The broadcast networks routinely cover so-called “hate” crimes, but when conservative non-profits were smeared as hate groups, they said nothing.
The Associated Press (AP) reported on June 8, non-profit-tracking organization Guidestar had added “hate group” tags to 46 non-profit groups’ profiles including The Family Research Council (FRC) and The American Family Association.
Despite the AP story and backlash from conservatives, ABC, CBS and NBC broadcast news shows ignored the controversy between June 8 and June 27. The networks even ignored GuideStar’s June 23, announcement it would remove the designations.
National newspapers also said little. The New York Times published the AP story but did no original reporting. The Washington Post and The Seattle Times reported on it, but not until GuideStar announced it was removing the tags.
Guidestar is a self-described “neutral” organization that “collects, organizes, and presents” data on every non-profit registered with the IRS. However, its website states it is not “a charity evaluator or a watchdog.”
The SPLC’s hate group list ranked conservative groups like the religious liberty organization Alliance Defending Freedom and the pro-life Family Research Council alongside the Black Panthers, the Klu Klux Klan and Nation of Islam.
SPLC’s decision to label conservative groups as “hate” groups inspired a gunman to target the FRC in 2012. The shooter, Floyd Corkins, admitted he chose FRC after finding it on the SPLC website. The SPLC also published a misleading “hate crime” study after President Donald Trump’s election which ignored at least 2,000 attacks against white students.
Forty-one of the 46 flagged nonprofits penned a letter to Guidestar president Jacob Harold on June 21, demanding they remove the designations because “SPLC’s aggressive political agenda pervades the construction of its ‘hate group’ listings.”
“We are asking GuideStar’s CEO to respond to me within a very quick turnaround time to reverse its course and cease this false and defamatory labeling that it is using on its website,” Liberty Council founder and chairman Mat Staver told The Daily Signal.
Text of the "hate group" flat on Guidestar's website.
Two days later GuideStar cited “both our commitment to objectivity and our concerns for our staff’s wellbeing” as the impetus behind removing “the SPLC annotations from these 46 organizations for the time being.”
“A significant amount of the feedback we’ve received in recent days has shifted from constructive criticism to harassment and threats directed at our staff and leadership,” GuideStar reported.