A petition by Faithful America says Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council here in D.C., who’s often asked by all the major networks—not just CNN—to speak for Christian voters, doesn’t represent all Christians. They wanted 15,000 signatures and they’ve received over 32,000.
A big issue here seems to be that using a single voice to represent something as amorphous as American Christianity is a tad simplistic and to some Christians, maybe even offensive? The petition notes a segment with Perkins and Wolf Blitzer, from when the Supreme Court struck down a part of the Defense of Marriage Act last month.
They say Perkins “falsely warned that the court decision would lead to ‘religious organizations losing their exemption,’” and that Blitzer “failed to challenge Perkins’ lies, nor did his segment feature any Christian leaders with a different point of view — despite polls showing that a majority of Christians actually oppose the Defense of Marriage Act.”
Another sticking point is that the Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-gay propaganda. Rarely, if ever, does CNN or any of the other networks that host Perkins mention this, yet they continue to put him on air while hiding behind some mythical notion of objectivity as if it’s a shield that protects them from all responsibility for their own decision-making.
We’d thought this tide was turning for CNN when anchor Brooke Baldwin finally challenged his consistent gay bashing on their airwaves in a segment last year. Even Soledad O’Brien has taken time to ask him a few hard questions. But, why is he on the air at all?
It’s one thing to air differing opinions, it’s another to spread hate and animosity under the guise of “objective” news. Was anyone from the KKK on CNN talking about the Voting Rights Act or the Trayvon Martin case? Bet they have an opinion on those things. If DOMA had been about interracial marriage instead of gay marriage, would CNN have put someone who’d called African Americans “vile,” “morally wrong,” “pedophiles,” “spiteful,” “hateful,” “pawns of the devel,” etc., as Perkins has said of gays, on the air to discuss it? Probably not. How is this different? Please, someone from CNN get in touch and explain it to us.
Media Matters has a little more on the petition, including a handy chart tracking Perkins’ media appearances this year.
We sought comment from CNN and will report back if they give us anything.