Monday, October 20, 2014

Family Research Council's attack on Politifact backfires

A week ago, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins had a terrible debate performance on Fox News. He was debating former Solicitor General Ted Olson and was reduced to repeating jaded talking points about how the "best place to raise a child is in a home with a mother and a father."

On that same day, Politifact rebuked Perkins for this claim, rating it as false.

Naturally, you really don't think that FRC would take that lying down? Recently, another FRC spokesman, Peter Sprigg posted a piece on the organization's webpage which supposedly calls into question Politifact's claim. In doing so, he cites a bunch of study which supposedly back up Perkins' claim:

Within hours, the “fact-checking” website PolitiFact posted an analysis of the statement—and rated it “False.”

Unfortunately, the PolitiFact article itself gets a failing grade.

That is, unless they think the non-partisan, non-profit research group Child Trends was also telling a “falsehood” when they reported, “An extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.”

Sprigg is being deceptive about the Child Trends study, just as he was in 2011 when he cited it to make the same point. I know this for a fact because back then, I pointed out:

The Child Trends study - was published in 2002.  And it never even addressed same-sex households.

Sprigg cites a lot of other studies, but based on the deception he uses with regards to the Child Trends study, one has to wonder if those citations are accurate.

Then he really steps into the puddle of inaccuracy:

 . . . the New Family Structures Study spearheaded by sociologist Mark Regnerus resulted in dramatic (and statistically powerful) results demonstrating the strong advantage held by the “intact biological family” over numerous other family forms. However—as Regnerus made clear from the beginning—even his comparison with “gay fathers” or “lesbian mothers” was only based on the adult respondents having said that at some point between birth and age 18, their father or mother had a same-sex romantic relationship. It was not a comparison with children raised by same-sex couples living and raising the children together (of which very few could be found, even in Regnerus’ large sample).

A key illustration of how the PolitiFact article lacked objectivity is that its description of the Regnerus research sounds as though it were simply cut and pasted from the talking points of “gay” bloggers. It is true that his research was sharply criticized in a variety of quarters—that is to be expected, given that academia is now dominated by liberal elites who are unwilling to tolerate the slightest dissent from the pro-homosexual orthodoxy. It is also true that among his fellow sociologists who distanced themselves from the study were members of the sociology department at his own university, the University of Texas.

To put it more accurately than Sprigg, Regnerus' study was rebuked by over 200 researchers, the sociology department of his own university, and finally a Michigan federal judge, Bernard Friedman. Earlier this year, Friedman not only struck down a law barring marriage equality in Michigan, but he was especially brutal to Regnerus's study and to Regnerus himself:

"The Court finds Regnerus's testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 'study' was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it 'essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society' and which 'was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.' ... While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged."

If you ask me, Sprigg and FRC should have left well enough alone. Not only have they reminded folks of Perkins' sad debate performance, but their pathetic attempt to refute Politifact underscores just how they are willing to go to deceive . . . and all in the name of God.

1 comment:

Scott S said...

They should have left well enough alone, but they still think its 1999 when they dominated the debate (which they started). Maybe they'll realize that America no longer buys their revisionist history.