if he is some outside voice with no dog in NOM's hunt.

Interestingly/ironically enough: In Thomas' linked piece (which you can read directly here), his biggest blast against the Catholic support poll is that it was funded by pro-LGBT groups, so therefore it can't be trusted as independent. And yet here we have NOM acting as if Thomas Peters should be trusted as an independent, even though they are flat-out hiding the fact that he is well rested/fed within their own house?! I mean, the PPRI poll completely lays bear its funding sources -- where's that same transparency from NOM about Peters' role within their organization?!

So typical.

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