Equality Matters

MSNBC's Matthews Hosts Hate Monger To Discuss How He Wouldn't Host A Hate Monger

February 10, 2012 5:14 pm ET - by Carlos Maza

On the February 9 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, Chris Matthews invited Salon.com’s Joan Walsh and anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins to discuss the “overheated” anti-Obama comments being made by religious conservatives at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

During the segment, Perkins began listing examples of the Obama administration’s “hostility to religion,” including the decision to disinvite Franklin Graham from a special Pentagon prayer service after he made a number of comments condemning Islam

Matthews interrupted, calling Graham a “disgrace” and stating that he would have made the same decision:

PERKINS: We’ve seen Reverend Franklin Graham disinvited to the Pentagon. Just last week we had Jerry –

MATTHEWS: Well I wouldn’t invite him either because Franklin Graham is a disgrace. OK, I don’t think he’s a typical Christian minister, do you?


MATTHEWS: With his commentaries on Islam? And his comments - his partisanship?

PERKINS: He was going to a National Day of Prayer event to speak and you look at the work that he has done in helping Muslims, non-Muslims around the world, it’s quite amazing.

The irony, of course, is that Perkins himself is no stranger to condemning Islam and making ridiculous, partisan attacks against the president. Perkins – who himself has been disinvited from a prayer event for his anti-gay extremism – openly defended Franklin’s remarks, claiming the reverend had been targeted by “anti-Christian zealots” looking to “sever America’s ties with orthodox Christianity.”

Perkins has declared that people carrying out the teachings of Islam have perpetrated “great evils” on society. In 2009, Perkins announced that “the soil of the Islamic faith just does not work with democracy.” His group, the Family Research Council, has even published a report warning of the threat Shariah law allegedly poses to the U.S. Constitution.

As for extreme partisanship, Perkins has claimed that Obama is working to “destroy religious freedom,” has a “disdain for Christianity,” and “seems to be advancing the idea of the Islamic religion.” On two separate occasions, Perkins has warned that Obama’s reelection could mean the end of the United States.

None of this, though, seems to bother Matthews, who consistently treats Perkins like a legitimate political commentator while showering him with on-air praise (as long as Perkins isn’t defending Graham).

Graham’s right-wing extremism may make him a “disgrace” in Matthews’ eyes, but when Perkins makes almost identical remarks, he’s treated like an ol’ pal.


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