Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why the hell is Tony Perkins being given media legitimacy?

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council seems to be given some degree of legitimacy in regards to the 2012 elections:

On October 10, CNN host Carol Costello invited Tony Perkins – president of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council (FRC) – to discuss the impact of his group’s recent Values Voter Summit.

And apparently CNN is one of many news media outlets giving Perkins some sort of legitimacy:

In the past few months – and aside from publishing an op-ed in The Washington Times – Perkins has been invited to appear on Fox News, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, and CNN to discuss the GOP primary and the 2012 election.

These appearances have typically followed the same pattern:
  • The host fails to acknowledge Perkins as the leader of an anti-gay hate group
  • Perkins is allowed to speak generally about what social conservatives want from a candidate
  • Perkins attempts to link same-sex marriage to the bad economy
  • The host asks Perkins which candidate his group will endorse
  • Perkins pitches his Values Voter Summit (three times in less than ten minutes during a recent Hannity segment)

Giving Perkins any type of media legitimacy is wrong, period.

And the reason why is simple.

The issue is not about censorship.

It's about consistency.

It's about basic decency.

And mostly it's about integrity.

Would David Duke be allowed to espouse about 2012 election  as an "expert" by the media even though they know his history of passing along venomously inaccurate information about African-Americans and Jewish people?

Or how about someone equally Anti-Semitic or racist?

Of course not.

When the Rev. Robert Jeffress recently called Mitt Romney's religion a "cult," no one looked the other way. And no one invited him on their news program as an "election authority."

But somehow simply because Tony Perkins wraps his homophobia, his organization's history of intentionally passing along inaccurate information about gays behind the veneer of Christian values, those of us who are the victims of his slander are supposed to look the other way while the media gives him the red carpet treatment?

Allow me to be a little more succinct.

David Duke believes that African-Americans are inferior to whites. He believes that Jewish people are taking over (or are have taken over) the government.

Tony Perkins runs an organization featuring spokespeople who say they want gays deported out of the United States.

Tony Perkins runs an organization who routinely passes along junk science which accuses gay men of molesting children at a high rate.

Tony Perkins runs an organization which passes along  information by a discredited researcher who claims, amongst other things, that gay men stuff gerbils up their rectums.

Tony Perkins runs an organization which spreads the inaccurate belief that gays have short lifespans over 10 years after this belief was proven to be false.

What's the difference between Perkins and Duke? I'm sure that if you give him time, Duke could pull out a Bible and point to verses which justify his beliefs just as quickly as Perkins.

What really grinds me is how the issue seems to always be cast as a competition between those with "personally held religious beliefs against homosexuality" and the gay community itself.

This issue is not about "personally religious beliefs about homosexuality" because when people like Perkins pass along this bad information, they prove that they can't even abide by the religion they are supposed to profess faith in.

Or did that commandment about bearing false witness get thrown out?

I am intensely disturbed by this con game that the gay community has to deal with on a daily basis; that somehow people can say and claim some of the most nastiest, totally inaccurate (easily provably inaccurate at that) things about us  and get away with it if they can manipulate a talking point that these things are said in love and because of "deeply held religious beliefs."

And what's more, these folks are not called out, but rather patted on the back by those whose very livelihood are supposed to be invested in seeking the truth.
There is absolutely no reason, no justifiable explanation for any legitimate news network to make a charlatan who trades in character assassinations of innocent groups of people via the spreading of junk science (even if it is done in the name of God) as a legitimate source of information.

Edward R. Murrow has to be spinning in his grave. What's more, I cringe to think what would happen if Joseph McCarthy were alive today.

He would probably be given his own show.

Related post:

16 reasons why the Family Research Council is a hate group

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1 comment:

Linnea said...

Well said, Alvin. I'm always amazed at the way the religious right whines about being "under attack" or that "no one respects our values" when they practically own the Republican party and appear on TV shows, where the host fawns over them and refuses to challenge them, no matter what kind of hate they spew.