Dissecting a Family Research Council lie

Posted on 03 Aug 2010 at 3:44pm

I’ve been following the far-right Family Research Council since 1993, when I did an extensive review of their documents dealing with DADT. It’s safe to say that most, if not all, of their footnotes in their “studies” of DADT at the time were wrong in some way. They’re really quite good at claiming something, then linking to a “source” that says nothing of the kind.

Oh, and they’re doing it again. This time, they’re trying to claim that an “extreme homosexual activist” is responsible for the wikileaks scandal. Let me share the second and third paragraph from the FRC story, and then show you how their sourcing is a total lie – this is what they do, all the time. I’m not going to link to the FRC story, because they don’t deserve the traffic:

In May, when U.S. authorities arrested Army Private Bradley Manning for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.org, there were whispers that he was politically motivated. It turns out that Manning is an extreme homosexual activist, whose fury over the services’ homosexual policy may have led him to publicize highly classified documents about the wars. According to the U.K.’s Telegraph, Manning has an extensive history of campaigning for gay, lesbian, and transgendered causes and sources say he may have even been considering a sex change when he leaked military secrets on the Internet.

Although the U.S. press is relatively mum on his personal life, the British paper questions how Manning got away with “flaunting” his sexuality when DADT is still in effect. “Was Manning given a pass because his ‘lifestyle’ was…acceptable under the Obama administration?” Cliff Kincaid asks. If so, then Manning’s sedition may have given opponents of the repeal all the ammunition they need to kill the idea. Obviously, the Pentagon’s “relaxed enforcement” of DADT is putting the entire United States military is at risk of losing thousands of lives and the war. “The revelations of Manning’s openly pro-homosexual conduct suggest that a more liberal Department of Defense policy, in deference to the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief, had already been in effect and has now backfired in a big way,” Kincaid writes.

Okay, first, Manning is allegedly found out to be an “extreme homosexual activist.” Really? Any proof? No. FRC cites the Telegraph, and claims that the Telegraph says Manning has an “extensive history” of campaigning for gay rights. In fact, the Telegraph article mentions that Manning once showed up at a single gay rights rally – that’s it. How is that an “extensive” history as an “extreme” gay activist? It’s not. Of course, if you don’t click through to the source, you’ll never know that the FRC is lying about what the source actually says. That’s a usual move of theirs.

Also typical, and a rather brilliant bit of deception (that FRC has also done before), is how they pretend to give you the source for an assertion, but really don’t.

Although the U.S. press is relatively mum on his personal life, the British paper questions how Manning got away with “flaunting” his sexuality when DADT is still in effect. “Was Manning given a pass because his ‘lifestyle’ was…acceptable under the Obama administration?” Cliff Kincaid asks.

Now, anyone reading this story would think that Cliff Kincaid was the British paper source questioning how Manning got away “flaunting” his sexuality. In fact, Cliff Kincaid is an American far-right activist. The sentence is a non sequitor intended, it would appear, to make you think that Kincaid is the proof behind the previous assertion, when he’s not.

In fact, nowhere in the single British press article that FRC cites is anything said about Manning “flaunting” his homosexuality – note how FRC even quotes the word, to give the impression that it’s a real quote from the British press. Nor is there anything in the British article asking how Manning “got away” with being gay in the military, even though FRC claims it’s there. But again, if you don’t click through to the original source, you’ll believe FRC’s bigoted slander on its face.

Finally, there’s nothing, anywhere, to suggest that Manning had any “fury” over DADT, or that, even if he did, such fury led him to leak the documents. Where did FRC come up with it? Probably the same place they came up with the suggestion that Manning was considering a sex change. (Note how the sex change allegation is thrown in the same sentence talking about the UK paper, again suggesting that the UK paper is the one reporting on the sex change allegation, to give it more credence, even though the paper mentions nothing of the kind.)

If we’re going to play that game, I have sources who think that FRC’s President, Tony Perkins, may be a closeted homosexual because he’s so fey on TV. Does that make it true, does it mean Perkins is really gay? In this case, the sources are simply my friends who think Perkins talks and looks really gay. (And he does talk and look really gay, in my opinion.) But you don’t see me writing stories exposing Tony Perkins as a closeted gay man, based on secret sources. Yet, you do see FRC throwing around the notion of a possible sex change when they don’t even bother citing their sources. And let’s face it, even when FRC does cite its sources, the sourcing is often pretty bad. So imagine how good it is when they refuse to cite the source.

UPDATE: I see Alvin caught this too.




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