Group That Lobbies for Cleaner TV Releases Video of Headquarters Attack

Family Research Council Screengrab - H 2013

Family Research Council, a conservative organization that also opposes same-sex marriage, is trying to shame a rival that has labeled it a "hate group."

The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization that has a long history of lobbying the FCC in favor of indecency fines against TV broadcasters, on Thursday released a video of a shooting at its headquarters nine months ago.

In August, Floyd Corkins II shot a guard, Leonardo Johnson, in the arm at the FRC headquarters in Washington. The intent of the shooter, who carried 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, according to authorities, was to kill FRC employees and smear the sandwiches on their faces as a protest against FRC’s alleged anti-gay agenda. Corkins has since pled guilty to several crimes, including committing an act of terrorism with the intent to kill, and prosecutors are seeking a 45-year sentence.

While several gay-rights groups condemned the actions of Corkins, the FRC has been battling with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing civil rights organization that has labeled the FRC a “hate group” for spreading “propaganda” about the LGBT community.

FRC has been trying to tie the SPLC to the actions of Corkins, and it did so again on Thursday with the release of a video that first shows Corkins entering FRC headquarters, then reaching into his backpack and pulling out a pistol.

See the video below.

The two-minute video also includes a struggle, and it shows Corkins shooting Johnson. The video then jumps to the FBI interrogation of Corkins where he says his attack was motivated by the claim of “Southern Poverty Law" that FRC is a hate group.

The video released Thursday has gone viral as the Drudge Report and numerous bloggers, usually conservatives, featured it prominently on their websites.

The SPLC did not respond to a request for comment, but a statement at its website from senior fellow Mark Potok shortly after the shooting calls the episode “a tragedy” and says that the SPLC “deplores all violence.” It also says: “The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people – not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage."

Beyond its efforts at cleaning up television, the FRC promotes traditional marriage, lobbies against abortion and takes a host of conservative political positions.