Why Does CNN Employ Anti-Gay, Anti-Science Bigot Rick Santorum?

Santorum once compared being gay to having sex with a dog, a comment that took him 12 years to walk back.
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via Getty images

via Getty images

Rick Santorum doesn’t accept evolution or human-caused climate change, and he’s an anti-gay bigot. So why does CNN pay him of all people to give opinions?

Lest it be viewed as the “Clinton News Network,” CNN has array of conservative pundits who presently have one job: to defend Donald Trump no matter what so that “both sides” of the issue – whatever it is – can be heard. Because you know, we need Republican hacks to help us understand why the latest objectively terrible thing Trump said or did is not in fact objectively terrible.

Rick Santorum is one of these gaslighters, and he’s just perfect for the job. After all, he’s spent his entire career as a politician and a pundit denying plain, measurable reality. For starters, Santorum does not accept the fact of evolution – something the scientific community overwhelmingly does. While in the U.S. Senate, he proposed an amendment to an education bill that would have promoted the half-baked theory of Intelligent Design, which is just creationism in slightly different packaging.

Then there’s climate change, which in 2011 Santorum said was “just an excuse for more government control of your life,” calling it “junk science.” In 2015, his stance seemed to soften. That year Pope Francis issued an encyclical warning about the dangers of human-caused climate change. Santorum, a hardcore Catholic, responded by saying, “The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists.”

Good advice! Too bad Santorum isn’t following it. While America was still in a food coma the day after Thanksgiving, the Trump administration quietly released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which details the deadly and costly impacts of climate change. Well, people noticed and rightly gave the Trump administration a cornucopia of shit for it.

Santorum’s response about the timing of the holiday release? “Good for them.” Why? “If there was no climate change, we’d have a lot of scientists looking for work. The reality is that a lot of these scientists are driven by the money they receive.”

You know, because if you’re a scientist working for the government, you’re driven by the money.

The beauty of science and the peer review process that is so vital to it is this: scientifically unsound work is not rewarded. And if it is, it typically doesn’t take very long for better work to come along and explain, using data and models and empirical evidence, what’s wrong with the previous hypothesis and why this one is better.

But as we’ve established, Santorum doesn’t care about scientific consensus when the consensus is telling him something he doesn’t want to hear. He, Trump, and the rest of the Republican science deniers are basically Mayor Vaughn from Jaws dismissing the oceanographer Matt Hooper’s warnings about the shark thusly: “You’d love to prove that, wouldn’t you? Get your name into the National Geographic.”

While we don’t know Mayor Vaughn’s position on gay rights, we know Santorum’s and it is an abomination. Santorum once collectively described the abuses by pedophile Catholic priests as “a basic homosexual relationship” involving “men” and not children despite ample evidence to the contrary. (There’s that word again – evidence – that Santorum has such difficulty with.) He also endorsed laws against sodomy and said there’s no right to privacy. Then there was the time he said a child would be better off having a father in prison than being with lesbian parents.

And let’s not forget that Santorum once compared being gay to having sex with a dog, a comment that took him 12 years to walk back.

So this is one of the guys CNN thinks has something important to add to the public discourse. A guy who rejects evolution because it conflicts with his religious beliefs. A guy who rejects the idea of human-caused climate change because it conflicts with his political beliefs. A guy who thinks gays shouldn’t be able to marry. A guy who thinks gays shouldn’t be able to adopt children. This guy has something valuable to contribute?

I think not. The only service that a contributor like Rick Santorum provides is being a reminder that you can deny reality and be a bigot and still be paid to give your opinions by a network that isn’t even Fox News.

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