Family Research Council | News | Tony Perkins

Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins Made 56 Appearances on Cable News During GOP Primary


Equality Matters has an excellent and alarming report on cable news appearances by Tony Perkins, President of the rabidly anti-gay Family Research Council, whose group has been designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

PerkinsDespite this designation, Perkins was invited to appear on cable networks a total of 56 times as a credible spokesperson for social conservatives and evangelicals during the GOP primary. Not once did any of the networks mention that Perkins is the leader of a designated hate group.

Equality Matters adds:

"These numbers don’t include appearances that weren't related to the presidential election, like a CNN segment discussing what Jesus Christ would have thought about Occupy Wall Street. The results also don’t include the number of times the networks referenced or discussed Perkins’ election commentary without actually hosting him on air. CNN alone did this 31 times during the primary."

The bulk of Perkins' appearances occurred on MSNBC.

Despite the fact that the FRC has ties to white supremacist groups like the KKK, Perkins was touted, even praised, Equality Matters adds:

After the Iowa caucus, Fox’s Mike Huckabee called FRC “one of the most respected family organizations in America” and lauded Perkins for his “clear understanding, not only of Iowa, but of the process nationally.” Fox host Megyn Kelly called him one of the country’s “top family values conservatives.”

Perkins received similar treatment on MSNBC, where host Chris Matthews praised him for being an “honest conservative,” and stated “I find him fascinating because I do trust him.”

As the networks continue to cover the FRC’s annual Values Voter Summit without noting its association with extreme anti-gay hate groups, it is clear that Perkins has become a major player within the GOP.

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  1. I think that the nation owes Tony Perkins and extremists like him a big thank you for helping to re-elect President Obama and for increasing the number of democrats in the Senate and the House. America saw the face of ignorance and bigotry and moved away from it.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 5, 2012 7:36:47 PM

  2. And until things like this change, and the media stop giving a voice to bigots under the guise of "talking to both sides of a debate", homophobia will continue to have a stranglehold on American society.

    Do I expect things to change? No. These cable networks don't want to be labeled biased and they don't care about the social implications of their actions. Plus, as Dana Milbank said this summer, FRC is a "Washington conservative think-tank", code words for, they are in the DC circle. Tony Perkins is fully fledged in the DC circle. DC people protect DC people.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 5, 2012 7:41:32 PM

  3. As Andrew said, the TV appearances of Sununu and Tony Perkins was part of the reason Mitt Romney lost the election. If the GOP is serious about reforming the party, they should distance themselves from the extreme right wing of the party.
    Catering to the Evangelicals is not going to save the party.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 5, 2012 8:07:29 PM

  4. Is MSNBC in bed with the Republican Party? Or just some hot Republicans like Aaron Schock?

    Posted by: bravo | Dec 5, 2012 8:25:37 PM

  5. I don't endorse giving a a certified Hate Group leader a public spotlight. Hardly.

    But. It's no accident that MSNBC puts this guy on the air. They are happy to let Perkins make a completely ridiculous @ss of Republicans, in the glorious court of public opinion.

    Posted by: Lars | Dec 5, 2012 8:26:16 PM

  6. And this is why Chris Matthews has lost credibility. Not to mention that Matthews isn't intelligent enough about LGBT issues to ask intelligent enough questions. Which means that his purpose for inviting Perkins is to fill the spot and garner ratings. Chris Matthews, for whatever other good things he's done, is a media prostitute after all.

    Posted by: belo | Dec 5, 2012 8:27:42 PM

  7. I agree, Lars, and MSNBC generally does a good job of challenging this idiot with an LGBTQ activist, and Rachel and Thomas have done well in destroying his arguments. But Belo is right, Chris Matthews isn't a good spokesperson for us. His heart I think is in the right place, but he's not well spoken enough on our issues. He doesn't do well enough at correcting Tony Perkins' lies. He'll just call him wrong, without detailing why.

    I don't think he allows Perkins on air for ratings. Especially since, actually, they don't talk about homosexuality often when Perkins is on Hardball. They talk general politics. I think Chris Matthews genuinely respects Tony Perkins and that's why he puts him on his show quite often.

    That's the problem. Tony Perkins doesn't go on these shows to condemn us each and every time; Tony Perkins is seen as a DC insider. He's seen as a political pundit. When his primary goal is destroying the gay community. He's given a legitimacy he hasn't earned, and he doesn't deserve. And with that, it gives an extreme anti-gay organization a place at the table and influence on laws.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 5, 2012 8:49:26 PM

  8. I likew Chris Matthews. He is a strong supporter of the democratic party and progressive causes in general. I think he reaches a lot of middle and working class white guys that are turned off by a lot of the more "sophisticated" liberals. Chris got his start as an assisstant of Tip's, the can do "bread and butter" democrat and one time Speaker of the House.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 5, 2012 9:07:44 PM

  9. Aside from his rabid homophobia, it's thanks to people like to people like Tony Perkins that Republicans can't or won't answer a simple question like, "How old is the Earth?" They're so afraid of offending the nutball Religious Right they have to at least pretend it poofed into existence about 6-10,000 years ago.

    And if they won't even go against these idiots on BASIC science questions, what are the chances they'll stand up to them on gay rights or any other issue? About zero. It's due to the FRC, FOTF, and all the rest that the line up of GOP candidates was people like Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, and Romney.

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 5, 2012 9:10:27 PM

  10. Speaking of Chris Matthews, he may not be too familiar with LGBT issues, that's why he was not sure if the made-up statistics by Tony Perkins was valid or not. He did destroy the arguments of a Tea Party spokesman in an interview though. I remember it was about Michele Bachman's ridiculous speech on the Founding Fathers getting rid of slavery. He virtually lectured the spokesman on American history.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 5, 2012 9:11:58 PM


    Posted by: ACe | Dec 5, 2012 9:22:52 PM

  12. I favor giving Perkins all the airtime possible, especially during Republican Presidential primaries. He forces the Republican candidates so far to the extreme he assures their loss in the general election.

    Posted by: PLAINTOM | Dec 5, 2012 9:24:18 PM

  13. This is why I don't watch mainstream news and would rather get my info from aggregated news blogs like this. And, really, MSNBC? You're considered one of the more liberal news channels. Soooo lazy, so what. Boring, predictable, sophmoric and in some respects, Fox-lite. (I guess I couldn't get any more insulting than that last bit.) Be big boys and do something worthwhile like looking for a real person instead of the "angry dog straining at his leash", reptilian cortexed, f**kwads (and I apologize to all ejaculates for that).

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Dec 5, 2012 9:25:44 PM

  14. Tony wants to be the next Hitler, we need to keep an eye on him and make sure they stop him before him and his anti-gay Christian Nazis start killing people. Remember Hitler was Catholic and so were the majority of Nazi Germany who went along with the mad man Hitler on his plans to take over the world.

    Posted by: Ted | Dec 5, 2012 9:30:25 PM

  15. @Ted: Hitler was raised Catholic but ceased to participate in that church after childhood. The German census of May 1939 shows that 54% of the German people considered themselves Protestant and 40% considered themselves Catholic.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 5, 2012 10:10:42 PM

  16. Heres the racist b!tch tony

    Heres the founder of Tony's FRC, George Rekers. Rekers also ran Narth that claims to fix gays, but he couldnt fix himself.

    Posted by: stevemd2 | Dec 5, 2012 10:33:20 PM

  17. Andrew- dont give the catholic church any credence.

    It was responsible for the hatred of Jews that led to the holocaust and hitlers election

    Heres' some pixx of the church supporting the nazi regime

    Posted by: stevemd2 | Dec 5, 2012 10:35:13 PM

  18. @SteveMVD2: no credence just the facts. All the Christian religions; Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox were anti-semetic and laid the ground work for Hitler. One of the most outspoken and virulent anti-semites was Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 5, 2012 10:46:15 PM

    is an interesting clip featuring Richard Dawkins giving a speech attacking the Pope and the Church.
    He pointed out though Hitler was not a practising Catholic, he was baptised and he did invoked God in a passage of Mein Kampf. When Hitler escaped assassination and the Bishop of Munich ordered a special Te Deum in Munich Cathedral, quote: “To thank Divine Providence, in the name of the Archdiocese for the Fuhrer's fortunate escape.”

    Posted by: simon | Dec 5, 2012 10:48:59 PM

  20. I might add that the religious basis for the anti-semitism is to be found in the New Testament books written mostly by Jewish Christians attacking their fellow Jews who refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 5, 2012 10:50:04 PM

  21. None of this is as alarming as having watched the PBS Newshour host Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, and Thomas Peters over the last 5 years.

    Posted by: Credibility at stake. | Dec 5, 2012 10:54:10 PM

  22. I watch a lot of MSNBC, particularly Rachel Maddow, Ed Schulz and (LOL) Chris Matthews! However, as with any political speaker, I keep my tongue in my cheek and try to analyze what they are saying with a resolute concept that, after all, they are vying for ratings and have to answer to their bosses...who ever the Boss might be!

    Posted by: Goodcarver | Dec 5, 2012 11:28:13 PM

  23. CNN is the WORST at this.

    WORST NETWORK EVER. I swear, CNN has yet to do coverage on virtually any gay related story or legislation without always having an extremely anti gay voice as a counter point. It's beyond insulting, it leads to the idea that CNN really believes there should be balance in a discussion about prejudice. How about celebrating when gay rights legislations occur, as opposed to ALWAYS having an anti gay force that belittles us on your programs.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Dec 6, 2012 1:05:10 AM

  24. I stopped watching CNN for this very reason. If you are keen enough, you've observed them invite very homophobic leaders and individuals for various gay related segments. Often times, the host will ask a follow up question, but very rarely ever challenges the hate and ignorance against LGBT being aired. At a certain point, it just becomes a platform to give to homophobic talking points. It's damaging, insulting, and is the thing that enables harrasment, hate crimes, and bullying of our LGBT and LGBT youth.
    CNN needs to do some soul searching. I as a viewer have walked away from that channel last year.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Dec 6, 2012 1:07:25 AM

  25. For me, the question is very simple actually:

    1.) Why don't these networks bring up a KKK member as a guest when discussing African American issues of injustice?

    2.) Why isn't a Sheriff Joe like individual who is deeply anti latino consistently featured in illegal immigration pieces on CNN for example? Heck, CNN devotes special to the plight of illegal immigrants in our nation, two hour long specials, one done last September. It tells the story and struggle from the narrative of a Latino immigrant. NOT of those against them.

    Yet please give me a rational argument why when our injustices we face as a gay community, why when our name is so much mentioned on a broadcast, there is bound to always be a militant anti-gay force on the panel? Because having a balanced discussion of varrying opinions, be they hate laced too, only applies to one demographic in our journalistic spectrum: the gay community? Seems like it.

    Posted by: LipstickDiva | Dec 6, 2012 1:12:17 AM

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