Fox News Hosts Tony Perkins Three Times In Eight Days
August 16, 2011 3:36 pm ET by Carlos Maza
Tony Perkins may be welcome to appear on every major cable news network, but Fox News clearly holds a special place in its heart for him.
Perkins -- president of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group the Family Research Council (FRC) -- has made three appearances on the network in just over one week to discuss issues ranging from religion in school to the results of the recent Iowa presidential straw poll.
It began on August 6, when Fox invited Perkins to take part in a painfully one-sided segment defending Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s weekend prayer rally. During the segment, Fox host Molly Henneberg promoted FRC’s (sparsely attended) bus tour without bothering to mention the group’s “hate group” designation.
On August 13, Perkins was invited back on Fox’s Huckabee to discuss the results of Saturday’s GOP presidential straw poll. At the beginning of the segment, host Mike Huckabee called the FRC “one of the most respected family organizations in America.” Huckabee also commended Perkins for his “clear understanding” of politics in Iowa and nationally:
Perkins was back on Fox the very next day to debate a Mississippi public school principal’s religious affiliations. During the segment, Perkins asserted that allowing school officials to inject their religious beliefs into their jobs would create “better outcomes” in school:
In less than seven days, Fox News managed to depict Perkins as a credible source of commentary on religious liberty, presidential politics, and education policy. Not once did they mention his or FRC’s long history of promoting extreme anti-LGBT smears, misinformation, and hate speech.
Fox is no stranger to calling on hate groups to provide conservative commentary, but this is still remarkable. If the past week is any indication, Fox News' reliance on hate groups might be turning into the rule and not the exception.