Interview or argument? There’s a difference, CNN

Interview or argument? There’s a difference, CNN February 28, 2014

Want to get drunk fast?

Watch this video and take a swig of an adult beverage every time Chris Cuomo interrupts Bill Donohue.

After 12 minutes, you won’t be able to stand up.

Cuomo brought Donohue onto CNN’s morning show New Day in the latter’s role as head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The topic was the Arizona law that was just vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. As you may recall, the law would have allowed anyone to decline to do business with someone on religious grounds. Gays were believed to have been the main targets, in sympathy with Christians who believe homosexuality is wrong.

Meaty stuff for a discussion, to be sure. What if the businessman believes blacks are inferior? Conversely, without the law, would a Jewish photographer be forced to shoot pictures at a Klan or skinhead wedding?

And the talk is actually pretty productive for the first half of the interview. But then Cuomo makes it a quarrel. Either that or badgering. Sometimes he doesn’t even wait for Donohue to finish a sentence before adding more preachments thinly veiled as questions.

Here are some excerpts from where the two discuss a recent situation in New Mexico, of a photographer who didn’t want to take pictures at a gay wedding. Donohue actually says he has “no sympathy” for such people. Then he raises fears about forcing churches to accept gay weddings.

“No, we’re not going there,” Cuomo says at first. Then when Donohue insists, Cuomo gets more argumentative, moving from law to morality.

Donohue: We feel, people of faith, that our rights are being whittled away in the name of gay rights having to trump ours. We need to have an honest discussion. I’d like to see a moratorium on this …

Cuomo: How does gay marriage compromise your rights?

Donohue: The problem with gay marriage is this: It makes a smorgasbord. It basically says that there’s no profound difference, socially speaking, between marriage between a man and woman — the only union that can create a family — and other examples. I don’t …

Cuomo: Who says that’s the purpose of marriage? What if you want lifelong companionship and commitment?

Donohue: If a man and woman don’t have sex, we can’t reproduce, can we? We can’t propagate …

Cuomo: You don’t have to be married to propagate.

Donohue: No, that’s right, you …

Cuomo: And you don’t have to want kids to be married.

Donohue makes the mistake of calling for marriage as “the privileged position,” rather than favoring “alternative lifestyles.” Cuomo again puts him on the defensive, and it clearly rattles him.

Cuomo: Why shouldn’t they be equal? Why?

Donohue: Because …

Cuomo: What’s your reason?

Donohue: Because it’s in the best interests of society to have a one- …

Cuomo: Who says?

Donohue: I’m a sociologist by training. Take a look at …

Cuomo: The divorce rate is over 50 percent …

Donohue: Take a look at the literature …

Cuomo: … latchkey kids, broken homes …

Donohue: Kids …

Cuomo: … social problems …

Donohue: Kids …

Cuomo: … all during the era of how you wanted it.

Donohue: But, but, but no. Kids do best in an intact family. The evidence is overwhelming. It’s in … you need a father and a mother …

Cuomo: You need love and you need people to care for you, gay or straight …

Donohue: Once you go down the road of love as the condition of marriage — how far do you want to go with that? How …

Cuomo: So love shouldn’t be part of marriage, but you should be straight?

Among Cuomo’s missteps: When Donohue says marriage is “ordained by nature and nature’s God,” he answers incredulously: “Marriage was not ordained by nature! Most mammals don’t couple!” Did he really miss the phrasing from the Declaration of Independence?

Cuomo also bobbles in bringing up Pope Francis’ quote of — all together, now — “Who am I to judge them?” (Refresher course on what the pope was actually talking about right here.) Cuomo then suggests that Donohue is being judgmental in disapproving gay marriage.

Donohue’s comeback is an interfaith defense: “I have Christianity, I have Judaism, I have Muslims, I have Mormons, I have most of the world who regard this idea as being bizarre, that two men should get married.”

Cuomo sidesteps: “Well, first of all, you say love isn’t important in marriage. Thank God I didn’t say that, because my wife would want to kill me.”

How else could this have been done? Well, Cuomo could lined up two or more people of different viewpoints, then moderated. He could also have asked questions that didn’t sound like bait.

And, of course, he could have allowed his guest to finish more sentences.

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8 responses to “Interview or argument? There’s a difference, CNN”

  1. That isn’t an argument, it’s just contradiction! (Couldn’t resist.)

    The “love” lines are of interest. The “activists” keep arguing that it is a “fundamental human right” to “marry the one you love”. Donohue might have asked Cuomo (assuming he was allowed to get a sentence in) if he would forbid people to marry when they can not convince us that they are motivated by looooove, since they lack this “fundamental human right”. He might also have asked what other rights are considered to depend on the state of one’s emotions.

  2. wlinden:
    In law school we learned that the primary reason for legal marriage is the declaration to the public at large that the two people are responsible for each other and any children that might be born – thus the community and government can hold them responsible even when they don’t feel like it. The criminal law class was stumped when the professor asked why there are bigamy laws and why does the govt care who is sleeping with whom. Nobody had an answer until I said that the government doesn’t want to be financially responsible for abandoned children and mothers.

    The bigamy case we were reading was from the 1940s when many states did not recognize Nevada divorces b/c Nevada didn’t require a property settlement or support provisions. The bigamy statutes were mainly to nab run-away spouses who got quickie divorce decrees in Nevada or Mexico or wherever and re-married in a different state. The original state of residence could use the non-recognition of the Nevada decree and the bigamy prohibition to get support for the abandoned family. There were very few instances of two simultaneous families (as in the movies) without a questionable “divorce” involved.

    Most people also do not realize most states have a “necessities” law whereby a spouse without funds can get necessities (food and clothing) for herself (usually the wife) and the children and have them charged to the other working spouse. This and other financial situations are among the reasons why marriages and divorces are a matter of public record and published in some general circulation newspapers and legal records publications.

    If people routinely fell in love, lived together forever, and never reneged on financially supporting each other and their progeny, maybe marriage would not have been invented. Even in primitive cultures there is almost always some public ceremony declaring to the community that the two people are now responsible for each other and their children. Love is nice, but is not an essential element anywhere.

    • ” Love is nice, but is not an essential element anywhere.”
      Then why do people like Cuomo keep bringing it up? And insisting that anyone who disagrees is anti-loooove?

  3. You need not love for the modern version of marriage. You need not even monogamy. And permanence? Ha. You need only to sign a temporary contract. The inability to scrutinize marriages for orthodoxy to the family model does not eliminate the model. Such is arguing from circumstance. And I don’t hear any calls for scrutinizing modern marriages for its supposed foundations of love or care.

    • So without monogamy, and without love, and without the ability to procreate, in what sense is it a marriage?

      • Sadly a temporary contract regulated by a body who cares nothing for marriage. And why would it? The state wants to play Mommy or Daddy and the corporate-entertainment cabal supporting the state wants to sell double the number of apartments, beds, appliances, day-care, cars, etc. and the vices and distractions to fill what otherwise would be family time.

  4. What is amazing is the level of untruth that Cuomo has bought into:
    “Cuomo: Who says that’s the purpose of marriage? What if you want lifelong companionship and commitment?”

    The purpose of marriage from the beginning of time has been to provide the structure for the family, which almost 95% of the time will involve kids. In cases where there are no children we typically mourn for the couple, because children are so integral to a marriage. But even in that situation you have fundamental male-femail complementarity. Men and women naturally go together in a special way. Men and Men can form strong attachments, but it just is not the same thing. Espexially when most gay marriages have no intention of being faithful to one another. (google “monogamy gay marriage”, One of the things counselors who deal with gay couples deal with is this: what are the rules are for when they are allowed to cheat on their spouse.? It’s just taken for granted that there will be constant cheating.

    The logical flaws just fall out of Cuomo’s mouth left and right. The fact that some couples do not want children usually means they have had a very difficult life, and don’t want to inflict this life on children. They know they are screwed up, in other words.

    The divorce rate is over 50% because we have consistently followed a liberal view towards marriage. One liberal
    “reform” after another, and the result has been chaos. Remember when Murphy Brown was up on her soapbox telling us that women did not need men to help father their children? All of their great ideas have been junk, and have made peoples lives worse. Why would we then do another liberalization of marriage, one that effectively destroys it?

    What we get down to is this:
    “Donohue: Because it’s in the best interests of society to have a one- …

    Cuomo: Who says?”

    Cuomo says, that’s who. If the media decides that we will all marry animals tomorrow, then they will push it down our throats until we all say, “OK, let’s marry animials, who cares, it;s up to the person who is getting married.”

    They now decide what is moral and what is not in this country because they have the bullhorn.

  5. Cuomo tells Donohue that he should be for equal rights for homosexuals when it comes to marriage. But homosexuals have the exact same rights as heterosexuals do. Heterosexuals can’t marry folks of their same sex either, and homosexuals are free to marry folks of the opposite sex. The “equality” argument is silliness from the get-go.