July 5, 2015

From this Sunday's Media Buzz on Faux "news," Howie Kurtz and the National Review's Jim Geraghty are terribly upset the anti-gay bigots might not be getting a fair shake from the media. Whose going to look out for those poor, downtrodden Christian "conservatives" who feel their right to bash gay people is being oppressed?

KURTZ: What message does the overall media coverage send to those who oppose gay marriage? It's forty percent of the country by the way.

GERAGHTY: Sure. Earlier this week, it was Ben Smith of BuzzFeed, told his old employer Politico, “We firmly believe on a number of issues, there are not two sides.” Now if you want to be that kind of... of that perspective, that's perfectly fine. Don't pretend you're unbiased then. Don't pretend that you're objective and nonpartisan and all that. But on this issue, the press has decided one side of effectively illegitimate, that one side is effectively evil.

They'll be neutral on all kinds of different issues... Sharia law, ISIS, the Castro regime in Cuba. We're not going to take a side on that one. We're not going to take a side on that one. But on the issue of... if you oppose two men getting married or two women getting married, we will call that out as evil.

I don't recall a single person in the national media calling the bigotry we've seen "evil" but the right does love their drama.

KURTZ: On the other hand Mara, are some conservatives, including here on Fox pushing a narrative that the Supreme Court ruling could threaten religious freedom, lead to legal polygamy, and other slippery slope events?

LIASSON: Yeah, I think there's an overreaction on both sides. I mean, first of all, the Supreme Court is important. It tells you what the law of the land is. Marriage equality, same-sex marriage, whatever you want to call it, is now the law of the land and conservatives are going to have to adjust.

If there are examples where people are forced to do things that are against their religious beliefs, there's going to be a big controversy about it.

KURTZ: So there's some on that side as well?

LIASSON: Absolutely.

KURTZ: But this is not about what I think about marriage. It's what I think about balanced journalism and I can't remember another time in my career where I have felt that the coverage has been so one sided for a position that until three years ago, Barack Obama held, until two years ago, Hillary Clinton held, which is that they were for traditional marriage.

Both sides! Both sides! Sorry Howie, but the Democrats behaving badly in the past doesn't excuse those who are behaving badly now.

After Roll Call's Christina Bellantoni discussed how hard it was even a couple of years ago to find anyone to come on PBS, where she worked at the time and give the anti-gay bigots “side” of the argument on the air and now hard it's becoming now to find members of Congress who want to defend the religious right, the National Review's Jim Geraghty chimed back in.

GERAGHTY: Can we at least just rerun the footage of Obama telling Rick Warren he believed marriage was between a man and a woman? Would that sit and stand as an anti-gay marriage position?

Which was followed by NPR's Mara Liasson accidentally going off script with her both-siderism as well.

LIASSON: There's settled law and settled beliefs. Do we have to have a white supremacist on every single time we talk about a civil rights issue? No.

Exactly, unless of course you're Fox "news" or one of the other cable networks. Then you just have a white supremacist on for "balance" once in a while. That didn't sit too well with Geraghty of course, who jumped her for it a bit later and had her trying to walk her statement back. How dare she compare anti-gay right wing bigots to white supremacists? The nerve!

LIASSON: I'm not saying that. I'm saying at some point, just picking up on Christina's comment where it's hard to find people on the other side. At some point public opinion tips so far... (crosstalk) It hasn't tipped that far on gay marriage. It certainly has tipped that far in civil rights and you know what? It wasn't hard to find people who are opposed to the Supreme Court decision. They were... plenty of them were running for president in the Republican party!

Which of course Howard couldn't let go without one last comment on whether it's fair or not to call these people bigots. Liasson should have stuck to her guns because she was correct the first time.

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