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08/16/2011

'Wallbuilders' pushes fringe ACP as 'leading pediatric' group; pushes cutting agenda as 'cutting edge'

by Jeremy Hooper

6A00D8341C503453Ef0133Ecb43D21970BSeveral times in the past, I've told you about the so-called American College of Pediatricians, a tiny, conservative, faith-based splinter group (between 60 and 200 members, reportedly) that was solely designed to spin the research data that comes from the credible American Academy of Pediatrics and its 60,000 members. I've had to tell you about the rabidly anti-gay/pro-"ex-gay" ACP several times because, unfortunately, the far-right continues to misrepresent the innocuous sounding group as nothing more than a non-partisan, non-agenda-driven stable of science. Because again, that was the very reason ACP was created: To challenge the supposed "liberal bias" of the larger organization (a.k.a. the body of facts that don;' fit the far-right's preconceived narrative).

Well now check this out. Conservative professor and commentator Warren Throckmorton recently noted one particularly flawed ACP name-drop, this one courtesy of David Barton and Rick Green's "Wallbuilders" radio show. On a recent edition where they once again went after LGBT people, Barton and Green (the former of whom recently followed up a Maggie Gallagher interview by saying their side needs to "hang a bloody scalp over the gallery rail" in order to intimidate NY's equality-supporting GOP senators) touted the anti-LGBT ACP as the "leading pediatric association in America." So Warren, working from his own interest in science and knowledge of the players in the game, noted the misuse in a blog post. A blog post that then inspired one of Warren's readers, a gent named Bernie, to write to Rick Green to correct the error. Because it was. An error.

Here's the response that Rick Green shot back:

"I am not aware of anything from our broadcast that was inaccurate. Nothing in the transcript you sent is wrong or false. We may disagree on what constitutes “leading,” but neither David or I said the ACP was the largest. As often happens, the larger associations become either stagnant or politically correct and lose the leadership qualities that make an organization “leading” in their profession. Meanwhile, a perhaps smaller, but more professional and cutting edge organization begins to lead by stating facts and putting forth truthful research the older organization is afraid to release due to political correctness."
Wallbuilder’s Rick Green defends comments about pediatrics associations [Warren Throckmorton]

Like talking to a brick wall, fittingly enough.

It's an unbelievable, yet unfortunately not surprising, response. This it just how it is in the social conservatives world. They like to spin things like this as merely differences of opinion. As if there are two sides to every story. As if groups that push things like "ex-gay" therapy could earn credence, if only America's data collectors weren't so damn P.C. Since their organizations work from such a reliably biased place, they position any group that doesn't preach conservative, faith-based, "pro-family values" as a politically-driven interest group. And this is especially true in the LGBT world, since the social conservatives are insistent in their belief that benign acceptance of the natural world as it truly exists is itself a liberal position.

Now let me remind you: Even National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins has denounced ACP, calling them a "special interest group" that "distort[s] my scientific observations to make a point against homosexuality." But that hasn't change things. It won't change things. They put these lies out there in hopes that just enough on their side of the fence will swallow them wholesale. The denunciations will not bother them until they reach a point resounding enough to be undeniable. But since that so rarely happens with LGBT issues, shows like "Wallbuilders" will just stay the course, pushing the groups that their side has created specifically for these purposes. Those who are unchangeably fixed to the far-right message won't care, while many in the less committed middle will be duped by the benign "American College of Pediatricians" name.

All we can do is create 10x more content, in hopes of outpacing the noise machine.

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