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CNN Boosts Another Gay Activist Upset With Boy Scouts

On Wednesday afternoon, CNN continued its brazen support of gay activists upset with the Boy Scouts. On Wednesday afternoon, anchor Don Lemon gave the sappiest of  interviews to former Cub Scout den leader and lesbian Jennifer Tyrell, booted from the organization because she is openly-gay.

Lemon asked saccharine questions like "You doing okay?" and "do you feel disrespected?" and "You sound a little sort of downtrodden." CNN boasts of itself as "The Most Trusted Name In News," but what kind of "news" are people getting with sentimental Oprah-style interviews during an election season? 

Unsurprisingly, no guest was brought on to defend the Boy Scouts. And Tyrell was the second gay guest on CNN that day challenging the Scouts' policy.

Ironically, Lemon seemed to have more of an agenda than Tyrell. His loaded questions brought negative responses like when he asked. "Are you going to sue?" and Tyrell flatly answered "No." When he teed her up asking if she felt disrespected, she shot down that assertion as well, and when he concernedly told her she seemed downtrodden she animatedly denied it.

[Video below. Audio here.]

 


Tyrell has gotten the red carpet treatment before. Back in April, CNN's Kyra Phillips absolutely fawned over Tyrell and her son, asking him questions like "what makes your mom so cool" "How does she make you feel?"

And they seemed like part of the CNN family as her son was not forgotten during the interview. "Hey Ms. Tyrell, does he understand that he has two mommies?" posed Lemon. At the end, he thanked her and added "give our best to Cruz. I hope he's enjoying his summer like a lot of little boys and little girls are doing around the country."

A transcript of the interview, which aired on July 18 on CNN Newsroom at 2:36 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

DON LEMON: This next story has been trending all over the place. If you are gay, you cannot be a Boy Scout or a Scout leader for a matter of fact. That's what the Boy Scouts of America just reaffirmed yesterday in a national announcement. But that did not stop one former Cub Scout den leader from pushing forward with her petition.

Today Jennifer Tyrell dropped off 300,000 signatures to the National Scout Headquarters in Irving, Texas. Well, her petition asked that the Boy Scouts of America reinstate her and to end their policy on banning homosexuals from the group. In April her troop dismissed Tyrell as den leader because she is gay. Jennifer Tyrell now joins me live from Dallas, Texas. Thank you, Jennifer, for joining us. You doing okay?

JENNIFER TYRELL, former Cub Scout den leader: I am. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: We should tell you that we just got confirmation from the Boy Scouts of America that you will not get your job back, that you will not be reinstated. Here's what they say in a statement. The statement reads that "the BSA values the freedom of everyone to express their opinion and believes to disagree does not mean to disrespect." What's your response to that?

TYRELL: That's pretty much the statement that they've put out there numerous times before. I knew the statement going into the meeting. And I didn't expect to change anything today, necessarily, but it was still nice to be heard. Along with those 300,000 signatures were tens of thousands of comments from scouts, former scouts, current scouts all across the board who disagree with the decision to keep this policy in place. So during our meeting I asked for proof of this two-year, 11 person committee. And I just wanted to see some records saying where is the proof that people want this. And they couldn't produce it or –  

LEMON: And they wouldn't show it to you. Hey let me ask you this, because you said that you disagree with them. They disagree with you, and they said that doesn't mean that they are disrespecting you. But do you feel disrespected?

TYRELL: I don't think that it was in their intention to personally disrespect me, no. Unfortunately, it's just a policy that we need to update a little bit. I love Scouts, as everybody probably knows by now. Cruz loves Scouts. And we don't have any ill feelings towards the Scouts, we just want to be included. And just because we delivered the petition today definitely doesn't mean we're done. We're going to continue that petition at Change.org/Scouts.

LEMON: How is Cruz doing? Because he's seven years old, he loved being a Boy Scout. I loved being a Boy Scout when I was a kid, and if I had been pulled out of it I would have been heartbroken. So how is he – I'm sure you were torn about even taking him out and just continuing your crusade, leaving him in or taking him out. How is he dealing with this? Does he understand what's going on?

TYRELL: He understands to the best of his ability. He really doesn't understand discrimination because he's not been taught to discriminate. He treats everybody equally and he doesn't quite understand why people aren't treating us equally. He's sad because he doesn't get to do the things that he thought he was going to get to do this summer with his friends in Scouts. But ultimately we can't continue to support this organization that doesn't support our family.

LEMON: Hey Ms. Tyrell, does he understand that he has two mommies? Has he – have you spoken to him? He gets that, right?

TYRELL: Oh for sure. He has two moms. He has a dad. He loves everybody, he has more people to love him than most kids. So I think we should celebrate that rather than –

LEMON: Because what the Scouts said is that children shouldn't learn about sexuality at all, except from their own families and at a time when the parents or families feel it's appropriate to them. So what does that have to do with you?

TYRELL: I don't know. I agree with that statement. I've never taught anybody's child about sexuality in Scouts. It never came up. It, in fact, never came up until the Boy Scouts of America brought it up. We were just Scouts. We went about our daily lives with our scouting and knot tying and whatever else we do. But it never came up. And it shouldn't. I agree with that statement. I didn't bring it up. They did.

LEMON: You sound a little sort of downtrodden – and I don't know what your normal tone is, but you sound a little --

TYRELL: Oh no! I'm not. It's been a day. It's been a day. No, actually I am very optimistic. I think the fact that they've met with me is a huge turning point. I think the fact that they came out with their findings yesterday, to me, doesn't deter me in any way. It actually makes me feel like okay, they're finally listening.

LEMON: Are you going to sue?

TYRELL: I'm not going anywhere. I'm sorry, what?

LEMON: Are you going to sue?

TYRELL: No. I'm not interested in causing any grief. I just want to be included. We love Scouts. I just, you know, we're going to keep up. This petition will be open until we win.

LEMON: Jennifer Tyrell, thank you and give our best to Cruz. I hope he's enjoying his summer like a lot of little boys and little girls are doing around the country. Thank you.

TYRELL: He is. Thank you. 


-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center