MSNBC’s Hardball this afternoon clarified false claims made Monday on the program by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

Host Chris Matthews belatedly told viewers the truth: That FRC based its antigay defamations not on findings by the legitimate American Academy of Pediatrics, but rather on the quackings of a tiny, antigay, Christian Right front group called the “American College of Pediatricians.”

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As Truth Wins Out has often noted, the ACP was formed in 2002 as an offshoot of the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. The ACP’s purpose is to confuse the public about professional medical research regarding sexuality, reproduction, and child mental health.

Its board has included several discredited and scandalous individuals, including zealous antigay ideologue George Rekers — the man caught returning from Europe with a rentboy early this year.

Unfortunately, Hardball’s admission comes too late: Few of the FRC and Focus fans who watched Monday’s program were watching today.