Weyrich, Robertson used Foley scandal to spread falsehood about gay men

››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

Conservative commentator Paul Weyrich and 700 Club host Pat Robertson baselessly asserted that former Rep. Mark Foley's alleged misconduct is typical of gay men. As Media Matters for America has documented, studies that link homosexuality and child sex abuse are flawed and have been thoroughly debunked by numerous experts.

On the October 4 edition of National Public Radio's All Things Considered, conservative commentator and chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation Paul Weyrich baselessly claimed that "the real problem" with the Republicans' handling of the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) is that "Congressman Mark Foley was a homosexual" and "homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex." Similarly, as the People for the American Way weblog Right Wing Watch has noted, on the October 5 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson claimed that Republicans should respond to the Foley scandal by saying, "Well, this man's gay, he does what gay people do, and so don't worry about it."

As Media Matters for America documented when Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins made a similar claim while discussing the Foley scandal, studies that link homosexuality and child sex abuse are flawed and have been thoroughly debunked by numerous experts.

In addition to being a columnist for Town Hall, Weyrich formerly hosted American Investigator, a cable television program produced by Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation.

From the October 5 edition of CBN's The 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: The news is the Republicans have formed a circular firing squad, and they're firing away. It's just insane, this atavistic spirit to find blame just before an election. They'd be better to say, "Well, this man's gay, he does what gay people do, and so don't worry about it." I don't know what else to do. Or they can say. "We abhor this kind of conduct, but it's one person." And certainly, the Christian people -- the church people -- understand forgiveness, they understand sin, and this isn't going to, quote, turn off a lot of voters because of that. But the more they make out of it and the more they begin to have recriminations, the worse it's going to be for them, it seems like to me. But anyhow, I don't run the congressional leadership in Washington. They have their own agenda.

From the October 4 broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered:

WEYRICH: Here is the real problem. It has been known for many years that Congressman Foley was a homosexual. Homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex. The idea that he should be continued -- or should have been continued as chairman of the Committee on Missing and Exploited Children is, you know, given their knowledge of that, is just outrageous.

NORRIS: Now before we go on, I think I can say, Mr. Weyrich, that there are quite a few people who would take exception to the statement that homosexuals are preoccupied with sex.

WEYRICH: Well, I don't care whether they take exception to it. It happens to be true. I mean --

NORRIS: That is your opinion.

WEYRICH: Well, it's not my opinion. It's the opinion of many psychologists and psychiatrists who have to deal with them.

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