King: Should Pence Family’s Christianity Disqualify Them from Secret Service Protection?

Amidst the liberal media’s long-delayed realization that perhaps their friends in the Women’s March are anti-Semites, CNN host John King leveled an attack Friday on Christianity through the lens of the Second Family, wondering if the conservative Christianity espoused by the Pence's disqualifies Second Lady Karen Pence from Secret Service protection.

Earth to John King — Joy Behar tried pulling a fast one like this almost a year ago on ABC’s The View and, if you’d ask Behar and her bosses, it didn’t turn out too well.

 

 

The Pence’s were the topic at the end of Friday’s Inside Politics in light of what King deemed “controversy over a new job for his wife Karen Pence” teaching art at a Northern Virginia Christian elementary school and the Vice President’s subsequent defenses of her decision.

Here’s King’s full comment about the Pence’s: “Does it matter that all taxpayers pay for her housing? That all taxpayers pay for her Secret Service protection? She, you know, it’s not her fault that she needs protection. This is the world we live in, but all taxpayers pay for, subsidize her life. Does it matter?”

Thankfully, Yahoo! News’s Olivier Knox seemed stunned by King and thus responded: “So, do you mean does her First Amendment — do her First Amendment freedoms, get somehow curtailed because taxpayers pay for her accommodations and her security? I don't know that a lot of people would sign on to that.”

Exactly.

Nonetheless, The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian knocked the Pence’s as somehow taken off guard by the left’s criticism. 

Trying to end the show on a note of unity, Knox added that “this is criticism of the Pence’s doing this, it's not a blind criticism of Christian education.” Sorry, but not sure King’s questions were about that point, though.

King then ended the show by offering a pathetic defense, asserting that “[e]verything is fair debate” because “[w]e live in a democracy.”

Before King’s ugly smear, he began the segment by exclaiming that Pence was “defending his wife Karen’s new job, which is teaching art at a Christian art that bans gay students, parents, and employees” and that it’s triggered “an interesting debate” because while Mrs. Pence has her First Amendment rights, “this decision being made as we head into a reelection campaign.”

Demirjian agreed in questioning this announcement, fretting that “the First and Second Family do are viewed by people across the country as a model to look up to and this one, you know, I think there are even some people who are proponents of Christian education who would say, yeah, but not this kind.”

“So, they're making a play at a very slim part of the population that they count as part of their base but potentially offending a lot of people,” she added, showing quite the blindspot for just how many people who hold right-of-center theological beliefs about Christianity.

Associated Press D.C. bureau chief Julie Pace preceded King, arguing that people can have “core beliefs,” but “[w]hen you use your core beliefs in a public way, obviously it does open yourself up to criticism, and I think the Pence’s might be a little naive to think that wouldn't happen if she is going to make this decision.”

Ah, yes, so Pace offered up the suggestion that someone can hold whatever views they want so long as they don’t publicize it (and especially if it runs afoul of societal norms). Got it.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics on January 18, click “expand.”

CNN’s Inside Politics
January 18, 2019
12:52 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

JOHN KING: Next for us, amid controversy over a new job for his wife Karen Pence, the Vice President just moments ago saying he could not be more proud of her.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: My wife is many things. [SCREEN WIPE] She's even an art teacher at a Christian school and I couldn't be more proud of our Second Lady, my wife, Karen Pence.

(....)

12:57 p.m. Eastern

KING: Just before the break, you heard the Vice President Mike Pence defending his wife Karen’s new job, which is teaching art at a Christian art that bans gay students, parents, and employees. Responding to criticism last night, Pence told Catholic televisions he's deeply offended by what he calls the media's attack on Christian education. 

PENCE: We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education, and frankly religious education broadly defined. We celebrate it. It’s — the freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. [SCREEN WIPE] We'll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of Christian education in America should stop. 

KING: Immanuel Christian School's parent agreement says it can refuse a student if the parent's students are “participating in, supporting or condone, sexual immorality” and it asks parents to “embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman.” it is — it’s an interesting debate. To me, Karen Pence has every right. Her First Amendment belong to the Pence’s as much as it belongs to anybody. Christian schools, as private organizations, have the right to have their views, but this decision being made as we head into a reelection campaign. Number one, the Trump campaign has to know this is making a statement, a statement that it’s Christian conservative base will applaud, but a statement, if you look at Trump polling, and whether it’s gay American, millennial Americans, younger Americans, who are more tolerant of these issues, they don't like this in the administration. It is a statement, correct? 

KAROUN DEMIRJIAN: Definitely. I mean, anything that the First and Second Family do are viewed by people across the country as a model to look up to and this one, you know, I think there are even some people who are proponents of Christian education who would say, yeah, but not this kind. So, they're making a play at a very slim part of the population that they count as part of their base but potentially offending a lot of people. 

JULIE PACE: Pence himself — Pence and Karen Pence — I think it's somewhat surprising coming from them. They have really been — you know, they have been backed by the evangelical community. That is who they view as their base. This is also very personal for them. This is — this is their core beliefs. When you use your core beliefs in a public way, obviously it does open yourself up to criticism, and I think the Pence’s might be a little naive to think that wouldn't happen if she is going to make this decision. It's interesting, to me, they made no attempt to get ahead of it. They — they made the announcement she would be working at this school and then saw the backlash come a couple days later. 

KING: Does it matter that all taxpayers pay for her housing? That all taxpayers pay for her Secret Service protection? She, you know, it’s not her fault that she needs protection. This is the world we live in, but all taxpayers pay for, subsidize her life. Does it matter?

OLIVIER KNOX: So, do you mean does her First Amendment — do her First Amendment freedoms, get somehow curtailed because taxpayers pay for her accommodations and her security? I don't know that a lot of people would sign on to that. 

DEMIRJIAN: But she can — other people have the First Amendment to criticize and they should expect that there will be.

PACE: Sure. Of course.

[PANELISTS MUMBLING]

KNOX: But also, this is criticism — this is criticism of the Pence’s doing this, it's not a blind criticism of Christian education. 

KING: Everything is fair debate. We live in a democracy.


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW

NBDaily Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Religion Anti-Religious Bias Christianity Sexuality Homosexuality Same-sex marriage CNN Inside Politics Video Government & Press Secret Service John King Julie Pace Olivier Knox Mike Pence
Curtis Houck's picture