This morning I pointed out that some of the groups bailing on CPAC had more complicated reasons than simple outrage at the involvement of the gay Republican group GOProud. WorldNetDaily
that the Media Research Center's pull-out from CPAC was, specifically, about gay issues. MRC President Brent Bozell:
We've been there 25 years, since our inception. To bring in a "gay" group is a direct attack on social conservatives, and I can't participate in that.
Unlike some of the groups that have been working over the ACU in the past month, the MRC was absolutely a CPAC mainstay, with a big presence in the exhibit hall and speeches and breakout session participation from MRC staff. The MRC is the first group that's not exclusively about "social conservatism" (although its TV watchdog arm, the PTC, is) and is bailing on CPAC.
This same WND story quotes Heritage's VP for communications Mike Gonzalez on how much disquiet with social issues played a role in Heritage's decision not to play ball. Gonzalez told me today that GOProud's participation was not the reason Heritage decided not to go to CPAC.
"We're not reacting to any one discreet event," said Gonzalez. "It's unclear what CPAC is this year. We have no clarity. We have no clear view of what philosophies they support. We're not saying they won't participate in 2012, we just want more clarity on what CPAC stands for."
Sidebar: Accuracy in Media, the right's other big watchdog group, is staying in CPAC."We fully intend to be there," said AIM spokesman Logan Churchwell. "We're going to be holding the Reed Irvine Award ceremony we've held since 2005. We haven't hesitated at all."