CNN's Michael Smerconish is just the latest member of the corporate media to prop up the anti-gay zealot hate group leader Tony Perkins. Apparently Smerconish and his producers believed that his audience just could not make it through the day without hearing this bigot's opinion's about John Kasich and his proposal for a new government agency that would promote “Judeo-Christian values” and on the Syrian refugee crisis.
Smerconish likes to read some of his tweets on the air as a regular part of his show. Maybe someone can ask him why he believes this guy should be allowed to pollute our airways for another single minute.
From the SPLC:
About Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group located in Washington, D.C. Perkins has a sordid political history, having once purchased Klansman David Duke’s mailing list for use in a Louisiana political campaign he was managing. In 2001, Perkins gave a speech to a Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group. Since joining the FRC, Perkins has taken the group in a harder anti-LGBT direction, using it to publish false propaganda about that community and contending that gay rights advocates intend to round up Christians in “boxcars.”
In His Own Words:
“The videos are titled ‘It Gets Better.’ They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. … It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.”
—FRC fundraising letter, August 2011
“Those who understand the homosexual community – the activists – they’re very aggressive, they’re – everything they accuse us of they are in triplicate. They’re intolerant, they’re hateful, vile, they’re spiteful. .... To me, that is the height of hatred, to be silent when we know there are individuals that are engaged in activity, behavior, and an agenda that will destroy them and our nation.”
— Speaking to the Oak Initiative Summit, April 2011↓ Story continues below ↓
“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
— FRC website, 2010
The marriage debate “is literally about the entire culture: it’s about the rule of law, it’s about the country, it’s about our future, it’s about redefining the curriculum in our schools, it’s about driving a wedge between parent and child, it’s about the loss of religious freedom, it’s about the inability to be who we are as a people.”
— The Janet Mefford Show, May 22, 2014
Anthony Richard “Tony” Perkins, who since 2003 has served as president of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council (FRC), was born and raised in Cleveland, Okla. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University, a far-right Christian college in Lynchburg, Va., established by the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Louisiana State University. After college, Perkins became a Marine. Following his service, he became a Baton Rouge police officer, where he also served as a law enforcement trainer for the State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, which trains law enforcement around the world.
Perkins claims on the FRC’s website that he resigned from the police force in 1992 due to a disagreement over police tactics in containing anti-abortion protests staged by the rabidly anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. The reality is quite different. According to The Nation, in 1992, while a reserve police officer in Baton Rouge, Perkins failed to report an illegal conspiracy by anti-abortion activists to his superiors. That was Operation Rescue’s “Summer of Purpose,” when the group targeted the Delta Women’s Clinic in Baton Rouge. Perkins was dividing his time between his duties as a volunteer for the city’s police force and his job as a reporter for “Woody Vision,” a local right-wing television station owned by his mentor, Republican state Rep. Louis “Woody” Jenkins. Perkins and his camera crew were a frequent presence outside the clinic, The Nation reported. According to Victor Sachse, a classical record shop owner in the city who volunteered as a patient escort for the clinic, Perkins’ reporting was so consistently slanted and inflammatory that the clinic demanded his removal from its grounds.
In order to control an increasingly tense situation, the police chief had a chain-link fence erected to separate anti-abortion activists from pro-choice protesters, and he called in sheriff’s deputies and prison guards as extra forces. Perkins publicly criticized the department and the chief. Then, after learning about plans for violent tactics by anti-abortion activists to break through police lines and send waves of protesters onto the clinic’s grounds, he failed to inform his superiors on the force. As a result of his actions, Perkins was suspended from duty in 1992, and he subsequently quit the reserve force.
In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Ku Klux Klan leader and state Rep. David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 for filing false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the payment to Duke. Perkins has stated he did not know about the mailing list’s connection to Duke.
Perkins served as a state representative for eight years, starting in 1998. On May 17, 2001, he gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins who addressed the group while standing in front of a Confederate flag, claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, even though it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation. In 1999 – two years before Perkins’ speech to the CCC – Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had been embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson then urged Republicans to avoid the CCC because of its “racist views.” On the FRC’s website, Perkins does not mention this scandal, instead claiming of his political career that “he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.” Perkins served two terms in office, leaving the state Legislature in 2004.
The Duke incident surfaced again in the local press in 2002, when Perkins ran for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, dooming his campaign to a fourth-place finish in the primaries. He joined the FRC following the loss, in the fall of 2003.
Under Perkins’ leadership, the FRC continues to peddle false claims about homosexuality and has made combating the “homosexual agenda” a seemingly obsessive interest. Part of the FRC’s recent strategy is to pound home the false claim that gay men are more likely to sexually abuse children. This is false. The American Psychological Association, among others, has concluded that, “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.”
That doesn’t matter to the FRC, though. Perkins defended the “gay men as pedophiles” claim yet again in a debate on the Nov. 30, 2010, edition of MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews” with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok. As the show ended, Perkins stated, “If you look at the American College of Pediatricians, they say the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a danger to children. So Mark is wrong. He needs to go back and do his own research.”
That's not the end of their report and it doesn't get any better from there. Right Wing Watch has got a list of some of his "greatest hits" as well:
And those are just from the last month or two. CNN and Smerconish's producers need to explain to the public why they believe Americans should care about anything this bigot has got to say, and why he deserves to be given airtime on their network.
You can let them know how you feel here.