If we have to keep paying for National Public Radio, is it too much to ask that it does some actual journalism? (Or just play classical music?) Regurgitating press releases from discredited lefty scammers may thrill the pledge drive and protest types, but the rest of us just ain’t getting our money’s worth.
For instance, the garbage February 20 NPR web story by Leila Fadel, an unquestioning recitation of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest phony “hate group” statistics.
“For the fourth year in a row, The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, reports that hate and domestic extremism are rising in an unabated trend,” Fadel types. “The center found a 30 percent increase in U.S. hate groups over the past four years and a 7 percent increase in hate groups in 2018 alone.” Scary stuff.
Why’s it happening? Oh, you know: “President Trump, his administration, right-wing media outlets” and, as SPLC itself asserts, “hysteria over losing a white-majority nation to demographic change.”
Fadel transcribes a statement from SPLC’s Heidi Beirich: “Rather than trying to tamp down hate, as president of both parties have done, President Trump elevates it – with both his rhetoric and his policies. In doing so, he's given people across America the go-ahead to to act on their worst instincts.”
People across America? Are we talking the Virginia Democratic Party or those MAGA thugs who attacked Jussie Smollett?
SPLC isn’t a “civil rights organization.” (It once was, many decades ago. When the KKK was thing. Like during the Nixon administration.) It’s certainly not, as Fadel enthuses, “a revered civil rights watchdog [sic] group.” (Although exiled Nigerian oil ministers think pretty highly of it.) It’s a progressive direct mail giant -- a lefty hate group that makes money screaming “Hate Group” at anyone to the right of, well, NPR. As a matter of fact, in 2017 conservative leaders formally asked media outlets to cut ties with SPLC because it’s “Hate Map” and “hate reports” are used to slime conservative groups and silence political opponents.
To her credit, Fadel did mention that “Critics accuse the group of overblowing the threat of hate and including groups and individuals on its lists who might not belong,” and cited an especially embarrassing apology SPLC was forced to cough up (along with $3.4 million) to an anti-Muslim extremism activist it had smeared.
Of course, you had to wade five paragraphs into the flack prose to learn that SPLC is an agenda-driven slime machine. She didn’t mention that the Department of Defense has completely erased all SPLC related training materials on extremism from its Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), or that the FBI also “distanced itself” from the SPLC. And you never got to hear from anyone negatively impacted by its “hate group” designation.
Like Leo Johnson, building manager at the Family Research Council. Johnson took a gunshot wound subduing Floyd Lee Corkins in 2012 when the unhinged gay activist entered the FRC’s office in D.C. with a plan to kill everyone there and stuff their lifeless mouths full of Chick-fil-A. He got the idea from SPLC’s “Hate Map,” which listed FRC, a Christian organization focusing on traditional values. (James Hodgkinson was also an SPLC fan. He was the Bernie Bro who shot up the Republican baseball practice and nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise. But, you know, hate only flows in one direction.)
FRC isn’t the only distinctly non-hate-based groups have been slimed by SPLC, ACT for America, the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Clarion Project have been targeted, among others.
Pro tip: All that’s good info to include when you’re claiming to do “journalism,” especially on the taxpayer’s dime. Otherwise, you’re just putting the PR in NPR.