Houston Chronicle Fib: Ted Cruz Says Dems Forcing ‘All Americans’ into Gay Marriage

Reporter Twists Ted, sorta kinda retracts.

The media are twisting Ted Cruz’s words – again.

When Republican Texas senator and 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz recently argued that the Democratic Party was “radical in its devotion to mandatory gay marriage,” he meant that same-sex marriage “efforts” “would force him to wed a man” – at least according to The Houston Chronicle’s Dylan Baddour.

While that “translation” quietly disappeared from his May 21 piece, Baddour still claims that Cruz believes his political opponents want to force “all Americans” into “same-sex unions.”

To begin his May 21 piece, Baddour “defined” Cruz’s stance on gay marriage.

“U.S. Sen. from Texas and presidential candidate Ted Cruz apparently believes that efforts to let same-sex couples marry in the United States would force him to wed a man,” he originally wrote. That was either a deliberate falsehood or evidence that basic English comprehension isn’t a prerequisite for employment at the Chronicle.

Baddour translated that comment from a Ted Cruz interview with radio host Eric Mataxas. Cruz did indeed mention gay marriage, in relation to the RFRA battles in Indiana and Arkansas, but his comments were far from what Baddour claimed.

“We saw, number one,” Cruz told Mataxas, “a perfect storm of the modern Democratic Party that has gotten so extreme and so radical in its devotion to mandatory gay marriage that they've decided there's no room for the religious liberty protected under the First Amendment.” 

 That is apparently what prompted Baddour to claim that Cruz worried that he would be forced to marry a man: the phrase “mandatory gay marriage.” 

After Truth Revolt called out Baddour, The Houston Chronicle deleted that sentence from the story – without a note admitting the change. 

Baddour’s claim is still incorrect, with his sentence now reading: “U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently made comments on a conservative radio show that suggest ‘mandatory gay marriage’ may be on its way.” 

Recognizing a challenge to his own interpretation, Baddour briefly cited a Cruz spokesman in his piece. 

“[Cruz] meant Democrats want every state to give same-sex couples the option to wed,” the spokesman clarified, “not that they want to mandate gay marriages.” 

But the body of Baddour’s article still insists otherwise. 

“Cruz apparently alleged his political opponents were trying to force all Americans into same-sex unions,” his piece still reads. Again, that’s either a deliberate twisting of the Senator’s clear meaning or proof Baddour should find a new career – one that doesn’t require grappling with language.

Ted Cruz received similar media word-twisting treatment from AP (and, as a result, numerous other media) last year.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.