On the Focus on the Family radio show, FOF CEO James Dobson and president Jim Daly lambasted opponents of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, comparing the amendment to civil rights legislation and the abolitionists' campaign to end slavery, and predicting that if it failed, "civilization will go down."
On his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly offered up numerous falsehoods and misrepresentations while discussing the Senate's consideration of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
Chris Matthews allowed Sen. Trent Lott to suggest that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist did not make the decision to have the Senate consider the Marriage Protection Amendment during an election year, because Frist "[doesn't] control totally what the schedule might be." In fact, Frist publicly stated in mid-May that Senate debate on the proposed amendment would occur in early June, and then moved to have the Senate consider the motion on the first day it was in session in June. At the conclusion of the interview, Matthews told Lott, "I'm getting to like you too much."
Fox News host Brit Hume stated that "Democrats and those who support them" are divided over a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, but Hume overlooked the much deeper Republican split on the issue, as evidenced by a Senate vote related to the amendment. Hume introduced a report by Fox News correspondent Major Garrett by stating that a vote on the proposed amendment "is expected to break almost perfectly along party lines, the Republicans for it and Democrats against," but continued: "Nevertheless, the issue has divided some Democrats and those who support them."
On Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, American Values president and former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer asserted that "the American people" believe that a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage "is important." In fact, according to recent polling, when asked to prioritize the most pressing issues facing the country, most respondents have cited the war in Iraq, the economy, energy prices, terrorism, and immigration, but very few listed same-sex marriage.
On Fox News' Special Report, chief White House correspondent Bret Baier falsely reported that "President Bush won all 11 states" that passed bans on same-sex marriage in the 2004 election. On the same program, Washington Post staff writer Jeffrey H. Birnbaum repeated the inaccurate claim when he stated that "all those states passed those referenda" and "all of them voted for President Bush for re-election." In fact, Sen. John Kerry won two of the states that passed referendums banning gay marriage in 2004, Michigan and Oregon.
On NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert, during an interview with Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE), asked Biden if same-sex marriage was one of the issues "that the Republicans used successfully to demonstrate that the Democrats were out of sync on cultural -- and values." But leading up to the 2004 election, polls found that the public was split equally on which party better represented their values, and more recent polling indicates that more people think Democrats better represent their values than do Republicans.
On CNN's Paula Zahn Now, correspondent Deborah Feyerick outlined Parents & Friends of Ex-gays & Gays (PFOX) president Richard Cohen's efforts to promote a conversion therapy that purportedly "cures" homosexuality. But while noting that Cohen is an "unlicensed therapist," that conversion therapy is deemed "dangerous," and that a person counseled by Cohen said he was driven "to the edge of suicide" by the counseling, Feyerick failed to mention that Cohen was "expelled from the American Counseling Association (ACA) for multiple ethical violations," as The Washington Post has reported.
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that President Bush "is against" a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and misleadingly stated that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "came out against" such an amendment. In fact, Bush called for a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004, and White House press secretary Tony Snow reaffirmed that Bush "supports" a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage at a recent press gaggle. Furthermore, McCain recently suggested on Fox News Sunday that if the federal courts strike down the right of individual states to define marriage, he may support a federal constitutional amendment.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Fox News host Oliver North told Sean Hannity that it was "interesting" that he had "not heard" Howard Dean denounce protesters who have disrupted the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, implying that the protestors were liberals or Democratic supporters. Neither North nor Hannity explained that the protesters are, in fact, members of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.
Time columnist Joe Klein -- the magazine's "most liberal commentator" -- continued a pattern of attacking Democrats, the "Democratic left," and liberals. While purportedly critical of White House senior adviser Karl Rove, who he said will launch "another nefarious" campaign against Democrats in the run-up to the 2006 elections, Klein argued that Rove will "be aided by those on the noisome left" and singled out three prominent African-American House Democrats as particularly susceptible to such attacks.
Nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage unleashed a series of attacks on Hispanics, homosexuals, and Jews.
Bill O'Reilly claimed that, under a California bill that would require textbooks to recognize the accomplishments of historical lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] figures, "if you are a teacher ... you're not going to be able to say bad things about [convicted murderer] Jeffrey Dahmer," because Dahmer was "a gay cannibal." In fact, the proposal "would add the role and contributions of LGBT people" to the list of "traditionally underrepresented groups," whose historical contributions, under current state law, are required to be included in "textbooks and other school instructional materials."
In an article about a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, New York Times reporter David D. Kirkpatrick, while detailing the support of many religious conservatives for the amendment, ignored significant support for same-sex marriage among other religious groups.