Why Bryan Fischer Was (Partly) Fired

If you’re wondering why Bryan Fischer was removed as the American Family Association’s Director of Issues Analysis and spokesperson but allowed to keep his radio show, the Southern Poverty Law Center has the real story. They sent a letter to the Republican National Committee because the RNC is taking a trip to Israel sponsored by the AFA and informed them of some of the more bizarre and vile things Fischer has said. The AFA replied with a letter explicitly renouncing a whole bunch of those statements. Here’s that letter:

Letter From Afa to Mr. Julian Bond Emeritus Splc

So they fired him from an official position with the organization while allowing him to continue his radio show on their network in order to distance themselves from him a little bit.

Vaughn also wrote that Fischer would no longer serve as an AFA spokesperson or its director of issue analysis. However, Fischer will continue to host his two-hour, daily Focal Point radio show and write blog posts. Vaughn wrote that the AFA’s radio network provides a “diversity” of viewpoints but that Fischer’s statements do not represent the views of the AFA.

In response, Cohen wrote, “The fact that the AFA is continuing to allow Mr. Fischer to host a daily radio show and blog on its website also makes us question the AFA’s sincerity. Sponsoring Mr. Fischer’s racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred of the Muslim and the LGBT communities in the name of ‘diversity’ says as much about the AFA as it does about Mr. Fischer.

“Is there nothing beyond the pale in the AFA’s view? Does the AFA believe that statements such as these have a place on its airwaves? Is this what the AFA considers ‘diversity’?”

Cohen noted that other AFA officials, including its president, Tim Wildmon, and founder, Don Wildmon, also have made statements “that reflect narrow-minded bigotry” and that AFA printed materials have demonized the LGBT community.

“Without ending Mr. Fischer’s talk show, without apologizing for the bigoted statements that he, Mr. Wildmon, and others associated with the AFA have made, and without making it crystal clear that the AFA will not tolerate any such statements in the future, the AFA’s 11th-hour disavowal of Mr. Fischer appears to serve only one purpose: to give the AFA a degree of plausible deniability while it continues to spew hateful rhetoric,” Cohen wrote. “It’s a shell game and a transparent one at that.”

Yep, that’s exactly it. “Sure, we continue to let him say things that even we claim to think are terrible on our radio network, but he doesn’t have an official title with us anymore, so it’s totally not our fault.” Wrong. It’s still your fault.

"Under Ailes, Fox News was making lots of money. It helps that they didn't have ..."

Fox Pays $90 Million to Shareholders ..."
"This is where the federal government really needs to step in, isn’t it?No, this calls ..."

Warning: Alex Jones is Going to ..."
". . . I’m putting everything I got on the table, . . . I ..."

Warning: Alex Jones is Going to ..."
"Yes, but other than that stuff Trump and Batman are the same."

Crokin Declares Trump a ‘Real Life ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    It’s not so surprising that the AFA is in the fig leaf business.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It’s a little thing called Personal Responsibility, Ed Brayton. Bryan Fischer and only Bryan Fischer is Personally Responsibie for things he says on their radio station, in a job that they pay him for. As such they will continue to employ him, and pay him to continue saying the things that they’re distancing themselves from by supporting him.

  • wreck

    “Is this what the AFA considers ‘diversity’?”

    Sure. He hates everybody that’s not just like him equally.

  • anubisprime

    This debacle says so much more about the AFA then they would hope for.

    One can only conclude they are royally embarrassed that their core attitudes were so brashly displayed, and under their watch, instead of being applied slyly and sneakily as they are prone to do

    It is not the bigotry and gross hate they object about, just that it was done in such an amateurish fashion, after all Bryan is not the brightest star in their firmament, although he is on a par and probably out guns most in that august institution, still the rank and file rarely get their own megaphone, that is obviously what pissed them off but not pissed off enough to kick him to the curb or take his megaphone away.

    Tis okay and dandy, fuck it is probably obligatory, behind closed doors to disparage and slander those they hate but not on the airways so that ‘the enemy’ gain such devastating ammunition against their ‘crusade’ of intolerance and sheer toxicity to folks unlike themselves.

  • hoku

    How long after the Israel trip before he’s reinstated? I’m guessing one month.

  • gshelley

    “Just because he was our spokesman and director of issue analysis you shouldn’t assume that when he spoke on his show on our network, or analysed issues on it, that would mean we had anything to do with the message we hired him to promote”

  • Trebuchet

    Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

    And speaking of lying…..

  • hunter

    anubisprime: I think you’re correct — they really would rather not have attention called to what they’re saying and doing. Not just the AFA, but the whole Anti-Gay, Inc., complex. GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project — which has been vilified repeatedly by AFA, FRC, their spokespersons and allies — has thorough documentation of just why they are designated as “hate groups.”

    Interesting that the RNC has remained relatively quiet — I’ve seen one statement from them, which is as much a deflection as anything the AFA has released.

    And another note: Scott Lively, who is being sued for crimes against humanity by a gay rights group in Uganda, was once director of AFA’s California chapter. If anything, he’s even worse than Fischer.

  • martinc

    Yes, indeed, the AFA should continue to be held accountable for having a bigot like Fischer on their radio show. Nevertheless this is a surprisingly good and unexpected letter. They didn’t just issue some vague motherhood statement about freedom of speech and leave it at that, they specifically brought up individual statements Fischer made and renounced them, leaving Fischer twisting in the wind on those positions at least. It shows that the AFA accepts that there is at least SOME level of bigotry to which they should not stoop. That has to be a plus, surely?

    Cynics might say “oh, it’s being driven by the change in America where hating on the gays is now costing support instead of gaining it” rather than any actual change in the AFA’s beliefs. Frankly I think that’s an even better thing. Changing the underlying beliefs of staunch long-term members of the AFA is probably impossible, but changing the awareness of the AFA that America has changed out from underneath them, and that their previous policy is now a minority-held one – that’s a great thing, simply because of the change in America it acknowledges. When those who least want to accept that that change has happened effectively acknowledge that it has happened, we may be past a certain tipping point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    When I was at Penn State, the AFA had a chapter at the university. The chapter was caught distributing Jack Chick’s anti-Catholic tracks. The national organization was quick to dissociate themselves from the chapter, but should anyone be surprised that a groups like this attract bigots to their banner?

  • wscott

    “We’re shocked, SHOCKED to find out that hate speech is going on here!”

  • dingojack

    But, but, but … it’s all about being fair & balanced *wink, wink*

    Most AFA hacks merely insinuate bad things about [insert AFA’s hate de jour here]; so we get Bryan to say it straight out — for balance!

    @@ Dingo

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    The AFA’s thing about Fischer no longer speaking for the AFA, is specious at best. He remains on their payroll and hosts one of their shows, daily. If they truly disapproved of the things he’s said, they’d long ago have either forced him to stop with the extremism, or they’d have yanked him off the air and dumped him entirely. That they’re keeping him around, speaks volumes. I smell more than a little whiff of “triangulation” … i.e. trying to disavow his more unsavory claims but holding onto him because his audience — which I’m sure does think like him … — is a key constituency they’re too cowardly to alienate.