Topic: Media Research Center
Corrine Weaver rants in a July 13 Media Research Center post:
Apparently if you defend the 1st Amendment, you are guilty of hate speech. That’s the argument put forth by several news outlets -- ABC, NBC, CNN -- and even Teen Vogue.
On Tuesday night, June 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech to the members of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious freedom group. The ADF is assisting the Supreme Court case involving Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to bake a gay wedding cake.
Major networks are enraged. In headlines for both ABC and NBC, they called the ADF an “anti-LGBT hate group.” On what would the networks base that characterization? It’s the hysterical assessment of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
How does Weaver know that ADF is not an "anti-LGBT hate group" as defined by the SPLC? The ADF said they weren't, and that's apprently good enough for her,
No, really, that's all the evidence she offers: "In April, 2017, ADF attorney Kellie Fiedorek called the SPLC’s accusation 'simply false,' and stated that ADF is “not motivated by anti-LGBTQ sentiment."
That's it, beyond copying from from ADF's mission statement and touting how ADF "defends religious freedom" (ask, say, a Muslim how well ADF is defending their religious freedom). Weaver makes no attempt to do the very simple thing of looking up the SPLC's writeup on ADF and see the numerous quotes from ADF officials howling about the "homosexual agenda" and demonstrating its "longstanding antipathy toward LGBT people."
In addition to calling the SPLC "hysterical," Weaver rants that the group is engaged in "hate rhetoric" and is an "agenda-driven liberal fund-raising machine" (as if her employer is not also that). Weaver also brings up the story ofFamily Research Council shooter Floyd Corkins and how he "specifically used the “hate map” conveniently provided by the SPLC website" as evidence of the group's "hate rhetoric," ignoring that by the same standard,Operation Rescue has culpability in the murder or abortion doctor George Tiller by OR hanger-on Scott Roeder (the MRC was too busy suggesting Tiller's murder was justified to admit that).
This wasn't the only MRC division to take offense to accurate labelling they don't disprove. Over at CNSNews.com, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue rants:
NBC, ABC, and CNN treat SPLC as if it were some kind of gospel source of information. Yet no serious observer would give credence to an organization that lumps ADF, and the Family Research Council (FRC), with the Westboro Baptist Church. ADF and FRC are prominent and well respected organizations that defend traditional moral values and religious liberty. Westboro Baptist Church is a bona-fide hate group: it unambiguously hates Catholics and gays.
Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is a decent and courageous defender of Christianity. He is not a hateful man. NBC owes him an apology.
CNN should fire Laura Jarrett, the reporter who quoted an activist for contending that ADF believes gays have no right to exist. She should be fired not for smearing ADF, but for incompetence.
Like Weaver, Donohue doesn't disprove the SPLC's contention that ADF hates gays, and he doesn't bother to look up the SPLC's page on ADF for its supporting evidence.
This was followed by a July 16 article by Theresa Smith repeating ADF's demand for an apology from ABC for accurately reporting the SPLC's description of it. Smith unironically repeated ADF official assertion that "Journalists are ethically obligated to present both sides of the story" -- but Smith didn't bother to note the SPLC's evidence backing up its claim or even reach out to the SPLC for a response.
Apparently, right-wing media is exempt from being "ethically obligated to present both sides of the story."
And back at the MRC, Weaver came up with another one of those random covearge comparisons: "ABC and NBC can’t seem to accept the consequences of their mistakes. Instead of focusing on the apology called for by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nets decided to cover Game of Thrones instead, calling it “the show so big it crashed the Internet." As before, Weaver ignored the SPLC's evidence supporting its claim and declared that ADF's denial of hating gays as good enough for her.
This, by the way, is all part of a larger war conservatives are waging against the SPLC for its advocacy and highlighting of right-wing hatred.