Report the shock pastor’s bigotry but correct his facts

You’ve heard of shock jocks, like the drive-time radio hosts who throw chickens out the radio station’s second-story window? If a shock jock is a right-wing pastor, then you’ve got a shock pastor, like Colorado Springs’ Kevin Swanson, who recently cited “decadent homosexual activity” as the cause of Colorado’s floods.

Swanson’s latest shocker: his campaign against Girl Scout cookies. Swanson’s anti-cookie crusade was first reported by Right Wing Watch, which spotlights this kind of stuff. It quoted Swanson on his weekly radio show saying that “the individualism of feminism has been devastating to this country.”

Swanson: “I’d say you ought to say no the Girl Scout cookies too. I don’t want to support lesbianism, I don’t want to support Planned Parenthood, and I don’t want to support abortion, and if that be the case I’m not buying Girl Scout cookies…”

“The vision of the Girl Scouts of America is antithetical to a biblical vision for womanhood, it’s antithetical to it… Guys just check it out at the Girl Scouts’ websites and you’re going to find that the people showing up are lesbians, lots and lots of lesbians. Dave, I didn’t realize there were this many lesbians leading this country but they certainly show up in Girl Scout conventions across America…

“In fact, if you want a communist in the White House in the year 2020 you have got to get more daughters raised with the worldview, the independent mindset, the worldview that is presented by the Girl Scouts of America.”

As Westword pointed out today, Swanson didn’t change his tune in a Channel 7 interview last night.

Channel 7 asked Swanson to back up his assertion that the Girl Scouts promotes Planned Parenthood, abortion, and lesbianism.

Channel 7 reporter Marc Stewart: How can you make those statements?

Swanson: I just take the data I see on the Internet. I take the associations I see on the Internet. I see the promotion of feminism and lesbianism.

Unfortunately, Channel 7 didn’t show us Swanson’s alleged internet proof—or state as a factual matter, that none exists.

Still, the TV station did report a denial from the Girl Scouts, as well as a counter view from a parent.

Girl Scout parent Susan Sabol: “The meetings have nothing to do with sexuality or reproduction, or reproductive rights. They’re really leaning to be good members of society and the community. It’s very much about being a good person.”

You can argue that, at some point, reporters should ignore shock pastors, who repeatedly blast out outrages on little-known internet radio shows.

But there’s actually a lot to be gained from seeing bigots being bigots, and asking them about it, as long as their misinformation is corrected and the facts are clear.

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