With "pro-family" reference to McCain, CNN's Costello continued CNN pattern of equating conservatives with "family" and "values"

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

On The Situation Room, Carol Costello described Sen. John McCain as "pro-family," continuing a pattern on CNN of using phrases such as "pro-family," "family values," and "values" in describing conservatives, perpetuating the notion that only conservatives favor families and vote their values.

On the June 9 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, correspondent Carol Costello reported that Sen. John McCain "is strongly anti-abortion; he's pro-family" -- continuing a pattern on CNN of using phrases such as "pro-family," "family values," and "values" in describing conservatives, perpetuating the notion that only conservatives favor families and vote their values. For instance, on the June 18, 2007, edition of CNN's The Situation Room, anchor John Roberts said: "We do definitely know that [former Massachusetts Gov.] Mitt Romney is pro-family." Additionally, on the October 3, 2006, edition of The Situation Room, CNN chief national correspondent John King twice equated "pro-family voters" with "conservatives." Media Matters for America has also documented numerous examples of CNN pundits and journalists promoting the myth that nonconservative voters do not vote their values and are not religious.

From the June 9 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

[video clip]

COSTELLO: [Family Research Council president Tony] Perkins says evangelical voters see no passion in John McCain for the issues they care about and wonder whether they should switch to [Sen. Barack] Obama, who seems to speak their language.

OBAMA: Democrats need to get in church, reach out to evangelicals, link faith with the work that we do.

COSTELLO: Camp Obama plans to organize faith and politics house parties across the country in a grassroots effort to attract evangelical voters who care about issues like global warming, poverty, and AIDS.

McCain's camp is wooing evangelicals too, sending email messages to conservative voters, reaching out to evangelical preachers -- although Perkins says he shouldn't expect many endorsements. Not after he accepted, then rejected, Pastor John Hagee's endorsement because of a sermon in which Hagee said Nazism was God's will.

HAGEE: This nation is going to go through a bloodbath.

McCAIN: I would reject the endorsement of the expression of those kinds of views.

COSTELLO: That only reminded conservative voters what he said about Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell back in 2000.

McCAIN: Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance.

COSTELLO: McCain and Falwell became friends again in 2006, but Robertson endorsed [former Republican presidential candidate Rudy] Giuliani. Still, some conservatives say when it comes right down to it, they will eventually vote Republican.

PHIL BURRESS (Citizens for Community Values President): Even though John McCain is not doing anything right now to help himself, I believe that when people understand who Barack Obama is, we're going to find a lot of people coming out to vote against a candidate rather than for someone.

[end video clip]

COSTELLO: But John McCain is aggressively reaching out to evangelical voters. And his camp told me his record, his strong faith will win them over. He is strongly anti-abortion; he's pro-family. And his camp says he's running against one of the most pro-abortion rights, liberal candidates to ever run. They are sure on Election Day, conservative voters will be in McCain's corner.

Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Carol Costello
Show/Publication
The Situation Room
Stories/Interests
Religion, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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