OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, has come under fire from some corporate media outlets for using accountability software to block pornographic content for both himself and his teenage son.
Johnson, a member of Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana, described to the congregation in 2022 during a technology panel how he and his teenage son at the time were using Covenant Eyes, a subscription-based program that can be downloaded on computers and mobile devices to monitor websites and notify an accountability partner of any content that may be deemed questionable.
“It sends a report to your accountability partner,” Johnson explained in the clip that went viral on X after being shared by a user called Receipt Maven. “My accountability partner right now is Jack, my son. He’s 17. So he and I get a report about all the things that are on our phones, 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,” Johnson continued. “It’s 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.”
Rolling Stone wrote about the unearthed clip in a Sunday article titled “Mike Johnson Admits He and His Son Monitor Each Other’s Porn Intake in Resurfaced Video.” The outlet suggested Johnson’s use of the accountability software with his son was “creepy.”
Other outlets followed suit, such as The New Republic, which suggested Johnson has “unusual porn habits.”
While speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Johnson said, “This is just the latest attack in a campaign by D.C. insiders on my faith.”
Author Daniel Friedman, who denounced Rolling Stone as “a dishonest publication” for its article about Johnson, was among those on social media who rallied in support of Johnson.
“What he actually said is that he installed accountability software on his son’s devices to keep his son from using porn, and he put the same software on his own devices to show his son he wasn’t using porn either,” Friedman wrote on X.
During an interview last week on Fox News, Johnson shot back at liberals and the media for mocking his Christian faith.
Johnson, an Evangelical Christian who has publicly invoked his faith in God and said the Bible is his “worldview” since becoming the new speaker, responded to MSNBC host Jen Psaki, HBO host Bill Maher, and others who trashed him for his faith by claiming that the attacks don’t bother him.
“The media wasn’t always so friendly to someone with a Judeo-Christian worldview, and in your case, some of the things that had been said, Politico interviewed a historian about your worldview, and this historian said you’re a Christian nationalist; it comes from that of Christian supremacy,” Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany said to Johnson.
McEnany then quoted Psaki, who ran a segment on MSNBC in which she labeled Johnson as a Christian “fundamentalist.”
“What do you think when you hear that?” McEnany asked.
“Look, there are entire industries that are built to take down public leaders—effective political leaders like me. I’m not surprised by that. I mean, it comes with the territory. It doesn’t bother me at all,” Johnson responded.
“I just wish they would get to know me,” he continued, adding, “I’m not trying to establish Christianity as the national religion or something. That’s not what this is about at all.”
He then discussed how the Bible commands us to show peace and love toward all people.
“If you truly believe in the Bible’s commands and seek to follow them, it’s impossible to be a hateful person because the greatest command in the Bible is that you love God with everything you have, and you love your neighbor as yourself,” he said.
McEnany referenced other media attacks against Johnson’s faith, such as the Daily Beast calling Johnson a “Christo-fascist” who seeks to impose his religion on others like the Taliban and the “mullahs in Iran.”
She asked Johnson about HBO host Bill Maher comparing him to the Maine mass murder suspect who is believed to have killed nearly 20 people because he “heard voices.”
Johnson called the comparisons “disgusting.”
“That is absurd,” he said, adding, “Of course, our religion is based on love and acceptance. So, to compare that worldview with the Taliban, who seek to destroy their enemies, or with some deranged shooter who murders people, is absolutely outrageous. And I believe that should offend everyone who adheres to and holds to a Judeo-Christian worldview.
He noted his willingness to face such attacks, saying, “I’m OK; I’ll take the arrows. I understand it comes with leadership, and when you step into the fray, that’s what you take.”
Johnson acknowledged that it bothers him that so many Americans and the ideals that made America great are under attack.
“But what really hurts me is that it really is a statement about everyone who believes in this, that the country was built upon—our Judeo-Christian foundation is the heritage of our country,” Johnson said.