CommunityPam's House Blend

Mike Signorile strips NOM's empty-headed Brian Brown of tired, time-sucking talking points

(UPDATE: Full transcript is below the fold, thanks to Blender Flyerfier.)

I was IMing with Mike Signorile last night, eager to hear how his interview with National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown went. Apparently Brown, once Mike told him to get off of his set of tired talking points Brian uses to wind down the clock with the MSM so he doesn’t have to answer real questions, it was revealed that the NOM mouthpiece can’t back up his positions very well. Here’s some video.

In the video clip above, which includes selected parts of the interview, I challenge him to explain why he doesn’t believe there should have been ballot measures on interracial marriage, ask him to address some of the controversy surrounding the group (and money funneled to another group that is run by him) and discuss the religious agenda of a group which he and Maggie Gallagher have contended is a secular organization.

Honest to god, Brian can’t explain the inconsistency in his belief that putting interracial marriage up to a vote is wrong (when the the majority of people at the time of Loving V. Virginia would have banned it) and that mob rule on marriage equality is OK. The non-answer that he would have opposed that ballot measure is the height of stupidity; has Brown not thought it through, or is he just vapid?

Oh, and when Mike asked him about the $160K NOM doled out to the “consulting group’ Common Sense America on its 990 form that he is the director of, he deflected and said, unbelievably, that it didn’t go to him. What? So he’s just toiling for NOM for free? LOLOLOL. FAIL. Bonus FAIL: I hope Mike has a clip where he asked Brian why he can’t find real “true believer” people, not actors, to appear in NOM’s anti-gay commercials. ROTFLOL.

You can listen to the whole interview at Mike’s pad.


* NOM’s 2007 tax return…and who is behind ‘consultant’ Common Sense America  Transcript:

MS:But do you really think you’re going to be able to turn the tide?  We’ve now had state after state make marriage legal, either through the legislature or, in Iowa, it was through the supreme court.  There wasn’t outrage, there wasn’t.. most people in Iowa seemed to be taking this as just another day.  Nothing happened, nothing terrible happened.  And as more states do this, certainly young people.. we’re seeing all the polls, even of religious conservative young people, who are being much more accepting of marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

BB: Well I guess we just fundamentally disagree on the political landscape in 30 after 30 states, uh 30 of 30 states, when the people have had the chance to vote, they voted to protect marriage and they actually put it in their state constitutions.  You’ve had a few states now have legislatures move forward with same sex marriage but at the same time you’ve had those legislatures have refused to allow referenda, direct vote.  

MS: What about, bringing to a ballot, a national ballot, a vote on Loving vs Virginia, the 1967 ruling by the supreme court that marriage between people of different races, that laws.. that there could not be any laws banning that.  At that time most Americans were opposed.  So, should there have been a vote?

BB:  This is where we disagree.  Obviously, uh, the union of a man and a woman is not the same thing as as racial discrimination, but the fact that you think it shows..

MS: No, no , no no.. Brian it doesn’t matter … your argument is not that it really matters what I think or you think.. it’s what the people as a collective think.  That is your argument.  Wait.. that’s your argument.  [inaudible disagreement from BB]  Let me finish, let me finish and you can respond.  Your argument is that the people have decided.  So in 1967 when the vast majority of Americans were opposed to interracial marriage, should there have been a vote, or was it right?  This is a yes or no question.  For the supreme court to take the lead and basically be what people would call an activist court and change public opinion?

BB:  Of course there are areas the people should be able to vote and areas where they should not be able to vote.  Of course that’s the case, but the point of the matter…

MS: Why shouldn’t the majority have voted in that case? [BB inaudible] But you haven’t answered the questions.. I’m not going to let you finish until you answer it.

BB: You’re attempting to say that racial bigotry is the same as …

MS:  No, no what I am saying is that the majority, your argument is that the majority rules.  The majority believes..  Your argument is that what the majority believes morally is what is right and in 1967 the majority of people believed, morally, that it was immoral under God’s eyes, for a black man and a white woman to marry.  

BB:  We were talking about the reasons why marriage is different from any other type of relationship.  Those are reasons why this is a very different question than the question you’re raising.  And, you know, American people don’t accept your analogy.  African Americans overwhelmingly don’t …

MS: But, in 1967 American people didn’t accept, the majority of people didn’t accept it.  And this is the fundamental flaw in your argument.  And it is the thing you cannot respond to.  Nothing you have said has been adequate.  It’s been laughable.

BB:  Marriage …[inaudible]

MS:  You have not answered it:  should the majority vote on marriage?  

BB:  Again, if you let me finish.  Clearly, I believe there is something fundamentally different from any law that would try and keep the races apart, uh that is a very different issue than marriage being …[inaudible]

MS:  Brian, I’m gonna say this one more time.  That is what you believe in 2009.  You Bryan Brown.  But in 1967 …[BB talking] You’re not letting me finish.  In 1967, the majority of Americans, the majority of Christians believed that under God’s law it was immoral.  Under your logic they should have been able to vote and make that be the law of the land.

BB:  No, I just made clear to you that there’s certain issues that should not be put to a vote.  The question here is…

MS:  OK, then let’s finish it there.  Let’s stop there.  You are arbitrarily deciding that certain issues don’t go to a vote.  

MS:  There’s been some controversy about your 2007 tax return.  It’s finally been released, and in that year the National Organization for Marriage paid an outfit called Common Sense America 166 thousand dollars for consulting.  And, checking on this, it turns out that Common Sense America is run by you.  So what was that consulting for?

BB:  Actually, that was not consulting.  That was we had done a joint projects together.  The fact is I was not paid by Common Sense America

MS:  Where did the 166,000 dollars go?

BB:  Those were for joint advertisements.  

MS:  Right, but is that money not being funneled from the National Organization for Marriage to this other group that you were running?

BB:  No, it’s not being funned anywhere.  Groups that share the same basic interest as the National Organization for Marriage, uh, we help those groups all over the country.  So, there’s nothing, uh.. you know.  The fact is we gave a lot of money to proposition eight.  We’ve helped Maine, we’ve helped states all around the country support marriage.  We also help other groups, so the idea that there’s funneling money is just absurd.

MS:  Do you see a long fight here where you have a career in this?  Are you making a salary at the National Organization for Marriage?  

BB:  Of course I am, of course I’m paid for what I do and again, you can look at the 2007 990s and we’ll be releasing the 2008 and we never hid the 900s.

MS:  Now, you were before the National Organization for Marriage, you were with a Connecticut group that was funded by, pretty much owned by, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, correct?

BB:  That’s incorrect, I was the head of the Family Institute of Connecticut, but the Family Institute of Connecticut, like other family policy councils, does not receive direct funding from Focus on the Family.  It’s associated with Focus on the Family.  

MS:  Uh, well the institute, you said, it is now is associated with the Focus on the Family the group headed by the nationally known conservative James Dobson and uh..

BB:  Well, that was in the article, but that actually isn’t accurate.  The Family Institute of Connecticut is associated with Focus on the Family, but it was it’s own separate group.

MS:  You were marching against the allowing of homosexuality, being accepted by the Catholic church.  Um, you had..

BB:  We never marched against the Catholic church.  So I don’t know what you’re referring to.  

MS:  You had said that it’s a radical departure from Christian tradition and warrants a march.  This was when you led a petition drive for the Defense of Marriage Act.  

BB:  Yeah but we were working very closely, and I have a great deal of respect for the Catholic Bishops in Connecticut to stand up for the church’s position on marriage, but again…

MS:  And you were working to prevent distribution of condoms…in school.  I guess the point is there is a very large religious component to what you’re doing here.

BB:  Well, you know I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Catholic and I believe what the church teaches.  And..

MS:  And so you are trying to make your Catholic church and the Christian faith, the law of the land?

BB:  Absolutely not, again..

MS:  That is the reason, the reason why you fight marriage for gays and lesbians.

BB:  You have to understand what NOM is.. NOM is a number of groups, a number of individuals coming together from very different faiths, very different backgrounds and some have no faith at all..

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding