As I noted when Piers Morgan had Tony Perkins on his show on CNN this week, if someone is going to allow Tony Perkins on the air, they should be pointing out that his organization, the Family Research Council, has been labelled a hate group and why and not be allowing him to spew hatred towards the gay community unchallenged. This Thursday, Hardball's Chris Matthews did not point out the fact that his group has been labelled a hate group, but this interview was definitely a step in the right direction if he's going to be allowed on the air.
Here's more on that from Media Matters: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Demonstrates How To Handle Tony Perkins On Television:
During the May 10 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews invited Tony Perkins – president of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council (FRC) – and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) to discuss the issues of same-sex marriage and adoption.
Perkins’ presence on MSNBC isn’t surprising – the hate group leader has become a regular guest on the network over the past several months, and has typically been treated as a credible, uncontroversial political figure, especially on Hardball.
On Thursday, however, things were different.
For nearly 15 minutes, Matthews, with the help of Frank, grilled Perkins on his views on homosexuality, marriage equality, and same-sex parenting. Matthews challenged Perkins’ anti-gay misinformation, held him accountable for past statements, and demonstrated how out-of-the-mainstream his extreme positions really are.
This is exactly the kind of interview that major news outlets should be conducting when dealing with someone like Perkins.
I'll second that. It was nice to see him put on the defensive for once instead of just being allowed to spew his bigoted talking points like he usually gets away with. This March, Matthews was confronted by the group Faithful America about legitimizing the likes of Perkins with the type of softball interviews we've seen from Matthews with him previously. It looks like maybe their talk with him did some good.