An excellent analysis of how the Southern Poverty Law Center’s fund-raising propaganda is mindlessly regurgitated by the Media without being subjected to even the most rudimentary fact checking.
The SPLC has spent decades and millions of donor dollars creating a “brand name” designed to bypass all rational scrutiny. Editors receive carefully crafted public relations press releases, like the one cited below, they see the SPLC brand stamped on it and conclude, “If the SPLC says so, it MUST be true!”
Some editors perpetuate the SPLC’s propaganda out of convenience, as they have so much blank newsprint/web page/air time to fill everyday. The editors at NPR, on the other hand, know better. They dish up steaming plates of this tripe because they WANT it to be true. Contact NPR’s Ombudsman and let her know that you can find better use for your donor dollars.
It’s little wonder that the SPLC compensates its PR Guru, Mark Potok, with more than $143,000 donor dollars a year. Considering the hundreds of millions of donor dollars Mr. Potok’s spurious “reports” have funneled into the SPLC’s coffers, ($189 MILLION in cash on hand as of October, 2009), they probably don’t pay him nearly enough.
My sincere thanks to Warner Todd Huston for generously allowing me to reprint his superb article here.
-By Warner Todd Huston
Public supported National Public Radio (NPR) posted a report on March 17 during its “All Things Considered” radio show that warns its listeners that “patriot groups” are dangerous and are apparently increasingly prone to attacking government officials and facilities. Oddly the two examples it uses to prove its case have no ties whatsoever to any “patriot groups.”
Headlined, “Hostility Against Federal Workers Troubles Officials,” NPR blames “patriot groups” on these attacks and worries that “anti-government hate groups” are on the “upsurge.” And what does NPR use to prove its case? Nothing but the say so the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center and a misconstruction of two recent attacks on government facilities by disturbed individuals.
NPR ominously begins its report with this:
Three attacks on U.S. government employees this year, along with an upsurge in anti-government hate groups, have officials in Washington concerned about the safety of federal workers.
The piece goes on to report that this sort of violence is a “troubling trend” and lays it all at the feet of “patriot and militia groups.”
NPR then tries to prove its case by discussing the two most recent sensational attackers on government facilities; Joe Stack and John Patrick Bedell.
Joe Stack, a disturbed man who crashed his small plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas back in February, was not known to have any ties to any tea party group, any “patriot” group, or other right-wing groups. His manifesto reads like a confused communist rant with hate for the U.S. government and George W. Bush liberally sprinkled throughout. But NPR lumps this nut in with the right with claims that they are all dangerous to government officials and facilities.
NPR similarly uses as proof of these dangerous patriots the disturbed actions of John Patrick Bedell who opened fire on officers near the Pentagon on March 4. Bedell was an anti-war protestor, heavy marijuana user, and exhibited paranoia for which he refused to seek medical help. Bedell also has no known ties to tea party groups, any political organizations, or NPR’s frightening “patriot groups.”
Yet NPR put forth both of these sick-minded men as examples of “patriots” that have become dangerous and unstable. If NPR wasn’t saying so why include them in this report?
Naturally for its “expert” on dangerous patriots NPR turns to Mark Potok, the director of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center. As always, Potok cites claims of a “huge growth in the so-called patriot movement that includes militias out there.” Not that NPR offers any actual proof other than Potok’s say so, of course.
“We’ve seen in particular a huge growth in the so-called patriot movement that includes militias out there,” Potok says. “And I think that some of the violence that we’ve seen, such as the Pentagon shooter and the IRS, are at least in some way a reflection of that rage.”
Potok says there are now more than 500 patriot and militia groups active in the U.S., more than triple the number in 2008.
Again, NPR trots out Potok to warn of those evil, evil right-wing patriots and tries to back his claims up with two crazy people that have no ties at all to those same right-wing patriot groups that are being blamed for this “upsurge” in violence.
What NPR doesn’t tell you is the sort of people that work wt. the SPLC. Chip Berlet, for instance, is one of those people. Berlet has all sorts of extremist, left-wing associates (like anti-American billionaire financier George Soros) and is a member of other far left organizations such as the Socialist Workers Party. Here is an entry on Berlet in discoverthenetwork.org nestled in a page about the left-wing Tides Foundation:
Berlet is a senior analyst for Political Research Associates, and has had affiliations with the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, the Christic Institute, the Socialist Workers Party, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
To show how unbiased SLPC’s Chip Berlet is, he once wrote that, “right-wing foundations and think tanks support efforts to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable.” Not too biased there, eh?
Discoverthenetwork.org also has a page on the SPLC itself.
So, for its expert on those monstrous patriot groups, NPR turns to a group that has ties to the Socialist Workers Party, George Soros, and the anti-Christian ACLU and then expects us to think such an organization should be accepted as an unbiased news source! Apparently NPR does expect us all to accept as gospel its left-biased report on how dangerous those “patriots” are, but I hope America is more skeptical than that.
Remember folks, our tax dollars support NPR.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, TheRealityCheck.org, Human Events Magazine, AmericanDailyReview.com, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for RedCounty.com.
He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston
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