This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 16, 2019:
As CBS News was developing its complaint against Fidelity Investment’s charitable fund, it considered information gleaned from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as accurate. The gist of the complaint was that Fidelity shouldn’t allow its charity’s funds to go to “hate groups” on SPLC’s HateWatch list, which included the Family Research Council (FRC).
When informed of the smear Lieutenant General (Ret.) William G. Boykin, the FRC’s executive vice president, responded:
Today’s Southern Poverty Law Center is aggressively anti-Christian and morally bankrupt — both inside and out. The SPLC has been imploding from within, with its own former employees saying the group is racist, bigoted, and rife with sexual misconduct and discrimination. The problems have become so significant that employees are currently seeking to unionize. Earlier this year, SPLC’s founder [Morris Dees] was fired, and its president and top lawyer resigned, but there is little sign that the group is moving beyond its reputation as a “highly profitable scam.”
The SPLC’s settlements in the millions of dollars show it has a great deal of difficulty discerning the truth about individuals and organizations. For example, Maajid Nawaz and the Qulliam Foundation received a $3.375 million settlement from the SPLC last year. At one point, the SPLC even added Dr. Ben Carson to its “extremist” list because of his biblical views (and only took him off the list after public outcry).
It should also not be forgotten that the SPLC was connected in federal court to domestic terrorism when the shooter who attacked the Family Research Council (FRC) in 2012 pled guilty to the crime while confessing that he relied on the SPLC’s discredited “hate map” to target FRC.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is so corrupt that it simply cannot be relied upon as a source.
From that statement CBS extracted just this: “A spokesman for the Family Research Center declined to address questions about the statements of its founder, instead saying in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch that the SPLC is “corrupt” and “cannot be relied upon as a source.”
CBS has no excuse. It cannot claim ignorance. It has in its files proof that the SPLC has long outlived whatever usefulness it might have had in the distant past in naming and shaming true hate groups.
CBS is, or must be, aware that groups smeared by the SPLC are filing defamation lawsuits against it, including the Christian ministry D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Baltimore lawyer Glen Keith Allen, and Craig Nelsen (for being accused by the SPLC of running a “white supremacist” non-profit).
CBS certainly is aware that the SPLC already paid more than $3 million to settle a defamation suit brought by Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz, whom the group wrongfully accused of promoting “hate-based violence” and “criminal hate violence” against Muslims.
It is certainly aware that less than nine months ago the SPLC suffered a major shakeup among top management relating to claims of sexual misconduct by Dees and racial discrimination in its hiring practices. SPLC’s president, Richard Cohen, followed Dees out the door, along with a number of other senior officials.
Surely CBS knows that the intent of the SPLC isn’t just to unfairly lump conservative groups in with hate groups but to destroy them by destroying by innuendo their credibility among their donors. Former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok said back in 2007: “Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate groups. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups — completely destroy them.”
In 2008 Potok reiterated his bile: “[We] are able to destroy these groups sometimes by the things [we] publish. It’s not so much that they will bring down the police or the federal agents on their heads, it’s that you can sometimes so mortally embarrass these groups that they will be destroyed.”
We see this as a political struggle. We’re not trying to change anybody’s mind. We’re trying to wreck these groups. We’re trying to destroy them. Not to send them to prison unfairly or to take their free speech rights away, but as a political matter to destroy them.
As Tyler O’Neil, a writer who has been tracking and reporting on the SPLC for PJ Media, concluded, the SPLC is “a far-left defamation racket that exists to target any group it disagrees with politically.”
There’s “fake” news and there’s “false” news. The first is made up news. The second is slanting the news. There’s a third kind: “slander through innuendo” news. That’s what CBS News did with its unashamed use of SPLC sources in its article complaining about Fidelity’s charitable fund.
Tony Perkins, president of the FRC, asked, “Why is CBS so intent on protecting a group without a scrap of credibility? Because — just like the SPLC — it’s more interested in advancing an agenda than in reporting the facts. And they wonder why Americans don’t trust the media.”