Tony Perkins Responds to Faithful America, Boasts of MSNBC Support

March 12, 2012, 11:06 am | Posted by

Thursday, Right Wing Watch caught Tony Perkins responding to Faithful America’s campaign on a radio show with Tim Wildmon, president of the  American Family Association (a fellow hate group).

Perkins is clearly upset by the 20,000 people of faith who have called on MSNBC to drop him from their programming. In a rambling response, Perkins claimed “homosexual activist groups” are trying to “silence” him because they’re “afraid of the truth,” falsely attacked Bishop Gene Robinson and boasted about his recent appearance on MSNBC:

Wildmon: There’s something about, I didn’t read the whole story, something about you appearing on some news show the other night and now the homosexual activist groups want you banned for life or something, I don’t know.

Perkins: Well what’s new about that? They are afraid of the truth and they are probably listening because I know they like to monitor this program and that’s what it is, they are afraid of the truth. They do not want to have open debates, they know the facts simply do not line up, and so instead of publicly showing up and debating or putting their ideas out there on the table they simply want to silence Christians, that’s what it’s about. [emphasis added]

Perkins: You might remember the Episcopal Bishop Eugene [sic] Robinson who split the Episcopal Church because he’s openly gay and wanted to marry his lover or whatever you call it, and he gathered 20,000 signatures and presented them to MSNBC demanding that they keep me off of MSNBC because you know I’m on there you know talking about politics or whatever and usually it’s nothing to do with homosexuality, they just don’t want anybody who does have views that are counter to theirs.

Wildmon: I’ll tell you what, you’re in good company, the other day Kirk Cameron went on Piers Morgan on CNN, and man, Piers Morgan asked him a question about homosexuality, he said it was ‘unnatural,’ he just got torched.

Perkins: I talked to Kirk, I talked to him yesterday actually I was actually interestingly enough I was coming out of MSNBC where I was on yesterday with Martin Bashir, and I would actually encourage folks to go watch that interview that I did with him—they have it on their homepage; at least they did this morning on MSNBC—and thank them for allowing a balanced discussion. Obviously Martin did not agree with me but we had a very civil discussion on the issues and I tell you what I have to respect MSNBC for allowing debate and not buckling under the pressure of a loudmouth, Soros-funded group that is simply trying to silence the public debate over important public policy issues, so I will have to come to the defense of MSNBC for not buckling under that pressure. [emphasis added]

Carlos Maza at Equality Matters points out the hypocrisy in Perkins’s paean to civility.

Perkins’ call for “civil discussion” is laughable to anyone who’s followed Perkins’ career of anti-gay name-calling and hate speech. He’s accused gay people of being pedophiles and compared them to terrorists. He’s also accused LGBT people of trying to “recruit” children into “perversion,” “destroy your traditional values,” and “work out of the same playbook” as Islamic jihadists.

What’s more, Perkins’s appearance on Bashir’s show was a textbook example of how MSNBC lends Perkins undue credibility. After Bashir introduced him as a “committed Christian” he was “delighted” to have on to talk about the Rush Limbaugh controversy, Perkins proceeded to falsely claim that Sandra Fluke was testifying about “sexual promiscuity” and asking the government to fund her birth control.

Does MSNBC really think this exchange is a helpful one for its viewers?

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MSNBC Defends Hosting Hate-Group Leader

March 9, 2012, 12:47 pm | Posted by

Inquiring about MSNBC’s rejection of Faithful America’s ad about hate-group leader Tony Perkins’s frequent appearances on their news programming, The Advocate managed to elicit this response from a network representative:

We have many guests from a variety of viewpoints who all play roles in the political process. The views of our guests are not those of MSNBC.

But this, of course, is no defense at all. Faithful America isn’t suggesting that MSNBC shouldn’t have guests with a variety of viewpoints, just that those viewpoints shouldn’t include hateful lies.

Tony Perkins doesn’t occasionally get things wrong, he repeatedly uses debunked and discredited research in order to demonize an entire group of people. He’s simply not a trustworthy actor, and lifting him up as such does a disservice to Christians and conservatives alike.

But MSNBC’s viewers don’t learn that context when they see Perkins on television. Not only does MSNBC fail to alert its audience to Perkins’s credibility problems, they openly endorse him. Network anchors consistently treat him like a credible analyst and compliment him as an “honest conservative” whose conscience can be trusted.

The glowing treatment is so clear FRC even boasts about it. Such endorsement lets Perkins portray himself as a mainstream figure and cast critics who call him on his lies as radicals.

MSNBC’s problem has nothing to do with ideological diversity and everything to do with journalistic credibility. Claiming otherwise dishonestly distracts from the issue.

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Same split, different state

March 8, 2012, 2:15 pm | Posted by

The exit polls from Tuesday’s tightly contested Ohio Republican primary closely resemble Michigan’s from last week, with Santorum and Romney’s supporters clearly breaking along religious, ideological and class divides.

Once again, Santorum won white evangelicals (47%, compared to Romney’s 30%), and Romney won Catholics (44%, compared to Santorum’s 31%).

Once again, Romney cleaned up with high-income voters. He beat Santorum by 14 percentage points among those who make over $100K/year and a whopping 29 percentage points among those who make over $200K/year.

Once again, Santorum was the right-wing favorite. He won 48% of “very conservative” voters, compared to Romney’s 30%. Santorum also beat Romney by 9 percentage points among voters who “strongly support” the Tea Party.

Once again, Santorum dominated among anti-abortion voters. Two-thirds of those who say abortion is the most important issue voted for Santorum, and he beat Romney by  16 percentage points among voters who think abortion should always be illegal.

What we have here is a clear divide between the well-heeled establishment and the staunchly conservative base. With Romney now a near-lock to win the nomination, it will be interesting to see if he can broaden his appeal beyond the wealthiest Americans and connect not only with social conservatives, but also with middle- and working-class voters. Given the pitched culture-war battles going on right now, that’s an awfully tall order.

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The Ad MSNBC Won’t Let You See

March 7, 2012, 12:11 pm | Posted by

Continuing their campaign demanding that MSNBC stop booking hate-group leader Tony Perkins on their news programming, Faithful America has produced an ad to educate the network’s viewers about the hateful lies the Family Research Council President tells about LGBT people and how frequently the cable network puts him on air.

Shamefully, MSNBC rejected the ad. After Faithful America attempted to purchase time to run the ad on the network, a representative responded:

Thank you for providing the ad and substantiation. Our policy states that we have sole discretion to accept or reject an ad based on its appropriateness. In this instance we are rejecting the ad.

Michael Sherrard, head of Faithful America, responded:

Clearly MSNBC doesn’t want its viewers to know the truth about one of their frequent guests. If network executives consider Tony Perkins’ false and hateful rhetoric about gays and lesbians inappropriate for an ad, then he shouldn’t have any place on their programming.

Here’s the information MSNBC doesn’t want you to see:

 

Earlier this month Faithful America, Bishop Gene Robinson and a delegation of clergy leaders delivered 20,000 petition signatures to MSNBC headquarters trying to raise this same issue. MSNBC responded to that event by featuring Perkins on air last week.

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Religious Right Tries Hand at High-Tech Voter Registration, Fails

March 2, 2012, 11:00 am | Posted by

BallotUnited in Purpose is a Religious Right group formed to register conservative Christian voters for the 2012 election. With connections to the American Family Association and Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign-launching prayer rally, UiP’s stated aim is to register 5 million new voters before November.

Funded in part by Silicon Valley venture capitalists, the organization hopes to use advanced “micro-targeting” technology to buy massive amounts of consumer data, identify the unregistered voters likely to support conservative candidates, and equip volunteers in their neighborhoods to go door-to-door and sign them up.

Unfortunately, it looks like their ambitious plans have hit an initial snag. Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports:

The first person on [volunteer Scott] Spages’ list lives in a gated community. The guard won’t let him through, so he makes a phone call. He identifies himself and asks if he can speak to Orlando, who — according to UIP’s database — is not registered to vote. Spages listens, then says, “Oh, OK. So, Orlando and everyone in the house is registered? OK.”

Puzzled, Spages drives to the next house. There, too, everyone is registered. It happens again at the next house and the next, so when Spages reaches Brenda Jacobson to ask if she wants to register, he’s not surprised by her answer.

“Well, I’m registered, so I’m not sure why my name showed up,” she says.

“We found that a lot tonight,” Spages responds, “so I’m going to have to double check that.”

As it turns out, all of the names on the Florida list are registered voters — a mistake that United In Purpose discovered after NPR’s reporting. In South Carolina and Iowa, the UIP lists also contained registered voters.

Even in states where the lists are correct, UiP volunteers are finding a lot of unregistered voters are that way for a reason:

“I’m sorry, they’re all crooks and you’ll never be able to blame me,” the woman says, declining the registration form Clymer offers.

“I’m just trying to get Christians to go out and vote,” Clymer protests.

“Well, I’m a Christian, but that’s as far as this is going to go,” she says, and closes the door.

Clymer leaves, discouraged.

“I wish at least one person would take it,” she laments.

But no one takes a registration form that afternoon.

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