Pro-Gay 'Today' Sees Blitz of Pandering to Conservatives, But Not to Liberals
As Mark already noted, NBC’s “Today” hit the Federal Marriage Amendment talk this week as a blatant pandering move to conservatives. MRC's Geoff Dickens reported that this was how Matt Lauer began Monday's show: “Good morning. Wedded blitz: President Bush and Senate conservatives kick off an effort today to ban gay marriage,but is it a marriage of political convenience?"
Then, as Ann Curry noted the approaching Senate battle over the “ban” on “gay marriage” (no “so-called” gay marriage or “what proponents call” gay marriage), Lauer repeated himself on the pandering-to-righties talking point: “The President is speaking out in support of it even though he has virtually no chance of having it passed. Democrats say this is all about winning conservative votes in the midterm elections. We're gonna have more on that."
Question number one: if “Today” wasn’t so pro-gay, wouldn’t they notice that the gay-left groups are getting the pander treatment from the Democrats? See "Speaker" Nancy Pelosi’s new bill for liberal gay activists that also has no chance on Earth of congressional passage: repealing the Clinton-era "don't ask-don't tell" policy on gays in the military.
Perhaps the most annoying tendency of the networks on this is the usual labeling imbalance. When they turned to the David Gregory news report at 7:12, Bush was described as pandering to "social conservatives" (and the Today graphic was "Conservative Appeal, Bush: Ban Gay Marriage"), while the gay left advocates were labeled merely as "opponents of the marriage ban."
Matt Lauer: "Now to Washington where President Bush has been feeling a bit of a chill recently from conservatives in his own party, but today's he's gonna speak out in support of a hot button issue that will please his base. It's a ban on gay marriage. The Senate begins debate today and NBC's chief White House correspondent David Gregory has more on this story. David, good morning."
David Gregory: "Good morning Matt. And this latest effort to ban same sex marriage is considered highly unlikely to actually be successful in the Senate. Yet as you note the President is lending his support in what many people think is an election year bid of support. A kind of outreach to social conservatives in his own party."
Gregory talked to evangelical pastor Rob Brendle of Ted Haggard's New Life Church, a typical media stop for one-stop evangelical expert shopping:
"Far away from Washington the fight against gay marriage is being waged from the pulpit. Rob Brendle is an evangelical pastor at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. For his 14,000 parishioners this is a big cause."
[Brendle soundbite: "As soon as we start eroding the foundation of marriage in society there's no place for it to stop naturally and marriage becomes meaningless all of a sudden."]
Gregory: "During his reelection campaign in 2004 the President's push against gay marriage was thought to boost turnout among social conservatives."
Gregory explained that Bush didn't suggest a marriage amendment was a high priority when he interviewed him in January, and then brought on CNBC's John Harwood to say it was all politics. Gregory then turned to the liberals:
"A recent Gallup survey showed the public split 50 percent for, 47 percent against a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Opponents of the marriage ban are also mobilized...the Human Rights Campaign is collecting post cards from around the country to be delivered to Senate offices as the vote approaches."
[Joe Solomonese, Human Rights Campaign president soundbite: "And they'll hear in a resounding way that our membership thinks that this is nothing more than a discriminatory measure and a divisive one to take people's attention away from the real issues that voters are thinking about and care deeply about."]
"At the heart of this debate, of course, is the question of who decides whether same-sex marriage is lawful. Opponents, rather supporters of this ban on gay marriage being debated insist that the institution of marriage is being ruined by activist judges on the federal bench. Opponents of this gay marriage ban say, no, no it is for the states, not the federal government to ultimately decide this question. Ann."
Gregory is in fact, ignoring that his gay-left expert, HRC's Joe Solomonese, does not believe that "gay marriage" should be left to the states. He believes that "gay marriage" is threatened by the legislatures -- by majorities of the people -- and only judges stand in the way against an ignorant majority. See this liberal blog for the evidence, filed as liberals tried to stop John Roberts from joining the Supreme Court. Solomonese strangely compared homosexuality to eating french fries on the D.C. subway system:
If you've read the paper lately, you know that when legislatures punish and discriminate against gay people, we are unlikely to see the kind of public outcry that the French fry case inspired. Anti-gay forces are using intolerance for political gain-and only the courts stand between us and second-class citizenship.
That's why anti-gay forces supported the "Marriage Protection Act," which would have insured that constitutional challenges to DOMA never made it to federal court at all. Sound crazy? Not to Judge Roberts. In the 1980s, Roberts wrote that such laws -- at the time targeted toward abortion and school prayer -- were perfectly constitutional.
With bills like the so-called "Marriage Protection Act" threatening our community, it's scary to contemplate a justice who would be inclined to uphold them. And if he seriously believes that civil rights cases can be kept out of court altogether, how sympathetic could he possibly be when a case does come before him?
If any overarching philosophy can be discerned from Judge Roberts's career, it's the one that Justice Thomas glibly stated in his Lawrence dissent: the Supreme Court is a mere bystander in the struggle between individual rights and the tyranny of a sometimes misguided majority.