CNN Invites Anti-Gay Hate Group Leader To Breakfast
January 19, 2012 2:59 pm ET by Carlos Maza
Last Friday, CNN’s newest show Starting Point interviewed Tony Perkins – president of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-gay “hate group” Family Research Council (FRC) – about his participation in a recent summit of conservative religious leaders.
This morning, Perkins was back on the show, this time joining host Soledad O’Brien in a South Carolina diner to discuss how Evangelicals and born-again Christians might vote in the GOP presidential primary:
At the end of the segment, O’Brien invited Perkins to “stick around for some breakfast.”
As is the norm for cable news hosts, O’Brien failed to acknowledge Perkins’ status as an anti-gay hate group leader, instead treating him as a respectable and legitimate source of political commentary.
More importantly, the segment continued the media’s habit of treating Perkins like a spokesperson for the Evangelical and Christian community. As Faithful America’s Michael Sherrard recently told Equality Matters:
I think the thing that’s particularly concerning for us and for our members is that they would be on the air representing the faith community. When Tony Perkins is on MSNBC, as often as not he’s being asked ‘how are Christian voters perceiving these presidential candidates?’ or ‘what issues are of concern to Evangelicals?’ And so for our members, frankly, this is really a misrepresentation of our faith.
Last year, an Equality Matters report found that Perkins had appeared on CNN five times in the twelve months after the Family Research Council was listed as a hate group in November 2010. In the past two months, CNN has already matched that number.