Today on MSNBC’s Hardball, Rep. Barney Frank — America’s first openly-gay Congressman — debated Tony Perkins, the head of a certified anti-gay hate group, Family Research Council. The topic: President Obama’s declaration of support of same-sex marriage yesterday. But it is Chris Matthews who made the real news — as he should have. This was the old Chris Matthews hosting the old Hardball, friendships be damned.
Matthews opened up challenging Perkins on a recent statement that he would never have a gay child because he is parenting his children the “right way.” Matthews took issue with it, and Frank threw Dick and Lynn Cheney at Perkins, saying according to his beliefs, the Cheneys were bad parents.
If yesterday was the unveiling of President Barack Obama’s “evolution” on same-sex marriage, today was Chris Matthews’ evolution on hate group leader Tony Perkins. Matthews has been personally and publicly confronted on the virtues of giving Perkins a platform, and thus, tacit support. Today, it seems, Matthews may mentally have rescinded his statement he made a few years ago that Perkins is “always welcome” on his show.
Perkins towards the end actually resorts to lying, saying, “In fact, there is not an excess of children waiting to be adopted.”
If I could, I would pay to have every child waiting to be adopted, every child in foster care, every child who’s homeless, every child who gets shuttled from relative to relative, or friend’s sofa to friend’s sofa, to march into Tony Perkins home and demand an apology.
For the record, at any given moment in this country, there are 2.9 million children in America living with no parents – and 1.6 million American children are homeless. 2.9 million is almost 1 percent of the entire U.S. population – and that figure is seven years old. Half a million U.S. children live with foster parents.
Tony Perkins is way out of touch. As the President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins needs to do some more research. And no one should be donating to the Family research Council anymore. Pathetic.
Perkins just spewed his old boilerplate talking points. It was awesome to see them unraveled and thrown out.
Media Matters notes:
For nearly 15 minutes, Matthews, with the help of Frank, grilled Perkins on his views on homosexuality, marriage equality, and same-sex parenting. Matthews challenged Perkins’ anti-gay misinformation, held him accountable for past statements, and demonstrated how out-of-the-mainstream his extreme positions really are.
This is exactly the kind of interview that major news outlets should be conducting when dealing with someone like Perkins.
Instead of sitting idly by while Perkins peddled his anti-gay talking points, Matthews forced him to defend his positions under serious scrutiny. It’s how responsible news anchors should strive to treat guests who have histories of promoting misinformation, and it’s what audiences should expect to see when watching a serious political discussion.
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