Joe Scarborough: 'America Is Much More Conservative' on Social Issues Than Media Think

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the Obama administration's edict on contraceptives, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting some press member claiming Republican views on such matters are extreme.

Countering this nonsense Wednesday was MSNBC's Joe Scarborough who on the show bearing his name correctly stated, "America is much more conservative" when it comes to social issues than the media think (video follows with transcript and commentary):

The discussion began with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton saying Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s “weakness is that he’s very extreme” on social issues such as contraception and gay marriage.

This led Scarborough to observe, “The one thing I would only warn my friends in Manhattan and Washington and LA and in the mainstream media is that America is much more conservative – I’m not saying Rick Santorum conservative – but much more conservative on social issues than they would like to think.”

“The media is far ahead of the rest of America on gay marriage,” he continued. “You can look at any poll and it’s breaking pro-Life way – it’s about 50-50 now, but the trend lines in the long run are in support of gay marriage. But we’re not there yet over that 50 percent mark, and the trend lines also are in support of a pro-Life position if you look at polls over the last ten, fifteen years because of technology, because of medicine.”

“But the media I find,” Scarborough pointed out, “has always had a real blind spot on social issues just because, you know, it’s Manhattan, New York, instead of Manhattan, Kansas. It’s just a cultural thing.”

Not surprisingly, polls do support Scarborough’s view.

A January CBS News/New York Times poll found only 37 percent believe abortion should be “generally available” to the public while an equal amount feel there should be “stricter limits” with 23 percent claiming they shouldn’t be available at all. What that means is 60 percent of those polled say abortion laws should be stricter than they currently are.

Meanwhile, a just-released CBS News/New York Times poll found only 40 percent of respondents support same sex marriage while 31 percent are opposed and 23 percent instead favor civil unions. This means 54 percent are de facto against same sex marriage.

Add it all up, and polling data do indeed show the media far to the left of the rest of the nation on these issues.

But that’s not going to stop them from claiming Republicans like Santorum are extreme.

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