NBC's Curry Slams Kirk Cameron: 'Are You Encouraging People to Feel Hate Towards Gay People?'

Leading off an interview with conservative Christian actor Kirk Cameron on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry immediately attacked him for recent comments he made to CNN's Piers Morgan: "I'm going to ask you about this firestorm that you set off...on the topic of gay marriage....Many people are suggesting that this is hate speech. Are you encouraging people to feel hate towards gay people?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Curry plucked out a single sentence from Cameron's CNN interview: "...you said, quote, 'I think that it's unnatural. I think that it's detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.'" Cameron called out her selective framing of the topic: "I love all people. I hate no one. And, you know, when you take a subject and you reduce it to something like a four-second sound bite, and a check mark on a ballot, I think that that's inappropriate and insensitive."

Even after Cameron explained that the "edited down" quote "certainly didn't reflect my full heart on the matter," Curry still asserted he was encouraging hate: "Do you feel any responsibility saying words like that, that might encourage people to feel that it's okay to treat – mistreat gay people?"

<<<Help us in the never-ending fight to combat the liberal media's attacks on people of religious conviction. Click here to give your tax-deductible donation to NewsBusters.>>>

Cameron pushed back and cited Morgan's blatant bias on the issue: "Nobody should mistreat anybody....what I think this reveals is that – the interviewer that asked me these questions even used the words with me, "I think your views are destructive" – so what that shows me is that all of us who really think deeply about social issues, like gay marriage, and abortion, and homosexuality, have convictions on issues."

Despite asking for Cameron's views on the subject, Curry then condemned him for expressing his beliefs: "Why do you say things like this that you know are going to cause people to push back? Why do you even talk about it, then? Because this is not the first time you've been asked about it. It's not the first time you've made comments that have caused people a lot of alarm."

Cameron countered: "I was surprised, frankly, that people were surprised by the things that I said, because I have been consistent for 15 years as a Christian....What I would have thought was more newsworthy is if I had said something that contradicted the Word of God. If I had contradicted my faith."

Curry signaled her hostile interrogation of Cameron in teases throughout the broadcast. At the top of the show, she proclaimed: "Growing pains. Kirk Cameron responds to the uproar caused by his recent comments that homosexuality is detrimental and ultimately destructive." Later, she wondered: "So what does he have to say to people who feel that his words were hurtful? Does he have any regrets?" In a final tease, she fretted: "He's caused a lot of flailing, people are quite concerned about what he's had to say."

This is not the first time Curry has used her position as co-host to denounce critics of the gay agenda. In September of 2011, following the suicide of a gay teenager, Curry exploited the tragedy as she asked the boy's parents: "Do you think our churches, our politicians and other adults who adhere to an anti-gay message enable some of this hate?"


Here is a transcript of the contentious March 20 exchange:

8:20AM ET

(...)

CURRY: Well, you know, I – I – before we get to this movie, which I know you're very passionate about, you know I'm going to ask you about this firestorm that you set off with this –  with this topic, a – on the topic of gay marriage when you talked to CNN's Piers Morgan, who asked you if you think homosexuality is a sin and you said, quote, "I think that it's unnatural. I think that it's detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization." I've got to get your response. Many people are suggesting that this is hate speech. Are you encouraging people to feel hate towards gay people?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Kirk's Controversy: Cameron Under Fire For Calling Homosexuality "Unnatural"]

CAMERON: Absolutely not. Of course not. No. I love all people. I hate no one. And, you know, when you take a subject and you reduce it to something like a four-second sound bite, and a check mark on a ballot, I think that that's inappropriate and insensitive. The truth is, these are issues that are very personal. These are things that need to be discussed in the context, I believe, best in a personal friendship with someone who's asking the question. And so, when things get edited down to that I think it doesn't reflect, certainly didn't reflect my full heart on the matter.

CURRY: Do you feel – do you feel any responsibility saying words like that, that might encourage people to feel that it's okay to treat – mistreat gay people?

CAMERON: Nobody should mistreat anybody. Homosexuals should not be mistreated. Heterosexuals should not be mistreated. Bisexuals should not be mistreated. So, you know, what I think this reveals is that – the interviewer that asked me these questions even used the words with me, "I think your views are destructive" – so what that shows me is that all of us who really think deeply about social issues, like gay marriage, and abortion, and homosexuality, have convictions on issues.

And we all have our convictions formed by different things, and mine are informed by my faith, they're informed by the Word of God, and I found that to be an anchor for me, a compass and a guide for me. When people start bullying one another and calling each other names for those different convictions, then I think you get into problems. And I've also been on the receiving end of that.

CURRY: Why do you say things like this that you know are going to cause people to push back? Why do you even talk about it, then? Because this is not the first time you've been asked about it. It's not the first time you've made comments that have caused people a lot of alarm.

CAMERON: Well, that's a good question. I was surprised, frankly, that people were surprised by the things that I said, because I have been consistent for 15 years as a Christian, I'm a Bible-believing Christian. What I would have thought was more newsworthy is if I had said something that contradicted the Word of God. If I had contradicted my faith.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC