Despite pressure on social media and a petition asking ABC to cancel the scheduled appearance of Tony Perkins, president of the antigay Family Research Council, on its Sunday talk show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, that campaign apparently didn’t cause any hesitation among the guest bookers across town at MSNBC.
Disney-owned ABC promoted its booking of Perkins, whose organization has been labeled a hate group for spreading lies about LGBTQ people by the Southern Poverty Law Center, in connection with its coverage of the deadliest terror attack in the United States since September 11: the fatal shootings of 49 people, most of them gay and lesbian, at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. this week.
Although the attack was widely reported as having targeted the LGBTQ community as well as members of the Latino community, Perkins’ group said things like, “It’s a little ridiculous to suggest that disagreement over special rights for people who identify as LGBT are responsible, since even the gunman’s ex-wife alleges he was gay,” as The New Civil Rights Movement reported.
As a so-called Christian leader, Perkins was expected to repeat his prior antigay and anti-Muslim statements such as his claim that homosexuality leads to “eternal damnation” and is “harmful” to individuals “and to society as a whole, and this:
“By coddling and promoting Islam, the Obama administration has created an environment where people who identify as gay, lesbian, or transgendered [sic] are increasingly vulnerable,” Perkins wrote. “What a stark contrast to Christianity, which believes that everyone is made in the image of God and has intrinsic value, regardless of the choices they make.” FRC has previously tried to blame other shootings on the advance of LGBT equality, according to TNCRM.
Twitter reaction to ABC’s promotion of Perkins’ appearance generated heat that quickly turned from simmer to boil beginning Friday, as ThinkProgress noted.
— Kyle Franklin (@KAFranklin07) June 17, 2016
— lauramariemusic (@lauramariemusic) June 18, 2016
So after getting hammered on Twitter, and no doubt aware of the 28,000 signatures on that petition, ABC News dumped Perkins without so much as a peep. He just wasn’t part of their roundtable discussion and no mention was made of his absence.
But Perkins wasn’t absent from the airwaves long. He tweeted a few hours later that he was about to talk with MSNBC’s Alex Witt.