Well, it’s confirmed… Rev. Ken Hutcherson is a liar. The Stranger’s Eli Sanders talked to AP correspondent Rachel La Corte this morning, regarding her report that Rev. Hutcherson planned to announce a major boycott on national radio. And….
“I stand by the reporting in my story,” La Corte told me.
She’s since talked to Rev. Hutcherson about all this and says: “He insists that I misunderstood him. I don’t feel that I misunderstood him.”
La Corte told me that before she spoke to Hutcherson on Monday, “He’d been trying to get ahold of me all weekend to let me know something he was going to do.” When they finally connected, he told her that he was going to be leading a national boycott of every single company (Microsoft, Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Corbis, Vulcan, and RealNetworks) that signed a letter recently supporting Washington’s gay civil rights bill. She asked when he was going to make this announcement, and she says he replied:
“I’m going to be on the Focus on the Family show on Thursday.”
Sanders, who has been tracking down this story, also questions Rev. Hutcherson’s claim that his “boycott” has the support of several major national organizations — including the Family Research Council, the Southern Baptist Convention, and Focus on the Family — claims which neither Sanders nor La Corte have been able to verify. Hmm. I wonder why?
So here’s an interesting thought. Last spring, when The Stranger broke the story that Microsoft pulled its longtime support of anti-discrimination legislation after being threatened with a boycott by Rev. Hutcherson, Microsoft’s denials seemed disingenuous and transparent in light of Hutcherson’s loud and self-aggrandizing claims of credit.
But in light of Rev. Hutcherson’s proven record of lying to the media, um… perhaps Microsoft was telling the truth? Perhaps pressure from Hutcherson had little if anything to do with Microsoft’s decision? Perhaps Hutcherson just seized the opportunity to make headlines for himself? Perhaps he’s just been playing the media for fools all along?
And if so, then the joke’s on him, for whatever his actual influence, Rev. Hutcherson certainly played the lead role in generating the backlash that not only prompted Microsoft to quickly restore its support of the anti-discrimination bill, but to lobby for it harder than ever. Microsoft reportedly applied pressure to several key lawmakers, and while former state senate minority leader Bill Finkbeiner denies they influenced his decision to flip his vote, you can be sure that the largest employer in his district weighs heavily on all his deliberations… of conscience or otherwise.
So if Rev. Hutcherson lied about his role in pressuring Microsoft — just like he lied about this latest fictional boycott — then perhaps the credit he really deserves is for creating the media storm that will ultimately lead to the anti-discrimination bill’s passage after nearly twenty years of close defeats?
I think WA’s gay community owes Rev. Hutcherson a big, wet kiss, smack dab on his lovely, lying lips.
The Stranger’s Eli Sanders continues to kick the legs out from under the
Right Wrong Reverend Hutcherson, who claimed his boycott had support from the Family Research Council, the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family.
Amber Hildebrand, a spokeswoman for the conservative Family Research Council , tells me that FRC is not supporting Rev. Hutcherson’s boycott of companies that support Washington State’s gay civil rights bill.
“Hutcherson is a good friend of FRC,” Hildebrand told me. “FRC opposes laws protecting people based on the language of “sexual orientation.’ But FRC is not participating in the boycott . We don’t participate in any boycotts.”
Jill Martin, spokeswoman for the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, tells me that the SBC is not backing Rev. Hutcherson.
“We have no record of the SBC having a position on the boycott,” she says.
The AP’s Rachel La Corte is a good reporter. There’s no way she could have gotten all this wrong unless Hutcherson intended for her to get all this wrong. He lied. He dissed her.
And when you diss one reporter like this, you diss all reporters. I hope my friends in the media remember this the next time Rev. Hutcherson tries to grab some free press for himself.