ABC and NBC can’t seem to accept the consequences of their mistakes. Instead of focusing on the apology called for by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nets decided to cover Game of Thrones instead, calling it “the show so big it crashed the Internet.”
In a statement to the MRC, ADF slammed the networks for “journalistic malpractice.”
On July 14, after several networks ran a story calling the ADF an “anti-LGBTQ hate group,” the ADF demanded an apology from the networks -- specifically ABC, the main offender. The religious freedom group that is representing the Christian baker, Jack Phillips, in the Supreme Court has defended itself by announcing that they are not a “hate group.” However, instead of recognizing the statement made by the ADF, both ABC and NBC decided to ignore the call for retraction and cover the new Game of Thrones season instead.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, both on Sunday, July 16, and Monday, July 17, the network spent 3 minutes and 53 seconds on GoT. They even interviewed Lindsay Miller, editor of “PopSugar,” about the show.
NBC’s Today spent about 30 seconds on the “popular” show, addressing singer Ed Sheeran’s cameo in the latest episode.
If the networks have time for this, don’t they have time to salvage their reputation and acknowledge the ADF properly?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech to the ADF on July 11, but journalists were not granted access to the audience. In a story released on July 12, ABC referred to the ADF as a “hate group” not once, not twice, but three times, citing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as their source. Several other networks, including NBC, followed suit.
SPLC provided a “hate map” that encouraged shooter Floyd Lee Corkins to target the Family Research Council. The media needs to stop using this source, because it is supporting dangerous behavior that has resulting in such shootings.
Since then, the ADF has asked for an apology from the networks, especially from ABC. The Washington Times reported that as of Sunday, July 16, the religious freedom group was still waiting to hear a retraction from the major networks. At the same time, Time magazine published an article reviewing Stephen Colbert’s review of the ADF. While Time magazine referred to the ADF as a “hate group,” Colbert cited both ABC and NBC in his monologue.
“Come on guys, let your hate flag fly,” he addressed the audience. He quoted NBC accusing the ADF of writing “model legislation. . .aimed at keeping transgender people out of restrooms.”
The director of communications for the ADF, Kerri Kupec, told MRC Culture that “ABC News has committed journalistic malpractice. For ABC News to essentially cut and paste false charges against Alliance Defending Freedom by a radically left-wing, violence-inciting organization like Southern Poverty Law Center is a discredit to ABC News and to the profession.”
She went on to say, “Alliance Defending Freedom is one of the most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates in the legal profession, having won seven cases at the high court in the last seven years . . . ADF works everyday to preserve and affirm free speech and the free exercise of religion for people from all walks of life and all backgrounds because we believe freedom is for everyone.”
The National Review recently published an article that asked the media to stop citing the SPLC as a valuable source. David French, senior writer, said that “Media outlets who use the SPLC to assess Christian speech expose only their own bias and incompetence.”