Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

SPLC Media Guides

September 9, 2012

Longtime readers of Watching the Watchdogs, if their comments are accurate, have an appreciation of the information and analysis of Southern Poverty Law Center fundraising propaganda we provide here.

Oftentimes there is a lot of data to digest, at least in a written form, but as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. To that end, we have endeavored to create a series of short (to accommodate the attention-span-challenged) video clips to show just how really simple it is to find the SPLC’s raw data, almost all of it found on the SPLC’s own web site, so that the viewer can evaluate it for themselves.

We ask no one to take our word for it, but we do ask the viewer to go directly to the source, as we have, see the data for themselves and come to their own conclusions. If you think we’re way off base then please tell us so. All intelligent comments and criticisms are welcome.

These are nothing more than the simple fact checks any real journalist should make before blindly quoting Mark Potok’s press releases. This isn’t “hate,” this isn’t “domestic terrorism,” it’s Journalism 101. These are the basic fact checks the Media should make, but won’t. Check back for additional installments.

First off, Media Guide #1 is a brief examination of the fallacy of the “hate group” label, the bedrock foundation of all SPLC fundraising propaganda. There’s no legal definition for the term, so just what exactly is this “law center” tracking?

Media Guide #2 examines the bogus bookkeeping behind SPLC’s public relations chief Mark Potok’s “hate incident’ log.  Most of these “incidents” are so tenuous, from teenagers carving swastikas into park benches to 8-year-olds threatening the President. More than a third of them are nothing more than updates on earlier events. How thug vandals pleading “not guilty” in criminal court is a “hate incident” is beyond us, but the Media and the all-important donors swallow it hook, line and sinker.

Media Guide #3 examines the preposterous proposition that NOT ONE of the top executives at the “nation’s leading civil rights organization” is a minority, and that this has been the case since Morris Dees opened the doors to the SPLC in 1971. The Executive Suite at the SPLC, which overlooks Martin Luther King’s home church in Montgomery, the birthplace of the American Civil Rights Movement, has been home to “whites only” for more than 40 years. Think about that…

Media Guide #4 explores the “ironic” fact that once one strips out all of the “homeless hate groups” discussed in the first video guide, it turns out that the largest single category of “hate group” in America is Black, according to Mark Potok’s bogus figures. The video also includes an excellent example of the Liberal Media’s inability to comprehend that the SPLC’s fundraising numbers are not based in reality.

Another Academic Outs the SPLC

August 29, 2012

Great blog post by Dr. Jack Feldman, a retired professor of Psychology and long-time SPLC donor.

Dr. Feldman touches on several of the key points regarding SPLC fundraising propaganda that we focus on here at Watching the Watchdogs.

Over the course of many years, Dr. Feldman observed how the SPLC moved away from its founding principles of defending the civil rights of the poor in the Deep South to the more lucrative business of creating “hate groups.”

You can find his post here.

Another Excellent Analysis of the SPLC’s Propaganda Techniques

August 15, 2012

I just found this superb analysis of the classic propaganda techniques employed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and in particular, its $150,000 donor-dollar-a-year public relations guru, Mark Potok.

Written in 2010, Patrick Henningsen’s cogent post Textbook Doublethink: SPLC’s Latest Effort Attacks Constitutionalists examines the language and public relations techniques employed by Mr. Potok in his never-ending struggle to extract as many donor-dollars as possible from his mostly elderly donor base.

While I cannot affirm some of Mr. Henningsen’s conclusions regarding individual groups mentioned, his in-depth analysis of the techniques employed is spot on. Nowhere is he more prescient than in his observation that:

“Handlers of this organization may believe that the SPLC is working like a well-oiled machine, ever-effective at infecting the mainstream media with its own choice talking points. But like all tired institutions who rely on the traditional heavy and passive linear News 1.0 operating system…, they can only watch as their model of traditional propaganda distribution becomes increasingly outdated by the day, as millions of active web surfers embrace the more sophisticated News 2.0 model, a model which rewards the readers and viewers who choose to dig, research, corroborate and verify their information- as opposed  to accepting information(and obvious spin) on face value.”

The Internet and social media may bring in more cash to the SPLC’s coffers in the short run, but ultimately they will lead to the demise of “non-profit” vigilante groups like the SPLC and the other alphabet soup Hate Industry hucksters.

SPLC — More “Hate Group” Hypocrisy

March 12, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center for decades has been known as the “champion” of poor blacks in the U.S. This past year it has taken on the mantle of Defender of Islam in America.

Both are worthy undertakings, yet, once again, a closer examination of the SPLC’s own data reveal a very, very different story.

This week the SPLC released its annual “Hate Map” designating “hate groups” across the Realm. Guess who leads the pack of evil “hate groups” in America once again?

If you actually look at the SPLC’s spurious data, something NO mainstream media outlet can bother to do, you find that 247 of the the 1,018 “hate groups” designated by the SPLC are homeless. Nobody, not even the SPLC’s $150,000 donor-dollar-a-year public relations guru, Mark Potok, can tell you where those 247 “groups” are located, so why are they even counted?

So let’s do the math, minus the 1 in 4 “mystery” groups, the SPLC’s leading “hate groups” boil down to this:

Neo-Nazis         168-55= 113

Ku Klux Klan    152-70= 82

Skinheads         132-61= 71

Separatists        140-3= 137

And who exactly make up the “Black Separatist” movement, the most populous “hate group” in America? Chapters of the Nation of Islam and its auxiliaries, i.e., Black Muslims.

Far be it from Watching the Watchdogs to point out glaring “inconsistencies” in SPLC logic, but these are their own numbers.

Now do you get it?

If not, cut a check, a very generous check, to the SPLC today. After all, they’re down to their last $223 MILLION.

SPLC — 2011 “Hate Map” — Another Year of Lies

March 9, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center has released its annual “Hate Map” fund-raising tool today. The SPLC claims it has designated 1,018 “hate groups” in the US in 2011.

Let’s have a look those numbers, but first, a few background facts are in order:

1. There is NO legal definition of “hate group,” which is why even the FBI does not, cannot, designate “hate groups.”

The SPLC uses the deliberately meaningless term “hate groups” in its fund-raising materials because it allows them to denigrate groups and individuals with which it disagrees without accusing them of any actual crimes, as noted in the last line of the “Hate Map” legend:

“Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.”

The fact of the matter is that the whole reason for a “Hate Map” is to imply that the “groups” on it are violent criminals. This has been the foundation of the SPLC’s ongoing fear campaign for more than 30 years. To this end, the “Hate Map” legend also states that:

“Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”

Marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, etc. are all Constitutionally protected under the Bill of Rights. The SPLC deliberately conflates these basic civil rights with criminal acts and “hate group” activities because it frightens their mostly elderly donor base.

2. The SPLC provides no information on the exact location of these groups or their membership numbers. In fact, they don’t even bother to affiliate 247 of these “groups” with any known city or town. That’s 24% right off the top. In many cases, 60%, 80% and even an incredible 100% of the “hate groups” in a given state are homeless.

Watching the Watchdogs questioned the SPLC’s public relations guru, Mark Potok, about these wild discrepancies last fall. Potok, who is responsible for the “Hate Map” numbers, admitted on camera that his “Hate Map” numbers were “anecdotal,” “a very rough estimate,” and “an imperfect process.”

Sadly, the media cannot bother to vet Mr. Potok’s spurious claims and simply regurgitate his bogus numbers as fact. Fortunately, Watching the Watchdogs is very willing and able to examine the numbers, and, as usual, we find them sadly wanting.

See them for yourself. Judge them for yourself.

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Because the “Hate Map” is the keystone to SPLC fund-raising efforts, Mark Potok is forever making claims of “explosive growth” in the number of “hate groups” in his press releases and media interviews.

Last year his “hate group” count “exploded” from 1,002 to 1,017, or 1.5%. In 2009, the first year of the Obama Administration and the worst year of the Great Recession, the count “exploded by 6 groups, or six-tenths of a percent, the lowest increase in SPLC history.

In 2010, Potok bumped the number of “hate groups” up by 70, but the number of homeless “hate groups” actually increased by 99 for the same year.

True to form, Mr. Potok bumped his numbers up by 15 “groups” for 2011, including 20 entries for a new “group,” the Georgia Militia. Oddly enough, Mr. Potok can’t seem to locate 18 of those units.

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This is hard data? NPR, the New York Times and MS-NBC all seem to think so. Look for them to quote Potok’s figures in the coming weeks.

Last year Mr. Potok warned of “explosive growth” in the number of “hate groups” in the Northwest:

“Montana is developing into a hotbed,” said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC Intelligence Project (ABC News, June 22, 2011)

The number of “hate groups’ in Montana actually dropped by 23%, from 13 to 10. Overall, the number of “groups” in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho “exploded” from 59 to 61, and 25% of those ‘groups” are homeless.

Another Potokian “explosion” turns out to be a damp squib.

Even if Mr. Potok’s powers of prognostication are somewhat lacking, the one thing we can always count on is that the number of “hate groups,” like the millions of tax-free dollars in the SPLC’s “Endowment Fund,” will continue to rise.

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The more money the Southern Poverty Law Center makes, the more “hate groups” they seem to find.

SPLC — Black “Hate Groups” Lead the Pack?

March 8, 2011

A recent posting on brought some interesting “hate group” statistics to light that the Southern Poverty Law Center will probably opt to ignore in their future fund-raising propaganda.

The article, by Frances Martel, comments on MSNBC host Cenk Uygur’s difficulties in believing that “Black Separatists” were the third largest category on the SPLC’s spurious “Hate Map.” Uygur happily rattles off the list of usual suspects until he gets to the third entry:

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As Ms. Martel points out, Uyur couldn’t even get the words out:

“Topping the list,” he began, “[are] the Ku Klux Klan with 221 groups. They are followed with Neo-Nazi groups with 170 groups, and”– at this point Uygur stops for a beat, before ending the list with “that doesn’t make any sense.”

(Click the link at the beginning of this post to find the video. Uygur’s moment of shock comes at 1:30)

Apparently, it makes perfect sense to the SPLC’s public relations guru Mark Potok, who is compensated with more than $147,000 donor-dollars a year to cook up the SPLC’s “Hate Map.”

As Watching the Watchdogs pointed out on February 27, 2011, Potok’s “Hate Map” is the SPLC’s most potent fund-raising tool. Even though there is no legal definition for “hate group,” this in no way hinders Mr. Potok from pulling numbers out of the air, which the mainstream media will regurgitate verbatim as “fact” without ever investigating a single claim.

Fortunately, Watching the Watchdogs is happy to look at Mr. Potok’s claims, and as usual, we find them wanting.

Last month, Potok released his “Hate Map” for 2010, claiming there were now 1,002 “hate groups” in America. A closer look, however, revealed that, foremost among many shortcomings, Mr. Potok neglected to connect 262 of the alleged groups with any known communities. We know they are there because Mr. Potok tells us they are there. Right?

Ironically, these phantom groups are instrumental in understanding Mr. Potok’s incredible claim that “Black Separatists” are not only the third largest group on his “Hate Map,” they actually lead the pack!

The SPLC has been hoisting the white sheets of the Ku Klux Klan for decades as proof that “hate groups” are everywhere. Shockingly, Mr. Potok all but invalidated the SPLC’s prize “hate group” cash cow last fall when he stated:

“The Klan of today is small, fractured, impotent and irrelevant,” Potok said. (, September 12, 2010)

“The Klan is a sorry shadow of its former self. It’s common for the KKK to brag about big numbers, but usually they are largely outnumbered by the counter-protestors, Potok said.

Even on the white supremacist scene, the Klan is seen as less important today, he said.” (, October 21, 2010)

As if to underscore this shocking admission, a closer look at Potok’s Klan numbers show that 109 out of the 227 alleged Klan groups are homeless. That’s 49% of the Klan’s total and 41% of the national phantom total overall!

In NINETEEN STATES every single alleged Klan group listed is homeless. In 12 other states, Mr. Potok could only be bothered to make up one or two locations while the rest of the alleged Klan groups float in limbo.

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Fifty-eight Neo-Nazi and 19 white nationalist groups are also non-existent, and yet, only FIVE of Mr. Potok’s Black Separatist groups are unaffiliated. Adjusting the numbers for these non-existent “groups” produces an entirely new list of standings:

Ku Klux Klan       221 – 109 = 112
Neo-Nazis            170 – 58 = 112
White Nat’lists     136 – 19 =  117

Black Separatists 149 – 5 = 144

Well, Mr. Potok, now what do you have to say about your “Hate Map”? Granted, Potok only grudgingly includes Black racists on his list, and only then by blaming them on whites:

Although the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism…

Potok concludes by reluctantly admitting one of the major pitfalls of making hundreds of millions of tax-free donor-dollars by finding “hate” everywhere:

“Although the racism of a group like the Nation [of Islam] may be relatively easy to understand, if we seek to expose white hate groups, we cannot be in the business of explaining away the black ones.”

Good for you, Mr. Potok! At this rate, you’ll be admitting that hate and racism are universally human failings and not endemic white ones.

In the final analysis, however, Mr. Potok’s numbers on Black “hate groups” are equally as meaningless as those on white groups. The SPLC is the sole arbiter of the “hate group” label, and nobody in the mainstream media can be bothered to even look at Mr. Potok’s underlying figures, as Mr. Uygur’s visceral reaction so perfectly demonstrates.

Mr. Uygur’s reaction is typical of many in the mainstream media. Not only are these people unwilling to do their jobs by investigating Potok’s claims, many of them are physically and mentally unable to do so.

What we are left with, though, is a perfect example of how numbers can be manipulated to produce any result desired, which has helped to earn the Southern Poverty Law Center more than a third of a billion tax-free dollars since 2003 alone.

A Tale of Two Spin Doctors

August 8, 2010

Anyone who has studied the science of persuasion will immediately recognize the similarities between one of history’s most infamous propagandists, Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment Paul Joseph Goebbels, and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Director of Intelligence,” Mark Potok.

Both men came from humble backgrounds. Goebbels, a failed novelist and playwright with a PhD in romantic drama; Potok, a freelance stringer for such hard-hitting newspapers as USA Today. Both men went to work for charismatic ideologues, becoming inordinately wealthy in the process.

Think about it. Mr. Potok has no legal or law enforcement experience, (“I’m not a lawyer, but I sure spend a lot of time around them!” Potok quips during his most recent scripted, pre-recorded “live call-in” webcast), and yet his “expertise” has earned him more than a million dollars from a law center. What services could Mr. Potok possibly offer the SPLC that are worth that kind of money?

Although more than half a century separates the careers of the two men, Doktor Goebbels would readily recognize Mr. Potok’s use of all the classic propaganda techniques, as laid down by their mutual mentor, “The Father of Spin,” Edward Bernays. Both men made millions practicing the black arts of Public Relations. As a popular television series might portray them, both are “Mad Men” of the first degree.

The key to any successful propaganda campaign, as either spin doctor could tell you, is domination of the media. Control the means of communication and you control the message. While Dr. Goebbels had to rely on compulsory enforcement, (listening to foreign radio broadcasts, from the BBC, etc., was a capital offense, at Dr. G’s insistence), Mr. Potok enjoys almost universal media access in the US and worldwide that is entirely voluntary.

The lack of any editorial oversight by major news organizations of Mr. Potok’s dubious observations is so delusional as to be collusive. What wouldn’t Dr. Goebbels give for such extensive media control? What wouldn’t Mr. Potok give for just one of Goebbels’ SS goon squads to silence the “wrong thinkers”?

While Dr. Goebbels would routinely label anyone who disagreed with his boss’ worldview as a “traitor,” “defeatist,” or “Bolshevik,” Mr. Potok’s smears of choice are “hater,” “extremist,” and the sure-fire, granddaddy smear of all time, “racist.” Same old techniques, just different labels.

Here lie the two greatest ironies: Goebbels was a hardcore Nazi who smeared his perceived enemies as “Bolsheviks,” and Potok is a life-long Leftist who smears his perceived enemies as “Nazis.” Goebbels’ duty was to convince the German people that everything was wonderful, (“Bombers? What Allied bombers? That was thunder you heard last night.”), while Potok earns his six-digit salary by maintaining the SPLC’s 40-year fear campaign, (“Hate groups are everywhere!! Send us more money, now!”)

And send more money they do. Last year the SPLC took in over $31 million donor-dollars thanks the ministrations of Mr. Potok, (of which only $1.1 million, or 3.7 cents on the dollar, were spent on “legal case costs”)

With a return on investment like that, one has to wonder if the three white millionaires who run the SPLC are actually paying their Spin Doktor enough?

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over” — Reich Minister for Propaganda and National Enlightenment, Joseph Goebbels.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” Public Relations pioneer, Edward Bernays, in his groundbreaking book, “Propaganda” (1928)

SPLC — More Damned Lies and Statistics

August 4, 2010

One of the SPLC’s most effective fund-raising tools is what I like to call “the empty statistic.” By this I mean a statistic that sounds quite impressive initially, because you do not know the actual numbers involved.

A case in point, a recent article in’s “Race Relations” section raised the question: “Why Are Hate Crimes Against Latinos Rising?” The author of the piece, Nadra Kareem, quotes some pretty scary statistics from the SPLC’s $146,000 donor-dollar public relations guru, Mark Potok:

“FBI statistics indicate that anti-Latino crimes in America increased by nearly 40 percent from 2003 to 2007. That’s extremely alarming considering that the Latino population in the United States rose by just 14 percent during the same timeframe.”

“Wow!” The casual reader is likely to think, “Anti-Latino hate crimes are increasing at nearly three times the pace of immigration! I’d better get a check out to the SPLC right away!”

Of course, once you do a minimal amount of digging to discover the actual numbers involved, you come up with a very different picture.

According to Table 7 (page 16) of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting for 2003, there were 595 anti-Hispanic hate crimes reported in 2003. By 2007, that “40% jump” brings the number to 830.

According to the US Census Bureau, there were 39 million Hispanics in the US in 2003. Factor in the increase of “only 14%,” or “only” 5.4 million new Hispanic immigrants and by 2007 the new total comes to 44.6 million.

Now let’s be perfectly clear here. NOBODY should have to be the victim of a crime, especially a hate crime, but an increase of 235 anti-Latino hate crimes against an increase of 5.4 MILLION Latino immigrants is statistically insignificant… when you plug in the actual numbers!

The 830 anti-Latino hate crimes against the overall 2007 population of 44.6 million represent even less of a crime wave.

Mark Potok knows this, but the vast majority of people who read the empty statistics he tucks into his fund-raising propaganda won’t. Even so-called professional media, such as National Public Radio allow Potok to propagate his fear campaign without asking for a single digit worth of proof.

Considering that the SPLC and NPR are in direct competition for the Left-wing donor dollar, you’d think it would be in NPR’s self-interest to out Mr. Potok at every opportunity.

What’s really amazing is the fact that during the same 2003 to 2007 time span, hate crimes against Blacks rose from 3,150 to 3,434. Not only were there four times as many hate crimes against Blacks as against Hispanics, but the Black population is smaller to begin with!!

Where is Mr. Potok’s outrage over THOSE numbers?

The simple truth is that Progressives are experiencing “donor fatigue” when it comes to poor Blacks. The SPLC has gone to that well too many times in the past. Hispanics are the new minority goldmine in 2010, and the SPLC intends to gather up every last nugget.

Vaya con dinero!! (Go with the money!!)

SPLC and “Gunderson’s Guillotines”

March 29, 2010

As part of its ongoing crusade to Keep America Safe From Conservatives, the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center has been making the media rounds lately, flooding the ether with baseless claims of “militia” conspiracies and “patriot” plots. As usual, there are a lot of unsubstantiated allegations and vague “guilt-by-association” associations. One such spurious “report” has been circulating since August of 2009, including a news article posted as recently March 29, 2010, by the Ashland Daily Tidings, of Mobile, Alabama.

The story, “Shrinking View of Government“, by Chris Honoré, repeats a line from the SPLC’s Public Relations department that reads: “At a meeting in Pensacola, Fla., a retired FBI agent, Ted Gunderson, tells a gathering of anti-government ‘Patriots’ that the federal government has set up 1,000 internment camps across the country and is storing 30,000 guillotines and a half-million caskets in Atlanta”.

Thirty thousand guillotines? Sacre bleu!! No wonder the SPLC is so upset. The line is lifted verbatim from a fear-mongering fund raising “report” put out by Larry Keller: The Second Wave: Growing Evidence of Far-Right Militia Resurgence. If you Google the terms “Gunderson” and “Guillotines” together, you’ll find dozens of identical quotes, word for word, in the Blogosphere. This is how SPLC “facts” become factual.

What The Second Wave fails to mention, however, is when and where the alleged meeting took place, and how many evil “Patriots” comprise a “gathering”.

A search of the LexisNexis news archives brings up no reports of any “patriot gatherings” in Pensacola in the past two years. If anyone knows when and where it happened, please let us know.

LexisNexis only returned one hit of a legitimate news organization reporting on the guillotines. Steven Thomma of the McClatchy news service lifted the SPLC line, word for word, in his article, “Secret Camps and Guillotines“, published on August 28, 2009. Mr. Thomma goes one better by adding:

“Why guillotines? “Because,” he wrote in a report obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, “beheading is the most efficient means of harvesting body parts.”

Oddly enough, there is absolutely no mention of the organ harvesting report on the SPLC’s website, or anywhere else online. One would think that if they had a damning document like that in hand that they would make it available for all to see.

Or, maybe they just invented the story. It’s not like anyone, (besides us…), is ever going to ask to actually SEE the evidence. An e-mail to Mr. Thomma asking if he had seen the document, or had any particulars on the “gathering” has gone unanswered as of this writing.

Since the second-hand parties were not forthcoming with any documentation, we decided to go right to the source. Ted Gunderson, who is now in his 80s, has his own website: (NOTE: Mr. Gunderson’s original website was taken down shortly after his death in 2011. Here is an archived link to the site courtesy of the Internet Archive. It may take a few seconds to load. [WTW Jan. 22, 2013])

Oddly enough, despite dire warnings about the Illuminati, the assassination of Sonny Bono and the D.C. prostitutes who know the real story behind the 9/11 attacks, not one word about guillotines or organ harvesting was found on the website.To be fair, not every link was checked, so if anyone out there can provide the link, Watching the Watchdogs will recant immediately.

So, what do we have at the end of the day? A claim made by the SPLC about “guillotines” that was slickly polished and packaged and sent into the world by their PR guru, Mark Potok’s highly efficient press release service.

The “report” is picked up by the Blogosphere and the mainstream media, none of which performed even the most rudimentary fact checks, and is dutifully regurgitated and repeated until it “becomes truth”.

Even the octogenarian ex-FBI agent, who apparently has never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, makes no mention of the guillotines, the organ harvests or the “patriot gathering” on his own website. LexisNexis has no  record of the events and nothing turned up on YouTube or Google Video.

Once again, the SPLC cooks up a steaming plate of fund-raising tripe, and once again, the Media and other left-wing “advocates” lap it up without bothering to ask what’s in it.

Although the SPLC’s “report” is entirely undocumented, as usual, you can find a link to their donation center at the bottom of the web page, as usual.

SPLC Media Manipulation: “NPR: ‘Patriots’ Are Dangerous to Our Government”

March 21, 2010

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.


NPR: ‘Patriots’ Are Dangerous to Our Government

-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 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? 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.”
–Samuel Johnson

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,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, 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

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 He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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