By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2017
Brad Dacus was thousands of miles away in California last weekend when the Charlottesville protest erupted, so he was flabbergasted when CNN labeled his Pacific Justice Institute a “hate group.”
“Here are all the active hate groups where you live,” said the CNN wire story headline on Chicago’s WGN-TV website.
The article listed the 917 organizations on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s much-disputed “hate map,” which names racist groups like the Aryan Nation alongside mainstream conservative organizations such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council.
Mr. Dacus’ conservative Sacramento-based institute, which specializes in religious-liberty cases, was featured on the CNN list right below the Pacific Coast Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
“Why is the Southern Poverty Law Center doing this? It’s simple. They want to vilify and isolate anyone that doesn’t agree with their very extremist leftist policy and ideology,” said Mr. Dacus. “This isn’t about defending civil rights; this is about attacking civil rights.”
Other conservative groups blasted CNN and called on the cable network to retract the article.
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“I am shocked that CNN would publish such a false report on the heels of the Charlottesville tragedy,” said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel’s founder and chairman. “To lump peaceful Christian organizations, which condemn violence and racism, in with the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists is offensive. This is the epitome of fake news and is why people no longer trust the media.”
Conservatives have repeatedly called out media outlets this year for uncritically repeating the SPLC’s “hate group” label, calling it inaccurate and arguing that it has put their organizations at risk for violence.
It’s not hypothetical.
In 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins shot and wounded a Family Research Council security guard and later told authorities that he wanted to kill as many employees as possible after finding the group on the SPLC’s “hate map.”
Tom McClusky, former vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council, took to Twitter to say, “Thanks for the reminder @CNN of this inaccurate map. Last time I saw it one of my friends got hit with a bullet. Real responsible reporting.”
Mr. McClusky, now executive director at March for Life Education and Defense Fund, noted in another tweet that “@CNN decides to reprint map that guided shooter to try to kill me & my colleagues because of our view on marriage.”
In June, Liberty Counsel sued the charity tracker GuideStar for defamation for adding the SPLC tag to its list of nonprofits. GuideStar later removed the labels from its listings but said the information would be available upon request.
“Using the Southern Poverty Center as a source for information shows that CNN is not interested in reporting news but rather creating scandal and security threats,” said Mr. Staver. “It is well known that the SPLC label against peaceful, nonviolent people and organizations has motivated some unhinged people to commit violence. This is no time to exploit the tragedy of Charlottesville.”
CNN did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday but did add an editor’s note to the story saying that the headline was changed to make it clear that the information came from the SPLC.
The new headline said, “The Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.” In addition, CNN said it had replaced the list of 917 “hate groups” with links to the SPLC website.
“Some critics of the SPLC say the group’s activism biases how it categorizes certain groups,” said the CNN story. “But since the FBI doesn’t keep track of domestic hate groups, the SPLC’s tally is the widely accepted one.”
That “hate group” listing may be widely accepted on the left, but it’s widely rejected on the right.
Earlier this year, the Philanthropy Roundtable’s Karl Zinsmeister called the SPLC a “cash-collecting machine,” pointing to its $50 million in contributions in 2015 and $334 million in holdings. In May, the Federalist’s Stella Morabito called it a “big-money smear machine.”
The Alabama-based center added to its coffers Wednesday with a $1 million donation from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who also said he would match 2-1 donations to the SPLC as well as a list of other designated groups until Sept. 30, citing the Charlottesville clash.
“Apple has been at the forefront of the fight against hate in the tech industry, and we are truly humbled by its support of our work,” the SPLC said in a Thursday statement.
Organizations can land on the SPLC’s “hate map” for a variety of reasons not limited to racism. Categories include being “anti-immigrant” or “anti-Muslim,” as well as being “racist skinhead,” “neo-Nazi” or “neo-Confederate.”
Most of the conservative groups fall into the SPLC’s “anti-LGBT” category for their opposition to, for example, same-sex marriage or transgender bathroom laws.
“Opposition to equal rights for LGBT people has been a central theme of Christian Right organizing and fundraising for the past three decades — a period that parallels the fundamentalist movement’s rise to political power,” the SPLC said on its website.
The ADF this week called out Phoenix news outlets that relied on SPLC’s “hate map” for post-Charlottesville stories, including a report on the NBC-TV affiliate 12News headlined, “What are Arizona’s hate groups?”
ADF spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said most news outlets may not realize that the SPLC is not politically neutral but rather avowedly anti-right.
On its “Hatewatch” page, for example, the SPLC states that it “monitors and exposes the activities of the American radical right.”
“I don’t think that most news organizations that SPLC states on its website that it only goes after groups on the right,” said Ms. Kupec. “They only target people on the right.”
Last month, the ADF blasted ABC and NBC for using the “hate group” designation on a story about a no-press speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at an ADF conference in Dana Point, California.
From the SPLC website.....
We monitor hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and expose their activities to the public, the media and law enforcement.
The Southern Poverty Law Center "Fake Hate" threat against Liberty Counsel and all pro-faith, pro-family, and conservative Americans is escalating by the day.
As expected, Apple's announcement of a $1 million gift to the SPLC has further proliferated the SPLC's outrageous attack campaign. J.P. Morgan — the nation's largest bank — just announced it was donating $500,000 to SPLC, and yesterday, Hollywood Lefty, George Clooney through his foundation is donating $1 million. Apple has also enabled direct donations through its iTunes store, funneling potentially millions more to SPLC for its attacks!
These "endorsements" are further cementing the SPLC as the clearinghouse of the radical Left's purge campaign that includes marginalizing people of faith and pro-family groups. This group is truly EVIL!
The Southern Poverty law center is full of Extreme Left-wing Liberal's and Anti-Christian and Jewish People / Anti-Israel-Yisrael / Anti-Zionism / Antisemitism / Anti-USA Capitalism and Constitution and Everything!!
SPLC are muslim brotherhood members and Sympathizers!!
United We Stand with Israel-Yisrael and our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America, Divided We FALL!!
Please Pray for our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America and Israel-Yisrael Everyday! "Pray Without Ceasing." ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!
Love Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/
Yes SPLC is the hate group and they have been spewing hate for years.
Agree Kristi Pray without ceasing :-)
Amen to that! Time to Bind and Loose.
Fighting back: Christian group sues leftist SPLC for defamation, attacks on Christianity
August 28, 2017 by Alex Thomas
(INTELLIHUB) — Early last week a Christian media ministry filed a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center for religious discrimination as well as trafficking in falsehoods after the leftist attack dogs listed them as a “hate group”.
According to PJ Media, D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) is also suing Amazon and GuideStar, in connection with the SPLC, after Amazon used the organizations hate label to ban the ministry from using their charity donation program, Amazon Smile.
In a statement released by DJKM, the ministries president and CEO Dr. Frank Wright said, “We embarked today on a journey to right a terrible wrong. Those who knowingly label Christian ministries as ‘hate’ groups, solely for subscribing to the historic Christian faith, are either woefully uninformed or willfully deceitful. In the case of the Southern Poverty Law Center, our lawsuit alleges the latter.”
The SPLC began their attack on DJKM by laughably labeling them as an anti-LGBT hate group simply because of their Christian beliefs.
“These false and illegal characterizations have a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion and on religious free speech for all people of faith,” Wright continued.
“After having given the SPLC an opportunity to retract, we have undertaken this legal action, seeking a trial by a jury of our peers, to preserve our own rights under the law and to defend the religious free speech rights of all Americans.”
As PJ Media reported, the lawsuit itself lays out multiple charges against the SPLC, GuideStar, and Amazon including that the group acted with actual malice in their publication of a “hate map” that included D. James Kennedy Ministries.
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“SPLC acted knowingly, intentionally, and with actual malice in publishing the Hate Map that included the Ministry and in publishing the SPLC Transmissions to GuideStar that included the ministry,” reads the suit. “SPLC’s conduct in making these publications was beyond the reckless disregard for the truth standard required by Alabama law for punitive damages.”
Very appropriate Frank