Friday, May 04, 2012

Chris Matthews issues hypocritical sympathy for gay Republicans

Editor's note - Today's midday news briefs will be late due to a doctor's appointment.

During this recent interview with Media Matters for America founder David Brock and political analyst Ron Regan, I was secretly hoping that Hardball's Chris Matthews would be struck by lightning.

Okay not literally, but figuratively in a way of speaking.

The three were discussing the recent controversy involving Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney's openly gay foreign policy advisor who was forced to quit the Romney campaign after an outcry from religious right figures and organizations such as the American Family Association and Gary Bauer.

Matthews was incredulous that such "bigotry" (a word he used) would dictate this situation and the three in general were in agreement that Romney should have stood up to the religious right in defense of Grenell.

During the interview, Matthews also expressed sympathy for those who are gay Republicans on Capitol Hill and have to deal with these organizations.

But it seems to me that Matthews' sympathy was phony. He has been embroiled in a recent controversy with the group Faithful America in regards to his consistent invitations to Family Research Council head Tony Perkins to speak as an "expert" on Hardball.

The Family Research Council - for the benefit of those who are not in the know - is probably one of the most virulent anti-gay organizations in Washington. The Southern Poverty Law Center declared it to be a hate group because its venomous homophobic rhetoric, including accusing gays of pedophilia, terrorism, and calling for laws to be passed against homosexuality

However, other than a debate between Perkins and SPLC's Mark Potok, Matthews has never asked Perkins directly about FRC's rhetoric nor has made it the subject of an episode.

On the contrary, he has defended Perkins and accused Faithful America of "trying to silence" FRC.

Not only that but in the past, Matthews has gone out of his way to compliment Perkins:

Matthews: Tony Perkins Has “True Views,” “Principles.” On the November 9 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, Chris Matthews expressed his respect for religious right leaders like Tony Perkins:
MATTHEWS: If you’re Tony Perkins, if you’re one of the religious right leaders, who I respect for their views, they have true views, they’re not politicians particularly, they have principles. [MSNBC, Hardball, 11/9/11]
Matthews: “I Do Trust Your Conscience... I Find Him Fascinating Because I Do Trust Him.” On the November 11 edition of MNBC’s Hardball, Matthews showered Perkins with praise, stating that their views on moral issues were not all that different:
MATTHEWS: Tony, I’ve been thinking about you a lot. I do trust your conscience. You’re more conservative than me on cultural and moral issues, maybe. Although I’m not sure. When it comes to actual morality I think we may be closer than you believe. [...]
MATTHEWS: I’ll get to you Dave in a second. I want to get to Tony here because I find him fascinating because I do trust him. [MSNBC, Hardball, 11/11/11]

Expressing sympathy for a group of people who have to deal with bigotry is extremely hollow when you are simultaneously kissing up to the bigots in question.

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