The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Megyn Kelly to Feature Hate Group that Dubbed Her a ‘Dragon Lady’

By Josh Glasstetter on October 15, 2013 - 5:48 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

Well, this should be interesting. Fox News’ Megyn Kelly is set to feature an organization on her show tonight that has described her as “resentful,” “angry,” “hostile” and “bitter.” What’s  more, this group has dismissed her as a “harridan,” “feminist on steroids” and “dragon lady” who is driven by “angry feminist energy” and opposes the “Biblical view of roles in the home.” That seems like more than enough to get banned from a show for life, but what do I know.

It could be that Kelly’s producers have failed to do their homework on the group, the American Family Association (AFA), whose spokesman savaged Kelly after she criticized sexist comments by Erick Erickson. Here are the remarks from May by Bryan Fischer, AFA’s chief spokesman and head of public policy (courtesy of our friends at Right Wing Watch):

Kelly plans to feature AFA tonight because of a flawed report by her colleague Todd Starnes about AFA’s designation as a hate group – which it is. Starnes is a professional alarmist who routinely runs half-baked stories about Christians being under attack. His reporting is factually challenged, to say the least, and he’s prone to wild rhetoric, such as when he said “South Park” should be investigated by the government or that America under Obama is becoming like Germany in the 1930s. By the way, Starnes spoke last week at the AFA-sponsored Values Voter Summit but failed to disclose that in his report on AFA (you don’t have to when you only play a reporter on TV).

Starnes’ report, published yesterday on the Fox News website, expressed shock and horror that a “well-respected Christian ministry” like AFA would be depicted as a hate group – alongside the Nation of Islam, Westboro Baptist Church and Nation of Islam – during a briefing at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. While I can’t comment on the briefing itself (not without seeing a recording of what was said or reading the materials that were handed out), the thrust of Starnes’ article is fundamentally inaccurate.

AFA isn’t a “well-respected Christian ministry.” It’s a far-right broadcaster and political group known for outrageous and bigoted statements. Its founder, Don Wildmon, has railed against Jewish influence in the media for decades. More recently, he’s passed the torch to Fischer.

Fischer says, among other things, that: gays are to blame for the Holocaust; women have no place in the military or political leadership; homosexuality should be outlawed; gays are “ten times” more likely to molest children (when there’s no difference between straight and gay men); black people rut like rabbits; HIV was invented as the cause of AIDS to get research money; Muslims have no First Amendment rights; and Hispanics come to “plunder” the United States.

Fischer and his employer are obsessed with demonizing gays and lesbians. They’ve earned their designation as an anti-gay hate group, and it’s about time they own up to it.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Lefty, I think you skipped about 60 years of history. Google something called “Southern Strategy.”

  • aadila

    Supersonic is right….that was back when the Republicans were called the Democratic Republicans. Presumably when calling the United States a democracy didn’t earn squeals of “treason!” from its members.

  • supersonic250

    Lefty: You make the same ignorant argument that’s been made a billion times. YES, the Democratic party was once the racist, conservative party. That was in the 1860s. SINCE then, there was a massive political shift, and now we are the liberal, progressive and (generally) tolerant party. Take some history lessons. Lincoln is rolling in his grave at what the Republican party has become.

  • aadila

    Erika,

    A good friend and special agent at the FBI had the same theory on “mighty mouse”. I had to chuckle then and chuckle now.

    And I’ve definitely been in a lot of churches and read the bible, at least the New Testament, from cover to cover and still look there for inspiration. But I see nothing in the teachings of Christ that encourages the kind of behavior we see the institution of Christianity doing in America — most especially the doings of the AFA.

    Unfortunately, reasonable and tolerant Christians get tarred with the same brush as a result. If the AFA were aware of the harm they do to Christianity and religion in general, I wonder if they would continue on their path of ignorance.

  • Erika

    aadila, while there has long been a religious based backlash against social change, i believe that there is something else going on now. Namely, i believe that we have seen a shift within the religious right between people who are primarily motivated by their religious values and get involved in politics – perhaps looking at one issue – because they believe its the right thing to do. i believe that the Rev. Donald Wildmon likely qualifies in that group – he was a Methodist minister who objected to sex and violence and television and started the AFA was trying to get more family friendly fare. While he had some “successes” which may well have been harmful like teaching “Mighty Mouse” watching preschoolers what cocaine was he was basically harmless. and he probably even was right that there is too much garbage and not enough family friendly fare on television.

    But later on we see a shift – and the AFA perfectly represents this – where suddenly Christian Right leaders were more motivated by the “right” part than the “Christian” part – that is to say that these new leaders are Republicans first and Christians second (or in some cases, probably truthfully not at all since many come from the Suburban Megachurches which appear to really worship Mammon or if you use the King James Version (and in this case maybe you should because this is an awesome phrase) “Filthy Lucre”). One result is that you see a move between requiring difficult things to be an ideal right wing Christian – fundamentalist Christians after all will tell you that you should be giving up something fun like dancing or watching filth on television or listening to pretty much all music or drinking alcohol or having sex for any purpose other than procreation – to only having to do simple things. After all, Pat Robertson’s group has handed out tragically hilarious voting guides that list voting against tax cuts for millionaires as being an anti-Christian position (someone really should tell him about Greed being one of the Seven Deadly Sins – in fact, it may well be the deadliest of the deadly sins – there is even an actually pretty good Chick Tract about that).

    The modern Christian right then is focused on things that do not seem to be at all Christian – being more interesting in palling around with Caeser than “rendering unto Caeser that which is Caeser’s but rending unto God that which is God’s” – in the modern Christian right there is no difference. Their concern is not in Heaven but on earth – Satan is real to them but only as a moderate conservative Democrat who wants to raise taxes on the rich or feed the hungry or some sort of “Socialist” notion like that. Jesus is praised publicly but his actual words are almost never spoken let alone ever heeded – in fact, if you’ve never had the misfortune of actually going to one of those suburban Megachurches with a friend you are not aware of how ridiculously content free their services really are – which makes sense, after all their real purpose is merely to provide comfort to the already comfortable. i actually told my friend who took me to one that the service reminded me of an infomercial – and that might have actually been unfair to infomercials.

    We now see a weird state of religion and religious leadership – as focused on social order as the fundamentalists they surplanted they continue to oppose sex outside of the purpose of reproduction, continue to demonize gay people, continue to insist upon white male domination of society, continue to insist that the husband dominate the marriage, continue to be obsessed with “sin” but in their case “sin” seems to be opposing a things like complete elimination of the inherietance tax because after all Tea Party Jesus said “blessed are the children of billionaires because they will inheriet a whole lot of money tax free for doing absolutely nothing. Blessed are the multinational corporations because they shall rule over the earth and that greatly pleases Me” or allowing poor people to have food and health insurance because as Tea Party Jesus said “those who turn their backs on the poor have My blessing and shall be welcomed into Heaven where they will sit at My right hand while those who help the poor will be cast into The Lake of Fire. Because I tell you the truth, whenever you help the needy it disgusts Me, but whatever you do for your personal benefit you do for Me.” – that is to say we have people who proclaim Jesus and live to worship Mammon who don’t see religion as anything but a tool to help right wing politics and elevate themselves into power. That is why they have a “Values Voter Summit” where the only real value being proclaimed from the stage is “Greed is Good.” That is why we see so called “religious” groups proclaiming that all it takes to please God is to vote Republican, hate gay people, and oppress women – so as long as you do that, you can be as much of a greedy self centered jerk as you want to be. Scarily, in Virginia we have such a “Christian Right” leader who uses religion for personal power and engrantenment (and public office for personal enrichment and to harass his supposed enemies) now running for governor. And many of those types are in the House and Senate.

    It is because they are not religious groups at all – they are just another Republican interest group. And the leaders see Christianity as nothing but a route to power. The AFA really represents that shift – what started out as a basically harmless group of religious people getting into politics to try to get rid of “filth” or “smut” on television (needless to say, they failed misarably in that endevor) is now a right wing powerhouse run by people who got into religion because it provided an open door to politics. And ironically, their main route to power was provided by exactly the type of filth merchant or smut peddler if you prefer that they went after in the beginning. i mean can there be any stranger alliance than the one between Donald Wildmon’s AFA and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News??? Apparently the very gratitious sex, violence, and exploitation of women that the AFA started to combat is now okay with them as long as you also think that Teh Gays are icky..

  • Lefty

    Just a reminder of one of the oldest and meanest hate groups there has ever been in America, Democrats. It was the Democrat south that owned and abused the slaves that the Republican president set free, the Democrat KKK that hung and terrorized Republican blacks and whites after the Civil War, the Democrat governor that activated the National Guard to prevent black students from attending high school, and the Democrat governor that first raised the Confederate flag over South Carolina that caused certain groups to boycott the state when a Republican governor was in office. Now this hate group is stifling free speech by calling people haters who disagree with what is nothing more than being politically incorrect. Political speech is really the speech that is protected by our Constitution, if you don’t have political speech then what good is any other kind of speech for political speech is what changes things in government. Without it we’d still have slavery not to mention the Civil Rights Act.

    I think this organization, if it were really anti-hate, would call for the Democratic Party to be dissolved or call for reparations from them because of it’s extreme hatred of black people and Republicans to the point of murder, murder is real hate as opposed to the rhetoric of someone trying to inform another of their beliefs, beliefs of the harm sin causes to self and society. Democrats have, in recent days, defended the former head of a KKK chapter because he was a Democrat senator, Robert Byrd. The man used the n-word decades into being a senator, filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and was still defended of his leading the KKK.

  • aadila

    Sam, some questions people can only answer for themselves.

  • aadila

    Dietrich,

    I feel ya.

    What I am said above probably seems too opaque for anyone to connect with, so I will try to simplify what I mean.

    Homosexuality is no threat to heterosexuals, and of course this is obvious to anyone who really thinks about the question. In fact, heterosexuals, if competing for mates from some evolutionary perspective, could be said to actually benefit from the presence of homosexuals because it removes competition for mates.

    What I am getting at by bringing Heidegger and existentialism into this, is that groups such as the AFA are comprised of people who blame homosexuals for the disruption of a fragile, false, and delusional social order where heterosexuality is compulsory and homosexuality is a threat, evil, and fearsome because it exposes the fragility of that mythic and unreal social order. That inauthentic social order goes quite beyond what people do or do not do for pleasure in the bedroom, but this taking of “outlaw” pleasure is one thread of the chimeric false reality they cling to.

    So I don’t really think I am being kind to these troubled, delusional people. I do empathize with anyone who is left with a sense of meaninglessness in their beliefs because they fail to accept reality (i.e. that homosexuality can be demonized but it won’t go away). What they are fighting against is the disruption of an inauthentic meaning in their lives. My hope is that they can eventually see that authenticity in one’s own life should never mean tearing down the authenticity of another.

  • Sam Molloy

    Aadila, are Dragon Lady fingernails racist? I just thought they were an excuse not to work, as I don’t know of any job you can do if you have them, except maybe Empress.

  • Gregory

    When the AFA say that they love you to death, it is probably not a figure of speech.

  • Dietrich

    aadila,

    You are being far too kind. The simpler, more accurate idea is that there are marginalized groups that they really don’t like, justified with tribalism, religion, privilege, and pseudoscientific bullshit.

    Homosexuals have been marginalized for a long time, and the AFA really hates homosexuals and want to make them suffer. The whole “teachings of love” is just PR.

  • aadila

    There are reasons why AFA begins with the teachings of love and falls into the practice of hate. I have been giving this some thought.

    When we look at the phenomenon of everyday life in America, the traditionalists of our culture seem inevitably doomed to a deeply traumatic conflict with the disruptions of their desired order – and this includes belief in a universal sexual order ordained by God – and the fiction that life is going to be alright if we just don’t change anything.

    When they see people living happily outside this predetermined order, being okay with diversity and things changing, they are terrified of the complete collapse of the common set of structures, meaning and the false sense of security they think is holding their lives together.

    And of course, it isn’t.

    So, they reside, as Heidegger observed, in a state of paralyzed existential despair. This despair arises from the futility of their desired social structure to provide any authentic meaning at all. It is impossible to live authentically in an unchanging way. That is the equivalent of sticking our heads in the sand in the hope that life will just go away.

    It is this confrontation with the basic trauma of meaninglessness that leads such supposedly loving people to turn to hate.

  • Gregory

    I see that james has offered the ever popular “nuh-uh defense” of the AFA. Sure, james, whatever you say.

  • Aron

    Sorry Patrick, gotta disagree with you here. Outlaw folks like Michael Cushman, and that gives you a dangerous precedent.

  • Patrick

    all those hate groups like michael cushman’s southernnationalist need to be outlawed! nothing but a bunch of neo-nazi hatemongers. America has always been a melting pot and always will be. If michael cushman only wants nazi’s living here, maybe he should find someplace else to live! Say no to hate!

  • aadila

    Forgive me for saying this, because I don’t mean to racialize the discussion, but calling someone a “dragon lady” is as racist and unacceptable as calling somebody a “honky”.

    Even though it may not have been intended to be racist (because Ms. Kelly is not Asian), the term “dragon lady” orginated in the West to describe the sterotype of Asian women as deceitful or malicious. Its etymology in the US dates back to the 1930s when the portrayal of the women of Asia in cinema permanently fixed in the American psyche certain basic, racist attitudes toward women, Asia, and Asian women specifically. It is basically the female iteration of the dehumanizing Western stereotype of the “yellow hoarde”, a buck toothed, squint eyed subhuman.

    Going deeper into the stereotypical language being used to describe Kelly (which proves that hate speech is deeply embedded in right wing mentality, even when applied to “whites”), the OED has references dating back to the 18th Century of the misogynistic roots of this term “dragon” to refer to any powerful woman. We all know what the other term is. I am surprised they didn’t use it.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    If your group demonizes entire groups of people and slanders them over things they have no choice in, you’re a hate group. It’s not difficult.

    On the topic though…I think Kelly should be proud. Dowager Empress Cixi, the original “Dragon Lady” was quite influential and powerful for a woman in the late 19th century/early 20th.

  • Sam Molloy

    If he thinks that highly of Megan what does he think of Rachel Maddow?

  • Reynardine

    Gadzooks, if I ever saw a man whose marshmallow sundae needed to be made out of foaming caulk. ..

  • james

    said it before and will say it again, just because the SPLC says a group is a hate group does not make it so.
    stop labeling anyone that does not agree with your liberal agenda as being hateful.
    americans of all colors and backgrounds disagree on anything, but that does not make someone we disagree with a hateful person or anything else

  • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com David Cary Hart

    Today AFA posted Starnes’ information to one of their blogs with the title “U.S. Army officially labels your AFA as domestic hate group.” Oh the poor dears.

    May I add to Josh’s summary that they also boycott companies for treating gays with dignity. They even boycotted JC Penney simply because the company shot a series of commercials using Ellen DeGeneres. By the way, old man Wildmon not only complained that we control the media but that Jews were too tolerant of homosexuals.

    As I pointed out today, their problem is not that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists AFA as a hate group. The problem is what AFA does to be listed by SPLC as a hate group.

    Of course, they will never see things that way so it’s “poor us.” This is the organization that allows an executive to go on THEIR air and claim that the Supreme Court “is doing to us what the Nazis did to the Jews.” Yeah, poor them. Ugh!