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Video: Ken Blackwell gives MSNBC another reason not to re-book FRC

by Jeremy Hooper

I'll leave it up to you: You can or cannot watch this five minute clip from June 28, 2011, featuring the Empire State Pride Agenda's Ross Levi and the Family Research Council's Ken Blackwell debating on MSNBC airwaves. Though if you do watch, rest assured you won't hear Chris Matthews use the word "bigot" even once, nor will you hear him reduce conservatives who stand against marriage equality as being solely motivated by bigotry. Either watch or take my word for it:

[MSNBC, via Family Research Council]

But now check this out. If you start this second clip around the 25:00 mark, you will hear this same Ken Blackwell completely lie about Chris Matthews, claiming the "Hardball" host said during the above appearance that "those of us who are against same-sex marriage…are bigots":

[CNS News, via FRC]

Complete misrepresentation. Just more of the same victimization strategy that the far-right has adopted as favored practice.

Truth: In the "Hardball" segment, Matthews was hospitable, fair, and kept the discussion on the politics of the matter. Regardless of personal view or hope, he was grateful to Blackwell, allowed him ample time to make his points, never once ascribed motivation to his heart, and very much allowed the possibility that Blackwell's view might win out at the polls. Because that's Matthews style: He's a wonk, through and through, who loves the debate regardless of personal opinion. In fact, he didn't even call out the rep from the SPLC-designated "hate group" when he so brazenly referred to same-sex marriage as a "joke."

But none of the facts of this or any appearance matter. The far-right has written a script that reduces all pushback to their work as nothing more than name-calling. Reduces equality activists to people who can't make a point without going personal. So when their representatives go on conservative outlets like CNS News, that's how they spin it: "That darn liberal media called us bigots again!" They are obviously doing this to take onus off of the kinds of things that have earned them such intense scrutiny. But in doing it, they are the ones now exploiting "hate" and "bigot" labels, using them to sidestep the true debate.

Honestly, at this point, Family Research Council staffers should be thanking their lucky stars that outlets like MSNBC continue to book them, considering the unreal things that they so routinely say about certain human beings. So personally, I'd love to know (a) if the supposed followup conversation ever happened like Mr. Blackwell claims it did, (b) how Matthews feels about Blackwell intellectually slander this televised debate, and (c) if Matthews sees any need to re-book a guest who'll proceed to "thank" him by completely misrepresenting their exchange. In fact, I think I have a few "Hardball" producer email addys lying around…

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