Is Chris Matthews “evolving” on his position of allowing Tony Perkins a platform on Hardball? Matthews, the longtime MSNBC stalwart and “Hardball” host was again approached by members of Faithful America, a group of progressive Christians who support the LGBT community, about his insistence to keep the door open to Tony Perkins, the head of the certified anti-gay hate group Family Research Council (FRC), but this time Matthews admitted a change of heart. The 66-year old journalist confessed he has been talking with his producers about hosting Perkins, but is opposed to “censoring opinion.” Faith In America made the case that Perkins having an MSNBC platform gave his anti-gay views credibility. Matthews responded, “I think that’s an argument — that’s a good argument.”
Here’s the video and transcript via Faith in Public Life:
MATTHEWS: Why don’t you think I should have him on my show?
Q: You said that you wouldn’t have Franklin Graham on your show earlier this year because he tells hateful lies and I was wondering if you thought that was a different standard.
MATTHEWS: Well you got to make your case, you know. I talked about this with my producers last night and we’re trying to decide how to deal with it. My view is I don’t like censoring opinion and Tony Perkins has been on this show and he hasn’t said something like that on my show, he doesn’t talk like that on Hardball.*
Q: Do you think it gives him credibility when he’s on Hardball though, for what he says off Hardball?
MATTHEWS: You know I think that’s an argument — that’s a good argument. I’m thinking about it. You’re doing the right thing, you’re doing the right thing keep it up. You know where I stand on the issues that I care about, you know. And I’m probably with you on these issues but I got to think it through.
Nick Sementelli at Faith in Public Life adds:
In what will likely come as a disappointment to the right-wing activists who have been celebrating Matthews’s comments as an endorsement of their “right” to spread lies on TV, Mathews clearly indicates that he’s taking these concerns seriously, doesn’t have a good answer, and has already begun conversations with his producers about it.
Faithful America, GLAAD and the other organizations and individuals who are working to educate the media about the problems with hosting spokespeople who tell hateful lies should take this as a sign that they’re making real progress and should keep up their efforts.
*As before, Matthews seems to have forgotten about his November 2010 show in which Perkins specifically cited debunked research to claim that gay men are more likely to molest children.
As a reminder, the last time Faithful America approached Matthews, we wrote:
Perkins runs a certified hate group. If MSNBC were doing a segment on, say, race relations in America, would they find it acceptable to host a member of the KKK as “balance”? Of course not. There is no difference. A hate group is a hate group, and the SPLC does not award that distinction lightly. They also study groups, sometimes for years, and document the actions that meet their definition of “hate group.” Generally, it centers on disseminating false information about a group of people who were “born that way.”
(Speaking of the KKK, Perkins actually has ties to the KKK, having reportedly given them over $80,000 for their mailing list. That says so much about who he’s trying to appeal to.)
Second, what exactly makes Perkins an expert on homosexuality? Just because he’s in the business to stamp out our rights does not make him an expert.
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