National Public Radio’s Michel Martin did a segment on Uganda’s growing crackdown on its gay population, and decided to interview Holocaust-revisionist hate-group leader Scott Lively, who is truly one of the most horrific religious right extremists in America.
How did NPR’s Michel Martin describe Lively to her audience? Simply as “Evangelical leader Scott Lively.”
No mention of the fact that Lively was labeled a Holocaust revisionist by HateWatch for his “thoroughly-discredited” 1995 tome, “The Pink Swastika,” which tried to argue that gays were the really force behind the Holocaust.
No mention of Lively’s organization, Abiding Truth Ministries, that was officially-designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Scott Lively makes Tony Perkins look like a Boy Scout. Scott Lively is not an “evangelical leader.” He’s the far-right fringe of the anti-gay religious right. The American Family Association is mainstream compared to Scott Lively.
If Scott Lively is simply an “evangelical leader,” then former KKK grand wizard David Duke is simply a “former GOP Senate candidate,” and Adolf Hitler was nothing more than “an aspiring artist.”
Look, I think it’s a bit odd that NPR would want to talk to Scott Lively about anything. The man is beyond fringe. But then again, the media interviews rapists, murders and homicidal dictators, so why not the most extreme fringes of America’s gay-hating religious right? But you don’t whitewash your description of who you’re talking to, and completely mislead your audience into thinking this guy is simply some small-town minister who decided to take time off from saving the orphans in order to go on your show.
Michel Martin actually called the man “Pastor Lively.”
HE’S THE HOLOCAUST-REVISIONIST HEAD OF A FREAKING HATE GROUP.
Let me share a few quotes from the man who NPR calls simply an “evangelical leader.” You might have noticed that you didn’t hear about any of this on Michel Martin’s show either. Here’s “Pastor” Lively in his own words:
Because no matter what, [homosexuality] is still abnormal, wrong, harmful and perverse.”
– Eugene Register-Guard, Nov. 1, 1992
“There is no question that homosexuality figures prominently in the history of the Holocaust. … The first years of terrorism against the Jews were carried out by the homosexuals of the SA.”
– The Pink Swastika, 1996
“It is not mere coincidence that the emperors of Rome in its horrific final days were homosexual; that Adolf Hitler’s inner circle were mostly homosexual; and that nearly all of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history were homosexual. It is not mere coincidence that America’s cultural decline parallels the rise of ‘gay rights.’”
– “Agents of the Death Agenda,” May 1996 edition of Life Advocate magazine, quoted in “Northwest Update,” Coalition for Human Dignity, June 1996.
“Homosexuality is thus biologically (and to varying degrees morally) equivalent to pedophilia, sado-masochism, bestiality and many other forms of deviant behavior.”
– “Deciphering ‘Gay’ Word-Speak and Language of Confusion,” May 2002
“Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various, often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive, anti-social impulses.”
– “Letter to the Russian People,” 2007
“The gay movement is an evil institution [whose] goal is to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity in which there’s no restrictions on sexual conduct except the principle of mutual choice.”
– Conference in Kampala, Uganda, March 2009
“We need to bring back public discussion of AIDS as a ‘gay’ disease, pederasty as [sic] major subculture of male homosexuality, mental health problems and domestic violence as major problems associated with lesbianism, the increasing recruitment of children into a homosexual identity through experimentation with ‘gay’ sex, etc. – all the truths we stopped telling because the other side screamed so loudly about them.”
– WorldNetDaily, September 2012
Nope, you didn’t hear any of that from NPR.
Note that while Lively is simply an “evangelical leader” who does “missions” in Africa, NPR’s Martin refers to Lively’s opposition as “activists.” Ugandan human rights leader Frank Mugisha is simply a “Uganda activist” when Martin mentions him. And when Martin mentions Ugandan human rights leader David Kato, she calls him a “gay activist leader,” a term I’ve never even heard of in over twenty years of doing national gay civil rights advocacy. In fact, Kato is considered by many to be a father of Uganda’s gay civil rights movement.
NPR, intentionally or not, chose to channel the religious-right talking points on the gay civil rights debate.
We use to have this problem back in the mid-90s, when every gay rights advocate was a “gay activist,” while our opponents were “pastors and reverends and family values leaders” (suggesting that we don’t have family values). And while most of the media has matured beyond the point of calling every civil rights leader an “activist” (Was MLK simply a “black activist”? No, he was a “civil rights leader.”) they remain reticent about using the correct terminology for far-right homophobes, and reticent about telling their audience the full truth about who they’re listening to.
Do you think it might be relevant for NPR’s audience to know, when listening to a show about gay rights in Uganda, that the man they’re listening to isn’t just someone who has “preached against homosexuality on many occasions,” but rather, he’s a controversial figure that runs an organization that is so anti-gay that one leading civil rights organization has labeled it a “hate group”?
I hear it’s Pledge Week at NPR. Maybe they should pledge to start doing some actual journalism.