Fox & Friends recently hosted Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled an anti-gay “hate group.” Lafferty, who has described SPLC's designation of her group as a “badge of honor,” is the latest member of an organization that SPLC has designated as a hate group or otherwise criticized for propagating hateful rhetoric to be invited to speak on Fox News.
Fox Hosts TVC President Andrea Lafferty
Fox & Friends Hosts TVC President Andrea Lafferty. On the August 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, the co-hosts interviewed Andrea Lafferty, head of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), about TVC's report criticizing grants funded by the National Institute of Health. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/4/11]
Southern Poverty Law Center: TVC Is An Anti-Gay “Hate Group”
SPLC Labels TVC An Anti-Gay “Hate Group.” According to the SPLC, TVC will be listed as an anti-gay hate group as of 2011. SPLC elevates anti-gay groups to hate group status “based on their propagation of known falsehoods -- claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities -- and repeated, groundless name-calling.” From SPLC:
The group has at times enjoyed remarkable access to the halls of power -- during the George W. Bush Administration, Sheldon and Lafferty visited the White House a combined 69 times, meeting personally with Bush in eight of the visits. But that does not mean that it has not long had a record of extreme gay-bashing.
In 1985, [TVC founder Lou] Sheldon suggested forcing AIDS victims into “cities of refuge.” In 1992, columnist Jimmy Breslin said that Sheldon told him that “homosexuals are dangerous. They proselytize. They come to the door, and if your son answers and nobody is there to stop it, they grab the son and run off with him. They steal him. They take him away and turn him into a homosexual.” Sheldon later denied that he made the comments, but his website today includes strikingly similar language: "[S]ince homosexuals can't reproduce, they will simply go after your children for seduction and conversion to homosexuality." Elsewhere, it claims that "[t]he effort to push adult/child sex ... is part of the overall homosexual movement."
The TVC also asserts that “it is evident that homosexuals molest children at a far greater rate than do their heterosexual counterparts” -- a falsehood based on conflating male-male molestation with homosexuality. Gays, it says, molest children at “epidemic rates,” adding: “As homosexuals continue to make inroads into public schools, more children will be molested and indoctrinated into the world of homosexuality. Many of them will die in that world.” With regard to LGBT teen suicides, TVC, under the headline “Homosexual Urban Legends,” claims that "[t]he cold, hard fact is that teens who are struggling with homosexual feelings are more likely to be sexually molested by a homosexual school counselor or teacher than to commit suicide over their feelings of despair."
The TVC also makes assertions on its website about disproportionate homosexual pedophilia and attacks the idea that people are born gay and the claim that gays want the right to marry for the same reasons that heterosexuals do -- the TVC suggests the real purpose of marriage equality is to destroy the concept of marriage and ultimately replace it altogether with group sex and polygamy. [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 8/5/11]
Lafferty Considers TVC's Hate Group Designation To Be A “Badge Of Honor.” In an April 22, 2010, post on her blog, Lafferty described TVC's status as a hate group to be a “badge of honor.” From Lafferty's blog:
The best [TVC opponent Dr. Jillian] Weiss and his allies can do to defend ENDA is trying to link Traditional Values Coalition as a hate group. In his argument against TVC, Weiss brings up the red herring that our organization is listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Actually, it is a badge of honor for TVC to be listed by the SPLC as a “hate group.” It proves we're effective in challenging liberalism, socialism, and the LGBT agenda. [AndreaLafferty.org, 4/22/10]
Indeed, Lafferty And TVC Have A Long History Of Extreme Anti-Gay Rhetoric
Lafferty: Gays “Want Sodomy And ... Everyone In America To Embrace Their Depraved Behaviors.” In an April 30, 2009, post on her blog, Lafferty claimed:
[LGBT activists] desecrated a cemetery where Samuel Adams and other Revolutionary War heroes are buried. But, why should that matter? They want sodomy and they want everyone in America to embrace their depraved behaviors. Anyone who opposes them faces vilification, harassment, and violence.
The Congress springs into action to defend the “rights” of homosexuals, pedophiles and necrophiliacs, but no one is there to enforce the law when Christians are targeted by the politically-correct armies of extremists. [AndreaLafferty.org, 4/30/09]
Lafferty: “Our Nation, Families, And Our Religious Liberties Will Suffer” Due To LGBT Equality Measures. In a June 18, 2009, post on her blog, Lafferty wrote:
Yesterday at a stealth White House event, President Obama signed a memorandum extending benefits to gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender sex partners of federal employees.
During the signing, Obama said, “We all have to acknowledge this is only one step.”
President Obama is, so to speak, in bed with the LGBT activist movement and he can be expected to give them whatever they demand over the next four years. Our nation, families, and our religious liberties will suffer for his decisions. [AndreaLafferty.org, 6/18/09]
Lafferty: “Gays Really Aren't Interested In Marriage ... They Really Want” To “Overthrow The Institution Of Marriage Altogether.” In a July 31, 2009, post on her blog, Lafferty called Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who is a lesbian, a “gay activist ... who masquerades as a Congressman” and complained she proposed legislation to “give gay federal employees 'domestic partner' benefits for their sex partners.” Lafferty further claimed:
Gays really aren't interested in marriage anyway. What they really want is to overthrow the institution of marriage altogether and legalize a whole range of bizarre sexual arrangements, which will include polygamy and polyamory. They have openly admitted this as their goal.
Gay activist Baldwin is playing a key role in the destruction of the institution of marriage. Voters in her district should keep this in mind in 2010. [AndreaLafferty.org, 7/31/09]
Lafferty Claimed Ending DADT Would Cause The Military To “Become A Captive Of The LGBT Political Agenda.” In a December 10, 2010, blog post, Lafferty claimed of the potential repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” :
In short, the military will become a captive of the LGBT political agenda and soldiers will be forcibly retrained to accept homosexual behaviors or they will be forced out of the service. This is no way to treat our Armed Forces - especially when we're fighting two wars and face a possible third conflict with North Korea.
Our military is too important to be subjected to a social experiment by forcing warriors to associate with individuals with same-sex attractions in close quarters. [AndreaLafferty.org, 12/10/10]
Lafferty Complained ENDA Would Prevent Schools From Discrimination. In an April 20, 2010, Roll Call op-ed, Lafferty claimed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a “time bomb” and complained “every public school in America will not be able to discriminate in hiring transgender teachers, and it will be illegal to reassign them from the classroom.” [Roll Call, 4/20/10]
Lafferty Claimed DADT Policy Hearing was a “Pro-Homosexual Love Fest.” In a February 3, 2010, post on the TVC website, Lafferty called a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on DADT, a “pro-homosexual love fest.” From the Traditional Values Coalition:
Yesterday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT) policy on gays and lesbians in the military was a pro-homosexual love fest among most of the Senators and the two panelists who spoke.
What was conspicuously absent in the discussion of DADT, was any mention of transgendered individuals serving openly in the military. This omission is significant because the LGBTQ movement has fully embraced the gaggle of cross-dressers, drag queens, transsexuals and she-males (males with female breasts and male genitals).
These transgendered individuals have a mental disorder known as a Gender Identity Disorder and/or Transvestic Fetishism.
Transgenders are lobbying to serve openly in the military, but they face the obstacle of the military still considering sex change operations and transsexualism to be evidence of disordered thinking.
The LGBTQ movement has deliberately left transgendered persons out of any military discussion because they know this is a “bridge too far” for them to accomplish right now. They will first get their gay, lesbian and bisexual goals done and then come back later to demand that she-males and other mentally disordered persons be permitted to “serve” in the military." [TVC, 2/3/10]
TVC Claimed “Homosexuals Molest At Far Higher Rates Than Do Heterosexuals.” In a section labeled “Homosexual Urban Legends” on its website, TVC claimed that “homosexuals pose a far more serious threat to children than do heterosexuals.” From TVC:
Homosexuals account for only 1-2% of our population based on current surveys. The National Opinion Research Center in 1992 found that 2.8% of men and 1.4% of women identified themselves as “homosexual” or “bisexual. A 1995 survey of 18-49-year-old men published by the Journal of Sex Research indicated that 2.6% of them had engaged in homosexual sex within the prior 12 months; 4% had had homosexual sex within the past five years. In other words, at least 98-99% of our population is heterosexual in orientation.
Homosexual activists routinely claim that most child molesters are ” heterosexual" males, thus shifting the focus away from their own very high rates of molestation. Since 98-99% of the population is heterosexual, it is technically correct to say that most molestations are done by heterosexuals. However, statistics indicate that homosexuals pose a far more serious threat to children than do heterosexuals.
For example: In 1987, Dr. Stephen Rubin of Whitman College conducted a ten-state study of sex abuse cases involving school teachers. He studied 199 cases. Of those, 122 male teachers had molested girls, while 14 female teachers had molested boys. He also discovered that 59 homosexual male teachers had molested boys and four female homosexual teachers had molested girls. In other words, 32 percent of those child molestation cases involved homosexuals. Nearly a third of these cases come from only 1-2% of the population." [TVC, accessed 8/5/11, emphasis in original]
TVC Is Just The Latest Hate Group Or Individual Criticized For Hateful Rhetoric To Be Mainstreamed By Fox
Fox & Friends Hosted President Of FAIR, Which SPLC Designated An Anti-Immigrant Hate Group. On the March 30 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Carlson hosted Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein to attack immigrants. According to SPLC, FAIR is an anti-immigrant hate group. SPLC noted:
Although FAIR maintains a veneer of legitimacy that has allowed its principals to testify in Congress and lobby the federal government, this veneer hides much ugliness. FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content. FAIR's founder, John Tanton, has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population: a goal to be achieved, presumably, by limiting the number of nonwhites who enter the country. One of the group's main goals is upending the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended a decades-long, racist quota system that limited immigration mostly to northern Europeans. FAIR President Dan Stein has called the Act a “mistake.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 3/30/11; Media Matters, 3/30/11]
Beck Hosted Author Who Was Member Of League Of The South Hate Group. On the June 8, 2010, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck hosted author Thomas Woods, who has been a member of League of the South, which SPLC describes as:
[A] neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans.” The league believes the “godly” nation it wants to form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities. Originally founded by a group that included many Southern university professors, the group lost its Ph.D.s as it became more explicitly racist. The league denounces the federal government and northern and coastal states as part of “the Empire,” a materialist and anti-religious society. [SPLC, accessed 8/4/11; Media Matters, 6/8/10]
Beck Promoted Book By “One Man Hate Group” Eustace Mullins. On the September 22, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Beck attacked 20th century diplomat Edward House by promoting a book by Eustace Mullins called Secrets of the Federal Reserve. Mullins was described as a “nationally known white supremacist and anti-Semite” in his obituary and was “described in 2000 by the SPLC as a one-man organization of hate.” From the Daily News Leader in his hometown of Staunton, VA:
Nationally known white supremacist and anti-Semite Eustace Mullins of Staunton, described in 2000 by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a one-man organization of hate, died Wednesday in Waller County, Texas, at age 86.
Besides controversial writings in his own name, he was widely believed to have concocted propaganda hoaxes by authoring improbably self-damaging writings attributed to others but supporting Mullins' extremist views. At one point he also adopted the title of “reverend” and saying he represented what he called the “American Humane Church.”
Besides his church, he also took credit for or appeared on letterhead of several other organizations, usually operating at his home address at the time.
In 1955 he listed himself as Executive Director of the “Aryan League of America” at a Springhill Road, Staunton, address.
In 1960, his name was one of two listed on the letterhead for the policy committee of the Institute for Biopolitics in Chicago. One memo warned, “The Whiteman's very existence is in danger.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 9/22/10, via Media Matters; Daily News Leader, 2/5/10, via Nexis]
Fox Pushed Attack On Jennings Based On Claims Made By Anti-Gay Hate Group Mass Resistance. Fox advanced numerous attacks on former Education Department official Kevin Jennings which originated from the anti-gay hate group Mass Resistance. The group was listed in SPLC's list of “Active U.S. Hate Groups in 2008.” [Media Matters, 12/10/09]
Fox & Friends Hosted Columnist For “White Nationalist” Website VDARE. On the May 24, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy hosted Allan Wall to discuss Arizona's anti-immigration legislation. After the interview, Doocy revealed that Wall is a columnist for VDARE.com, which publishes the works of “white nationalists.” According to SPLC, VDARE is a hate group that “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.” [Media Matters, 5/24/10; SPLC, accessed 8/5/11]
Fox & Friends Hosted Official From AIC And AICF, Which SPLC Lists As Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups. On May 14, 2010, Fox & Friends hosted Phil Kent of the Americans for Immigration Control (AIC) and the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF). According to SPLC, both organizations are anti-immigrant hate groups. From the SPLC:
Founded in 1983, the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF) is an anti-immigration group that has grown more shrill in recent years. AICF's web site suggests that immigrants have “sown the seeds of ethnic strife in America” and that large-scale immigration into America, especially Third World immigration, is “a policy rooted in humanistic pride and the worship of Mammon [a Biblical reference to anti-Christian materialism].”
AICF has been headed by John Vinson since 1990. In the mid-1990s, Sam Francis, who was fired from the conservative Washington Times after penning a racially inflammatory column, was AICF chairman.
Today, Francis is editor of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens' (CCC) monthly tabloid, Citizens Informer. Vinson, who is also editor of the anti-immigration publication Border Watch, often speaks at CCC meetings and is a founding member of the white supremacist League of the South. [Media Matters, 5/18/10; SPLC, accessed 8/5/11]
Fox Has Repeatedly Hosted Pam Geller, Subject Of SPLC “Hatewatch” Post. Fox News has repeatedly hosted anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller, even after she was the subject of an August 25, 2010, “Hatewatch” post by SPLC titled, “White Supremacists Find Common Cause With Pam Geller's Anti-Islam Campaign.” From the SPLC's description of Geller:
Pamela Geller is the anti-Muslim movement's most visible and flamboyant figurehead. She's relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims, such as that President Obama is the “love child” of Malcolm X. She makes no pretense of being learned in Islamic studies, leaving the argumentative heavy lifting to her Stop Islamization of America partner Robert Spencer. Geller has mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps. She has taken a strong pro-Israel stance to the point of being sharply critical of Jewish liberals. [SPLC, 8/25/10; SPLC, accessed 8/5/11; Media Matters, 7/25/11]
Fox Hosted Head Of Anti-Gay Hate Group Family Research Council To Attack Gender Diversity Education. On the May 26 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum hosted Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to attack a school in California that was teaching a gender diversity class. The Family Research Council has been labeled by the SPLC as an anti-gay hate group. From the SPLC:
The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation's halls of power,” but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy.
To make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American society, FRC employs a number of “policy experts” whose “research” has allowed FRC to be extremely active politically in shaping public debate. Its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media. It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in an effort to “transform the culture.” [SPLC, accessed 8/5/11; Fox News, America's Newsroom, 5/26/11, via Equality Matters]
Media Matters intern Jessica Torres contributed to this report.