ABC World News Investigates Bachmann Clinic: 'Where You Can Pray Away The Gay?'

July 11th, 2011 11:36 PM

NewsBusters has been reporting for weeks that the Obama-loving media are going to do anything possible to smear all Republican contenders for the White House in the coming months.

On Monday, ABC's "World News" actually began with a segment that included undercover videos of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's husband's clinic where homosexual patients are allegedly counseled to pray to become heterosexual (video follows with transcript and commentary):

DIANE SAWYER, HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with an ABC News investigation. Tea Party powerhouse Michele Bachmann has rocketed to the top of the Republican pack. Tonight, a closer look at the business she and her husband own back home in Minnesota. An outside group filmed undercover video inside the Bachmann’s Christian counseling center. Bachmann’s husband has said he does not try to turn gay people straight. ABC's chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross is here with those tapes and to tell us what they show tonight. Brian.

BRIAN ROSS: Well, Diane, they are quite a couple, and we're learning a lot more about their views and how they've made their money.


ROSS (OFF CAMERA): Michele Bachmann tells supporters her husband, Marcus, has been the key to her 33 years of happy marriage.

CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MINNESOTA): I just wanted to say I have a very big advantage, because Marcus has his Ph.D. in counseling and he's a marriage counselor.

BRIAN ROSS (OFF CAMERA): But Dr. Bachmann’s brand of counseling is highly controversial and could become a campaign issue.

BACHMANN: Here's my husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann.


ROSS (OFF CAMERA): Operating out of suburban Minneapolis, Dr. Bachmann runs a Christian counseling firm, co-owned with his wife, that at times, according to former patients, has tried to convert gay men into heterosexuals through prayer.

ANDREW RAMIREZ, FORMER PATIENT: His path for my therapy would be to read the Bible, and pray to God that I would no longer be gay.

ROSS (OFF CAMERA): Andrew Ramirez of Minneapolis was seventeen when his family sent him to Bachmann and Associates where he says a counselor working for Bachmann tried unsuccessfully to "save" him from his sin.

RAMIREZ: God would forgive me if I was straight.

ROSS (OFF-CAMERA): Dr. Bachmann, who has described homosexuals as barbarians, denied as a false statement five years ago reports his clinic tries to convert gay men to straight. But undercover video shot just last month inside the clinic by a gay advocacy group seems to show some form of the practice is indeed offered.


UNIDENTIFIED THERAPIST: But the truth is God, God has designed, he designed our eyes to be attracted to the woman's body, to be attracted to, you know everything, you know. To be attracted to her breasts.

ROSS (OFF CAMERA): A member of the group told the clinic of feelings towards men and depression and asked if he could be rid of his homosexual urges through therapy and prayer.

UNKNOWN THERAPIST: I think it's possible to be totally free of them.


JOHN BECKER, TRUTH WINS OUT: It’s unambiguous. The goal was to change me from homosexual to heterosexual.

ROSS (OFF CAMERA): Asked about our report today at a campaign appearance in Iowa, Michele Bachmann would only today she was proud of the clinic.


BACHMANN: I’m here today to talk about jobs and the economy.


ROSS: In a statement, the campaign said the Bachmann’s clinic provides a variety of services, but because of confidentiality cannot comment on any specific treatment. The American Psychological Association has told members the idea of converting gays through therapy to being straight is both ineffective and potentially harmful, Diane.

SAWYER: A Brian Ross investigation. Thanks, Brian.

Trying to further press the point, this was the headline and picture at

To be sure, anti-theist press members would predictably find any therapy involving prayer to be offensive, but airing undercover videotapes created by an advocacy group does seem odd given the mainstream media's antipathy to what James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles uncovered at ACORN roughly two years ago.

I guess the use of such footage is just fine when it's disparaging a prominent conservative.

It's also peculiar to lead with this story rather than the President's morning press conference about the debt ceiling. Says a lot about ABC News's priorities at this point.

One also recalls how long it took most mainstream media outlets to pay any attention to presidential candidate Barack Obama's America-hating spiritual adviser Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Consider, too, how little attention the junior senator from Illinois' connections to convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko got, or his ties to domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

By contrast, just weeks after Bachmann tossed her name into the presidential ring, ABC's airing undercover footage of her husband's clinic taken by an LGBT advocacy group. I'm sure the producers see it as all being for a good cause, especially as Truth Wins Out is using the free publicity to raise money.

As we've been saying, you better fasten your seatbelts.

What the media are going to do in the next sixteen months to get Obama re-elected will defy the imagination.

*****Update: Upon reflection concerning this segment, something has struck me as even more absurd about how "World News" reported these videos.

A man walks into a Christian clinic saying he has "feelings towards men and depression and asked if he could be rid of his homosexual urges through therapy and prayer." And he's outraged when a therapist at this Christian clinic tells him to pray?

That's like walking into a McDonald's complaining of hunger and being disgusted when the kid behind the counter suggests a Big Mac.

Exactly why is this news?

As for the first patient Ramirez, why didn't Ross ask him the reason his parents sent him to the Bachmann clinic when he was seventeen? Was it because he was gay and they were Christians thinking a Christian clinic would help their son with what they thought was a spiritual problem?

When you think about it, this whole report was something you'd expect on "Comedy Central" NOT ABC's "World News."