MSNBC’s parent company Comcast has reportedly hired religious right leader Ralph Reed to advocate for them on Capitol Hill, according to a report by Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade.
Reed is best known for forming and running the once-powerful Christian Coalition. Reed continues to be an advocate for the far-right today, and only just last week appeared to compare gay marriage to slavery.
It’s ironic that MSNBC would be tied to Reed, as the network sought to position itself as the liberal counterpart to Fox News.
Just last week, Reed, during the annual Faith & Freedom Coalition conference, made the striking comparison of federal court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott case, which affirmed slavery rights in the United States.
“Anybody heard lately that we’re losing the marriage issue? Anybody heard that argument? You notice some similarities?” he said. “I’m not comparing slavery to same-sex marriage, OK? I’m just pointing out that when you have these fights, what’s interesting is that if you look at same-sex marriage, it’s now legal in 17 states.”
“Only six of them, six out of those 17, six out of 50 states, had done it by referendum or by state legislature,” Reed continued. “In every other case, it was imposed by courts. Just like the courts had to impose Dred Scott. Because they couldn’t do it on the country because the country didn’t agree with it. The country, by the way, doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage.”
Dred Scott was a slave who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom. One has to admire Reed’s admonition that he’s not comparing gay marriage to slavery, while then going ahead and invoking slavery anyway.
Johnson says Reed’s firm has been working for Comcast for nearly a decade.
You might recall that a few years back, Microsoft got itself into a similar hotspot by hiring Reed and his firm and then, for unexplained reasons, the company suddenly backed off its longtime component to gay civil rights. After AMERICAblog exposed Reed’s previously-unknown connection to Microsoft, the contract ended.
No word on what Reed’s specific role has been at Comcast, though you might recall that the company significantly dragged its feet during the brouhaha a few years back when the Chamber of Commerce, which Comcast sits on, successfully repealed gay and trans civil rights protections in Tennessee. And progressive never could understand why MSNBC was so unfriendly to lead progressive blogger Markos Moulitsas, and then famed commentator Keith Olbermann, who was fired by the network. Some claim MSNBC has a longer history of antipathy to the left.
The news of Reed’s involvement with the Comcast/MSNBC empire will likely not allay those concerns.