Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why Is MSNBC Still Hosting The Family Research Council?

Today's title says it all a member of a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group...why are Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg, or anyone from the Family Research Council constantly asked to be on MSNBC and/or CNN to represent a fair minded or rational opposition to an LGBT issue when it has been proven time and time again that they are one of the chief exporters of lies and distortions about the gay community? Using little but their interpretation of religion and the very discredited junk science of Paul Cameron, they have testified before congress and been on countless cable TV news shows spreading the idea that allowing LGBT people anything at all is tantamount to the utter destruction of the country. Who made them boss of everything anyway? one, that's who...

However, my opinion on the matter carries less weight with those who might need to see the FRC for what it really organisation who's sole job is to spread fear and hatred of gay, bisexual, and transgendered peoples then from those from the same faith communities that Tony and the FRC target. Oh no...there is no family research going on at the Family Research Council, it's all about stopping the gays....a fact that has been picked up on by a group called Faithful America who have made a thirty second long commercial asking MSNBC to stop promoting Tony and the FRC as anything other then what they are. But will the world see it? because, naturally, MSNBC refused to air it.

And so I have chosen to share it here because I think it's an important topic to bring up and that, if this commercial wont make television...we can still spread it to all corners of the internet to have a real discussion about how we talk about LGBT issues in the media. check out the commercial after the jump and then I will add my two cents to the mix...

It seems that their is a certain level of discourse in this county, that is acceptable when talking about LGBT people and points of view that are presented as fair opposition that would be regarded as bald-faced racism or sexism if the same arguments were made against women, religions, ethnic or racial groups. I am perplexed by this. Why is it still o.k. to hint that allowing gay marriage will lead to the breakdown of civilization....why is it o.k. to insinuate that gay kids commit suicide because they knew deep down that they are deviant....why was it o.k. to make the direct accusation that straight soldiers would be raped if gays were allowed to serve openly in the military? All things that Tony Perkins has said in churchs and in print...but a message he shy's away from on television in order to preserve the image of being moderate and merely "concerned" with what he spins as the "radical gay agenda". A term that has been used to hurt the gay community for generations.

Is it free speech...yes...and the FRC has every right to spew it from any news show that will give it five minutes and a microphone...but why are they being given that five minutes? Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg and the organisation that they represent can be quoted saying things that are dangerously hurtful to the gay community to things that are absurd to the point of near in the time that Sprigg said on air that "he would much rather prefer to export homosexuals than import them"...

Seriously....would anyone say this about any other group of people and keep their job intact?!....hell no...but say it about gays and you will get a slot on a major news network. But how is it that The family research council gets to testify in congressional hearings when their only qualifications happen to be that Tony once served in the marines and now works for one of the single largest anti-gay lobbying orgs in the U.S.?   How is it that no matter if the discussion is about work place protections, immigration, marriage equality, or even just bullying....Tony is the guy that MSNBC gets to be the voice of moderate opposition when they know dam well that he and the org he represents are anything but?

I think that answer to that is because they think he fits the chair...and that is why the FRC pays him to be their face to the public. Tony Perkins carries off the handsome dad-next-door image that they think will strike a sympathetic cord with the public. He practically exudes the patriotic vision of America that a large part of the public wants to believe in....and so, through a polite smile he can tell the public that, "gay kids kill themselves because they know homosexuality is abnormal."...and next week MSNBC will ring him up and ask him to appear on Hardball opposite an HRC representative to discuss gay marriage in a manner that is supposed to appear as if it's a balanced debate between rational Americans....except that most of America may not know of Tony Perkins and FRC's other doings. The difference is though...that MSNBC does and I don't believe that they do it to show what crack pots they are. I think they really just can't find anyone who is actually reasonable or moderate and so they call on Tony, who is only too happy to respond.

The reality is that Tony puts a socially acceptable face on the utterly illogical viewpoints he and his org represent. Just like Maggie Gallagher and NOM, they operate under the guise of being moderate, when in fact their arguments have not a shred of actual fact or even one concrete example of how allowing gay people to fully participate in society will harm it any way at all. Theirs is a strictly faith based point of view based off their interpretation of the Bible. But instead of opposing it wholly on those grounds, they manufacture phony consequences propped up by long ago disproven junk science in order to scare the public into seeing us as a shadowy menace. It is in this climate that gay people grow up...and it is no wonder that they come to think of themselves as being unacceptable and taking their own lives. It is because of the work of the FRC in schools and churches that parents kick their kids out into the street when they come out to them

What I have given here is a small example of the terrible things that the FRC does in it's work against LGBT people. The list of horrible comments and anti-gay activism on the part of the FRC is quite extensive.  Theirs is not a moderate opinion of opposition...they are among those who want the gay community gone and a return to a 1950's version of America...McCarthy style. This is exactly why they have earned their designation as a hate group. Knowing that about them, we can expect them to say the very things that they have. But...I believe that in an effort to portray debates on gay rights issues in a fair and balanced manner, the network has a responsibility to the message they promote....and allowing the FRC a platform time and time again, legitimizes their messages...even the terrible ones they would prefer not make it on the the fact that they consider the gay community to be "In the grip of the enemy "(I.E. the Devil) and that they endorse reparative therapy....and yet Tony Perkins was still asked to testify in congress against DADT. It blows my mind.

If those facts were known about them by the public at large I bet their phone would ring a lot less...Perhaps Tony gets that chair on the news precisely because their is no one else that can carry off the image of mother, apple pie, and patriotism, while at the same time spewing lies and hatred, without looking utterly rediculous. But his image is a false one...and so is the FRC's message. And so I ask all my readers to share the video at the top of the page. Since the networks that tacitly approve of Tony Perkins message wont be responsible for telling the truth about their work it is again up to all of us to get the message out. We do not find it acceptable  to present groups like the FRC and Tony Perkins, who everyday work to take away the rights of their fellow citizens and to further demoralize and devalue the lives of gay people everywhere, as fair or responsible journalism. I personally find it no more acceptable to host them than to host white supremacists. So please like the video, share it, +1 it, share it to Facebook it....get it out to the world. lets show them the real face of these people who bend the ears of congress and through smiling faces work to make sure that we have no place in our own society. Tell MSNBC and CNN that we wont accept this as "resonable debate" anymore than we would about any other group of people.

Until next time dear readers.....


  1. I am glad they put fools like him on... he is a simple-minded bigot who most MSNBC viewers can easily see through. It helps to demonstrate to some ambivalent people that there really are people out there who want to oppress us and that these issues are still relevant and important.

    1. Anonymous #1, but can MSNBC viewers really see through him when they haven’t heard these very revealing quotes Bryan provided? I think Bryan is trying to suggest here that they cannot. The whole subject matter seems more like the kind of thing you’d expect to see on the “GOP Jesus Talk Radio TV Network” aka Fox News. A great holy man like Perkins belongs over there anyway; he has an adoring flock of fellow haters there ready to send out their children as their proxies to schools everywhere to bully gay kids and induce the next wave of gay suicides. Wait a minute…what am I saying? The “next” wave? They’re still not done with the current wave. Oops…I forgot…. Sorry….

      Any time you need some scorching sarcasm thrown at our "friends" over there, you can always come to me. Consider me your go-to guy for that.

  2. Southern Poverty Law Center is a joke and MSNBC can but anyone that they want is called freedom of speech

    1. In the post Bryan never states that he thinks this falls outside freedom of speech. The goal is to draw attention to bad behavior by a private corporation, MSNBC, and in doing so hopefully create public pressure to keep FRC and Tony Perkins from being included in mainstream debates. I would also emphasize that under a standard freedom of speech analysis much of what FRC publicly states is skirting the limits of protected speech. The freedom is not limitless; it can be reasonably restricted in time, place, and manner for the promotion or protection of the public good. Thus, speech that incites violence is not protected and this is the origin of the "hate speech" notion. When a corporation provides a public venue to a man who represents an organization that comes very close to engaging in hate speech, the group targeted by that speech should take notice and attempt to apply pressure to change such practices. As you said, it's called freedom of speech. [On a side note, I'm curious why SPLC is a joke?]

  3. This is a powerful blog; thank you for your contribution.

    B.L.Fowler, Author

  4. Hey Bryan, after having read this blog post my blood was boiling! I found Perkins quote about gay kids killing themselves 'because they know it's abnormal' to be extremely disquieting and offensive. My thoughts turn to Jamie Rodemeyer. Jamie did not kill himself because of conflict regarding his sexual orientation; he couldn't tolerate one more day of bullying from fellow pupils. I've heard people say Jamie was bullied because he was gay which is not true. Jamie was bullied because the perpertrators lack moral fibre, have been poorly parented and are homophobic - taught by people like Tony Perkins. It astonishes me that Perkins would trivialise suicide amongst young LGBT people with such overt judgement. More specifically, his lack of compassion for other human beings is really quite disturbing. Ultimately, he is the cause of a great deal of suffering, engaging in the very behaviour which damages society that he accuses LGBT people of. Hypocrite.

  5. It's a TV formula, unfortunately. MSNBC is aware that their audience is, generally, sympathetic to glbt issues. Building off this fact, several years ago, its programmers decided to "build" much of their shows within a framework that will create good guys and bad guys: debates in which you know for whom to cheer and toward whom to "boo." Scheduling FRC as the opposition debaters is intended to make the news of the day entertaining and more "black and white." Their formula is actually condescending to viewers who prefer to see topics fully debated, not mock debated. Most news programs do this to some extent these days as they play to their desired demographics; however, I am noticing that the trend is lessening somewhat as more viewers realize that this is an entertainment "technique," and not good journalism. I would very much like to see MSNBC, CNN, Fox, and all the rest selecting the most knowledegable voices from all sides of a topic, rather than those voices that deliver sports-like emotion. FRC stirs emotions but no longer has anything legitimate to lend to the debates. In this case, the "entertainment" comes at the expense of real lives. This is one of the reasons I do not consider MSNBC a friend to the glbt community; rather, they are condescending to it ... much like our political "leaders," but that's another story.

  6. Great points...really nice insight, Bryan! I repeatedly ask myself the same questions every single time I see Tony Perkins (and the usual suspects, e.g. Concerned Women of America or many groups that SOUND wholesome) on MSNBC, a network I usually appreciate over the others. I recently saw Anderson Cooper interviewing good ol' T.P. (the initials are fitting, I think) on CNN, and I thought...Wow, I wonder what Anderson is really thinking (!!!) would be hard for me to remain calm and collected if he were sitting across the table from me, especially when I think of all the kids who have killed themselves. Ugh, disgusting. On that happy note... :P

    Hope I get to meet you guys this year...if not this year, likely next year, because I think I may be moving to San Francisco in January 2013!

    -Matt in NYC