Last week, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was invited to be on "Face the Nation." What was supposed to be a cordial conversation about the Supreme Court and same-sex marriage turned out to be a professional ambush.
Host Bob Schieffer pounced on the Family Research Council, calling them an anti-gay hate group. He was using discredited intelligence from the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was an ugly interview.
The Conservative Action Project fired off a letter to CBS demanding an apology, calling the interview an assault against Judeo-Christian people of faith.
"It is now clearer than ever before that the liberal media - including CBS...will stop at nothing to use their power and the power of the government to silence, shame, punish and fine Americans who embrace traditional marriage and other politically incorrect truths,” the letter read in part.
Brent Bozell, the president of the Media Research Center, was one of the conservative leaders who signed the letter written to CBS News President David Rhodes. Other high profile conservatives who signed the document include: Edwin Meese, Becky Norton Dunlop, chairman of the Conservative Action Project; Tim Wildmon, American Family Radio; Richard Bott, Jr., Bott Radio Network; Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Institute; Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America; Jerry Johnson, National Religious Broadcasters; Stuart Epperson, Salem Communications; and Judge Paul Pressler.
“The character assassination underway against Christians is something that five years ago was unimaginable,” Bozell told me.
Anti-Christian bigotry at its worst, broadcast on CBS Television - and made worse because a supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center shot and wounded a security guard during a domestic terrorist attack on the Family Research Council's headquarters in 2013.
Mr. Bozell said there's a lesson to be learned here: Christians need to be prepared.
“Be prepared to be ambushed,” he said. “Be prepared to be slandered. Be prepared to be verbally persecuted.”
It would be easy to dismiss Mr. Schieffer's ignorance as nothing more than sloppy journalism. But we're not talking about a local cable access show. We're talking about "Face the Nation. "
Tony Perkins is my friend. He is a good and decent and honorable man - and he deserves better. The only way for Bob Schieffer and CBS News to save face is to face the nation - and apologize.