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. If these show hosts were tackling these hate mongers, sincerely challenging them or simply demanding they elaborate on the -WHY- and HOW- they came to their bigoted conclusions; then yes, I would understand the purpose. But I too have seen one too many segments on CNN (mostly) or even MSNBC where they have a homophobe who spews drivel against gays, and the hosts at the end says "Pastor, thank you so much for being with us tonight."
    Uhm, so at that point, you're basically giving a massive platform to hate and need to own up to it. And also own up to the fact that in a city like Washington D.C, and many others, anti gay hate crimes are seeing a 50% increase in recent years. Letting these tacky and destructive homophobic talking heads, talk and talk and talk can and does brainwash and fire up a few impressionable loose skrrews to get out there and starting beating gays.

    Posted by: Duration&Convexity | Dec 6, 2012 1:17:36 AM

  2. I've always wondered why our community leaders aren't more outspoken about this issue. So often we have bigots allowed to get on respected news programs and whistle away bigotry against our people. Gays, lesbians, transgenders, and bisexual. Some heavy stuff too. Why don't they have the same kind of people who are against women, Jews, blacks, Hispanics get on their programs and go off about how said demographics are rotten for society and undeserving of equal treatment. That would never happen, and thousands of latino, Jewish, women's, and black organizations ensure that doesn't. Yet it seems suitable enough to have a Tony Perkins get on Soledad O'brains show and say "gay parents damage the children they raise" and not much backlash.


    Posted by: Cali Greg | Dec 6, 2012 1:21:05 AM


    Ratings at the expense of lives is deplorable. Having people like Perkins come on and fuel the fire of backward people by giving the impression that gays are out to take over society is dangerous, and in the most tangibel ways, leading to hate crimes against us. Maybe not in mass numbers, but to even assume the calculating tactics he spreads in making religious people heterosexuals feel threatened by gays is also not contributing to societal homophobia is being very naive. He knows exactly the message he's spreading. These networks should also know better than to help him spread it, and hurt so many GLBT. If these shows can survive without the witch hunts against other groups, they can also without the need to throw our community under the fundementalist bus.

    Posted by: LipstickDiva | Dec 6, 2012 1:29:49 AM

  4. Every time you see this career-homophobe on TV, send an email to the network complaining that they are broadcasting the views of the president of a designated hate group. Would they invite the Grand Wizard of the KKK to discuss current events? Tell them if they feel justified in giving Perkins air time, they should properly introduce him as the president of a hate group. That applies to Ken Blackwell, another face of hate from the FRC.

    Posted by: Richard | Dec 6, 2012 2:10:37 AM

  5. People like Tony Perkins (and now Marco Rubio) are a gift to the Democratic Party.

    Posted by: Oliver | Dec 6, 2012 4:43:15 AM

  6. @Richard, you are on the right track, but those letters of complaint need not be sent to the networks, but to the ADVERTISERS. Complain to them. Tell them we are not getting equal access. Tell them we are being discriminated against, and will not BUY YOUR PRODUCT. Those last three words will strike fear in their hearts...and wallets. Just remember, we WILL NOT BUY your product.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Dec 6, 2012 4:50:04 AM

  7. He looks like a gay guy that I would avoid at first sight. Why is he never asked if his real issue is that he is in the closet. It's obvious and it's sort of common for crazed homophobes.

    Posted by: Markt | Dec 6, 2012 7:28:57 AM

  8. Tom Rick who terminally embarrassed Faux News, responded to MSNBC's subsequent request for an interview by saying that MSNBC was another Faux News - but not as good at it.

    Nate Silver recently remarked he has found that as the number of appearances of a pundit increased, it was an indication of his lack of worth. He paused and proceeded to note that he has had a dramatic increase in the number of appearances and wondered what that said about himself. Love you, Nate.

    @Millerbeach: you sound just like the supposedly boycott-allergic NOM et al. They haven't gotten very far with their boycotts. Thank God. Even with strong corporate support for LGBT issues, I'm not sure we will either. I think we do have a much better chance of appealing to the journalistic quality of the networks.


    A plea for better nomenclature... Please use "Religious Right" when dealing with people like Perkins, Fischer, and their ilk. "Evangelical" properly refers to a group of conservative Christians who are definitely to the left of the "Religious Right" and are proudly so. They are as annoyed with them as we are.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 6, 2012 7:31:26 AM

  9. To be fair, Chris Matthews did invite Barney Frank and Tony Perkins to appear together to debate gay issues.
    You can see Barney Frank was visibly annoyed and destroyed the nonsense Tony Perkins spilled in the usual way.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 6, 2012 8:25:23 AM

  10. So many who have posted on this site seem to fear the free exchange of ideas in a free society. They want the debate rigged in their favor. Many Americans are quite capable of listening to bigots and rejecting their bigotry,

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 6, 2012 9:55:53 AM

  11. We have the media to hold responsible for giving people like Perkins or Ann Coulter a platform. If the media didm't promote these people, they would wither and die, because there are very few people who actually subscribe to their bile. CNN PLEASE STOP GIVING PERKINS AND HIS ILK A PLATFORM!

    Posted by: KenS | Dec 6, 2012 10:06:17 AM

  12. There is reason why KKK not invited by the networks. They simply are not popular any more and no one cares what they say. What is unfortunate is that Tony Perkins and the Church have considerable influence in politics despite the fact what they said is not much different KKK was saying years ago about black people. Quoting my hero Richard Dawkins again:
    "Joseph Ratzinger is the enemy of gay people: bestowing on them the sort of bigotry his church used to reserve for Jews before 1962."
    Yet they get away with it.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 6, 2012 11:43:17 AM

  13. Not only the networks, both Republicans and Democrats were responsible for the dire situation we are in today. Remember they invited New York Archbishop Tim Donut to say prayers in their conventions. They are both afraid to criticize the Church precisely because they are afraid to offend religious voters.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 6, 2012 11:53:21 AM

  14. I agree with much that's been said. But what I'd like to see come into these conversations with Perkins et al is that whole "Biblical world view" thing. To hold centrally the belief that a collection of iron age fables, with their violence, misogyinist, homophobic, anti-semitic, self-conflicting stances is somehow the inerrant word of the creator of the universe, and especially with all that young-earth nonsense, is simply irrational, even delusional. That's what we should be talking up.

    Posted by: Richard | Dec 6, 2012 11:54:47 AM

  15. The problem is the FRC can help "frame the debate" which means that he legitimizes and gives political cover to very bigoted views.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 6, 2012 1:40:13 PM

  16. This might send a bunch of folks into an e-rage, but while we're on the subject of party reform, in addition to getting rid of right-wing religious extremists, how about those on the Uber-bleeding-heart-victims on the left?

    A little fiscal responsibility and national security combined with some socially conscious recovery could be a very real way to perhaps meet in the middle.

    Posted by: DocReality | Dec 7, 2012 3:11:46 AM

  17. I think we all owe Tony Perkins a great big THANK YOU. By keeping the hate going he managed to help win marriage equality in three states, kept it from becoming a constitutional issue in one state and helped keep Mitt Romney from becoming President. I think Mr. Perkins did us one great big favor - wonder if he'll be available to help us again during the next election. Perkins and his cronies are becoming less and less influential and their brand of hatred and bigotry is not longer playing well with the majority of Americans.

    Posted by: ThomT | Dec 7, 2012 10:00:13 AM

  18. Let's not forget that Perkins also predicted a "chick-fil-a" election where all of the religious right would swarm the polls and elect far-right candidates who support the so-call "family values" agenda. Mr. Perkins has proven himself to be a desperate man whose following is waining - I cannot wait for the day that donations fall off to the extent that Tony has to find a REAL job and stopping living off the fear and hatred he has been force feeding his flock.

    Posted by: ThomT | Dec 7, 2012 10:08:09 AM

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