CNN Pushes Boy Scouts to Get With the Times, Allow Gay Scout Leaders

CNN's message to the Boy Scouts is this: "the world" is becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage, and the Scouts should get with the times by accepting openly gay leaders. Anchor Carol Costello made that clear on Tuesday morning's Newsroom.

"And like it or not, children are exposed to gay people. Ever watch 'Modern Family' or 'Ellen' or hear NFL players speak out for same-sex marriage? The world is changing. And the question now: will the Boy Scouts change with it?" Costello argued. Of course, CNN helps facilitate that "change" by giving NFL players -- who wish to "harness this Super Bowl media" to push for "marriage equality" -- air time to push for same-sex marriage unopposed.

CNN's advocacy hasn't gone unnoticed. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) recently nominated the network for eight of its annual awards, including two for "Outstanding Television Segment." As the MRC's Katie Yoder noted, GLAAD also praised openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon as an "Outstanding Citizen."

Two CNN anchors also hosted a fundraiser last year for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA). Fair and balanced, anyone?

On her Tuesday segment, Costello questioned the present-day interpretation of the original Boy Scouts platform, because it's "more complicated" these days:

 "'Duty to God,' 'morally straight.' Easy to understand, right? Well, maybe it was in 1910 when the Boy Scouts was founded, but I'm willing to bet 'duty to God' and 'morally straight' are more complicated in 2013. Gay adults, gay children didn't dare reveal themselves a century or even a generation ago. They feared ridicule or worse. "

And CNN has been hitting on this issue for days. On Monday, Costello scoffed at conservative guest Peter Sprigg when he opined that gay Scout leaders would bring an agenda with them:

"It's also true that a majority of Americans think that gay people have a right to be married in this country. So, times are changing, and thoughts about the gay lifestyle, it's changing. It's just a fact. You see it everywhere. And do you really think a gay scout leader is going to become a gay scout leader to push a gay agenda? Seriously?"

On CNN Sunday Morning, anchor Randi Kaye pushed guest Ed Whelan to criticize her question as "rude." She asked him, "Would you want your son -- would you want your son to be in the Scouts if he was gay?" He replied, "You know, I think a question like that directed at my son is a rude question, but let me answer it this way. I would not have put my son in a troop with an openly gay leader or an openly atheist leader."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on CNN Newsroom on February 5 at 9:15 a.m. EST, is as follows:

[9:15]

CAROL COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, should the Boy Scouts of America lift its ban on gays?

The Boy Scout oath: "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

"Duty to God," "morally straight." Easy to understand, right? Well, maybe it was in 1910 when the Boy Scouts was founded, but I'm willing to bet "duty to God" and "morally straight" are more complicated in 2013. Gay adults, gay children didn't dare reveal themselves a century or even a generation ago. They feared ridicule or worse. Now, the Boy Scouts of America is deciding whether to lift the ban on gay scout leaders and gay scouts.

(Video Clip)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After decades of being out of the closet, the Boy Scouts of America forced me back into the closet with its "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

I pose no harm to anyone. I passed all their background checks.

I go to church every Sunday with my family. Lord knows we're philanthropic. I just don't know what else they want from us.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: That former scout master and others delivered what they say are 1.4 million signatures to the Boy Scouts of America urging it to lift the ban. Despite this, support will be difficult. The Boy Scouts are backed by churches and other religious organizations who fear gays, especially gay adults, are not morally straight but dangerous, and parents should be worried.

(Video Clip)

PETER SPRIGG, senior fellow, Family Research Council: They have a right to protect their children just from being exposed to the topic prematurely. And they have a right to protect their children from the potential risk of child sexual abuse at the hands of men who might be attracted to other males.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: It is important to note, according to the American Psychological Association, gays aren't any more likely to molest kids than straight men. And like it or not, children are exposed to gay people. Ever watch "Modern Family" or "Ellen" or hear NFL players speak out for same-sex marriage? The world is changing. And the question now: will the Boy Scouts change with it? Talk back question today: should the Boy Scouts of America lift its ban on gays?   

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014