On Wednesday's edition of her show, CNN's Soledad O’Brien spoke with Tony Perkins - head of the Family Research Council (FRC), a recognized hate group. In their discussion, Perkins and O'Brien discussed the Boy Scouts consideration in removing the long-standing gay ban - and Perkins had some typically hateful things to say. Mostly, he used debunked studies and pseudo-science to argue against lifting the ban. Perkins argued that allowing gays into the Boy Scouts would increase the occurrence of sexual abuse, pedophilia, and "stress" among scouts that their fellow scouts may be sexually attracted to them. Perkins' arguments went so far out into the fringe that even gay bashers that use the "he hit on me" excuse in court think he's out there.
As has become standard on her show, O'Brien didn't let Perkins get away with falsities or excuses. She challenged his notion of upholding decades of "morality," a "core value" the scouts are sworn to uphold. She pointed out the many instances in the past where upholding this same code have since been shown to merely be a smokescreen for discriminatory practices.Some of the examples of "morality" she offered included pregnant teachers being removed from the classroom and African Americans in the military.
When pressed on his argument that all gays are pedophiles - an argument he consistently alluded to in his guarded conservative talking pointd - he continually avoided the question. Good As You had a good take on his response:
Tony, whether he owns it or not, is conflating an attraction to adult men with an attraction to boys. This is reprehensible and offensive! No one sexual orientation geared towards adult humans is just a hop, skip, and jump away from an attraction to little boys. Tony, led by both his political agenda and his documented animus for LGBT people, is 100% suggesting that homosexuality is just that short hop away from pedophilia. The least he could do is own his game plan!
And no, I will not take a shred of responsibility for the straight-identified heterosexuals (often married, often Christian, often conservative) who abuse children. Most all of us, LGBTQA or S, condemn this behavior in the strongest way available to us. Tony knows this. It’s just that Tony also knows that he can get some mileage out of making gay people seem like the pathway toward complete child violation, corruption, or even destruction, so he intimates and hints and just throws these kinds of things out there in hopes that enough people will hear the dog whistle that he’s delivering behind the layer of protestation (e.g. “No one’s saying all gay men are pedophiles”) that he thinks gives him cover. We see right through it, Tony.
Here's the video where O'Brien lays down the law with Perkins:
I think the better question here - not that O'Brien did a poor job in interviewing - is why CNN continues to give hate groups a platform to deliver hateful messages laced with debunked science? Offering false testimony as a way of presenting "both sides of the story" isn't just false equivalency, it's lazy journalism.