John M. Becker

CBS Host Calls Out Tony Perkins for Leading a Hate Group

Filed By John M. Becker | April 26, 2015 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media
Tags: Bob Schieffer, CBS, Face the Nation, false equivalency, Family Research Council, FRC, gay marriage, hate group, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Tony Perkins

tony-perkins-face-the-nation-2015.pngI've said it before and I'll say it again: if there's one thing I can't stand about our current national discourse around LGBT equality, it's the ridiculous abuse and ubiquitous misuse of the false equivalency meme -- the belief that on issues of basic civil and human rights for LGBT people, there exists two equally legitimate "sides."

The false equivalency meme is why even in 2015, news networks covering LGBT issues frequently seek out the opinion of extremists and even hate group leaders in order to appear "balanced" -- even though they wouldn't dare bring on an avowed racist like David Duke to present the "other side" of African-American civil rights or an anti-Semite like Matt Hale to discuss Jewish issues.

Many of us LGBT activists have spilled much ink, both physical and virtual, decrying this shameful phenomenon. In fact one of them, longtime author and advocate Michelangelo Signorile, devoted an entire chapter to it in his new book It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality. But sadly, the mainstream media hasn't gotten the memo yet.

So when someone does get it right (or in this case, almost right), it's refreshing. Enter veteran journalist Bob Schieffer, host of the CBS Sunday morning show Face the Nation, who called out telegenic spokesbigot Tony Perkins for leading a hate group in a segment this morning on marriage equality (via Raw Story):

As the nation prepares for the Supreme Court to possibly decide whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, it was clear on Sunday that even anti-gay crusader Tony Perkins was having difficulty being taken seriously by the mainstream media.

During a discussion about marriage equality on Face the Nation, CBS host Bob Schieffer began by noting that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had determined that Perkins' organization, the Family Research Council, was a "hate group."

The Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group," Schieffer explained as if it were a warning to his viewers. "We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view -- quote -- you don't speak for Christians."

Watch, after the break.

Kudos to Schieffer for putting FRC's well-deserved hate group designation front and center for all to see (and to Evan Wolfson for calling shenanigans on Perkins's bogus claims). Other reporters would do well to follow his example.

But of course, these reporters and television producers really need to just stop booking these homophobic bigots altogether.

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