Fox News' appeal to conservative victimization has reached a new height (or is it low!) in its providing a showcase for Tony Perkins (and his apologist Michelle Malkin) to claim that the Family Research Council was targeted as a result of the hatred being spread by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meanwhile, nothing has been said, by either Perkins or his Fox abetters, about the reasons for the hate group designation; i.e. not because the FRC opposes "traditional" marriage but because they have a long history of denigrating and defaming the LGBT community. In the Orwellian world of the FRC and Fox News, it's the SPLC who not only hate good Christians but, according to Perkins, gave the shooter a "license to shoot." (Perkins never said that about Bill O'Reilly whose nationally televised invective against an abortion provider did contribute to a climate of hate in which the doctor was murdered). In addition to appearing on The Factor and America Live, Perkins got some warm, Christian fellowship from Mike Huckabee who continued the deflecting and smearing that's key to the conservative victimization that Fox specializes in.
Last Saturday, Huckabee began by citing the "huge pile of money" held by the SPLC. He didn't mention the FRC's assets which are listed as $12,516,000. He noted that the SPLC spends "a lot of time" accusing family values organizations of being hate groups and that Perkins was "bold" in speaking out about the "atmosphere" which contributed to the shooting. In response to Huckabee's question about the reason for the classification, Perkins insulted the SPLC's lack of "integrity" and accused them of "making money off of the spreading of hostility." (on Fox, oh, the irony!) The chyron stated, as Fox Fact, that the "FRC Promotes Faith, Freedom, and Family." Perkins claimed that they are being attacked for the policy on marriage and their "religious position on homosexuality." (Right, gays are going to hell, badda boom) He then made his patented claim that this is fostering a hostile environment. After citing the Chick-fil-A sandwich bags that the shooter possessed, he dismissed the connections between the food chain and the FRC. And while he didn't have the details, he accused the media of constantly mentioning the FRC, in their Chick fil-A coverage, as a hate group and that, according to Perkins, gave the shooter "a license to shoot."
Using data from the right wing shill, Brent Bozell, Huckabee then attacked the media for not sufficiently covering the shooting and not exposing the shooters "connections to a gay rights group" and if that happened at Planned Parenthood, the coverage would have been different. To Huck's question about media coverage, Perkins admitted that he hadn't tracked it, although he praised Fox for its coverage. He then proceeded to trash the SPLC for "creating this atmosphere of hostility." He asked gay groups, who expressed their condolences to the FRC, to urge the SPLC to "stop the labelling" (On Fox! Oh, the irony!) of groups that stand for "traditional moral values." He claimed (again, the irony) that "there's no place for this in a constitutional republic." He whined about freedom of speech. Huck said he brought "light to the story." (Oh, no he didn't!)
The lack of media coverage is based on testimony from a right wing site, so it's debatable. But it does give Fox the opportunity to, once again, showcase Christian right wing victimhood so score one for Fox. What's worse is Perkins' claim that this unfounded media bias contributed to the shooting. Unlike Bill O'Reilly's ongoing national crusade against Dr. Tiller, the mention of the FRC in the Chick-fil-A controversy (and we don't have any data on the number of mentions), as a hate group (a fact) occurred in a limited period of time. What's worse is that while Perkins accuses the SPLC of also contributing to the shooting, he and Fox scrupulously avoid mentioning that the FRC's "traditional moral values" include denigration of gays. In an open letter to Perkins, Michelangelo Signorile demonstrates the hollow nature of Perkins claim to the moral high ground:
"The FRC has distributed a pamphlet that shows gay men and lesbians, falsely, as physically and mentally ill pedophiles who can be cured, and another that begins by likening same-sex marriage to man-horse marriage (and uses a horse graphic). Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies,said in 1999, "Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement," and an FRC pamphlet from that year, titled "Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys," states, "One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual order"." Signorile also notes that the FRC's "reckless claims" provide inspiration for those who would harm gays by discriminating against them and bullying them."
You won't hear anything about that on family values defending Fox "News."
I decided to point out that as long as Perkins and other FRC leaders choose to denigrate LGBTs with vile and disgusting comments, then they deserve the hate group tag.