New Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is facing a new line of attack from left-leaning media outlets this week — criticism of steps he has taken to help his son avoid pornography and navigate technology as a Christian.
Rolling Stone published a story Sunday headlined “Mike Johnson Admits He and His Son Monitor Each Other’s Porn Intake in Resurfaced Video.” Written by staff writer Daniel Kreps, whose byline largely features entertainment reporting, the story implies without evidence that the speaker and his son consume pornography. Kreps did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Other media outlets were quick to follow suit.
“Mike Johnson Said He and His Son Monitor Each Other’s Porn Usage, and Yeah, It’s Exactly as Weird as It Sounds,” reads a Vanity Fair headline.
“Mike Johnson and His Son Monitoring Each Other’s Porn Intake Is Worse Than You Think,” chimed in The New Republic.
“Mike Johnson Once Bragged That He and His Son Monitor Each Other’s Porn Watching,” echoed The Advocate.
“This is just the latest attack in a campaign by D.C. insiders on Speaker Johnson’s faith,” Corinne Day, spokesman for Johnson, told The Daily Signal.
The story references remarks made by Johnson, a Republican, in 2022 on accountability software called Covenant Eyes that scans the activity on your devices and sends a report to your accountability partner. The software is aimed at fighting the temptation to view online pornography.
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson admitted that he and his son monitored each other’s porn intake in a resurfaced clip from 2022 https://t.co/THNyCkttcw
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) November 5, 2023
Recent studies have found that more than half of teens reported seeing pornography by the time they reached the age of 13 years old. Though pornography addiction affects both men and women, men are four times more likely than women to report having watched pornography in the last month, according to the Institute for Family Studies.
This consumption, particularly of violent or aggressive pornography, profoundly shapes views of self, sex, marriage, gender, and more.
“Covenant Eyes is the software that we’ve been using a long time in our household,” Johnson explained during a panel on technology at Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana.
“So my accountability partner right now is Jack, my son,” the Louisiana Republican said. “And he’s 17. And so he and I get a report of all the things that are on our phones or all of our devices once a week. If anything objectionable comes up, your accountability partner gets an immediate notice.”
“I’m proud to tell you my son has got a clean slate,” he added. “But we get a report and it says, ‘Hey, no activity of concern.’ And it’s really, really sensitive; it’ll pick up almost anything; it looks for keywords, search terms and also images, and it will send your accountability partner a blurred picture of the image.”
Dan Armstrong, a spokesman of Covenant Eyes, said simply in response to a request for comment that “Porn harms people.”
“We help anyone who commits to staying clear of it,” he said.
Mike Johnson and his family *not* consuming pornography is what has Rolling Stone writers seething https://t.co/JXbQivkUA8
— Billy Gribbin (@BillyGribbin) November 5, 2023
Rolling Stone’s coverage of the speaker’s remarks prompted an outcry on social media as users pointed out that Rolling Stone was seemingly taking issue with the fact that Johnson and his son are not, in fact, watching pornography.
“What a gross way to frame a story about 2 men who have apps to block porn from their devices,” Babylon Bee’s Joel Berry tweeted.
“This is how much the media hates Christians in leadership,” tweeted The Daily Wire’s Megan Basham. “Because Speaker Johnson has installed software on his and his family’s devices to ensure they don’t view porn, Rolling Stone implied he’s a pervert. And massive Dem accounts are now furthering this lie, going so far to suggest he must have abused his adopted son. This is how sick and hateful they are. Remember this when you see their scary reporting about Johnson’s ‘Christian Nationalism.’”
Oh look! Another groomer that is pissed at parents using tech to protect their kids, instead of corrupting them. https://t.co/e7057tfMu9
— Terry Schilling 🇺🇸 (@Schilling1776) November 6, 2023
And The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh followed up on this with the remark: “It’s also because they’re all weak and they can’t even conceive of the possibility of not watching porn. They’re such slaves to their impulses that they think anyone who exercises self-control is some kind of freak. That’s how lost these people are.”
Rolling Stone did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Signal.
Copyright 2023 The Daily Signal