Some congressional Democrats and their partisan media allies have taken to using dubious claims from a discredited far-left organization to smear White House policy adviser Stephen Miller as a veritable white nationalist.
Among those who’ve adopted these smears is radical socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Stephen Miller, Trump’s architect of mass human rights abuses at the border (including child separation & detention camps w/ child fatalities) has been exposed as a bonafide white nationalist.
He’s still at the White House shaping US immigration policy.
Miller must resign. Now. https://t.co/hwjy1xl6D4
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 12, 2019
The smears originated with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a radical far-left group that’s been discredited numerous times, but that’s still widely cited as a legitimate source by members of the partisan left-wing media, including CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy.
The smears center on a cache of emails allegedly sent by Miller to the conservative news website Breitbart in 2015 and 2016, at which time the current White House adviser reportedly worked as a senior aide for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions.
The source of the emails is Katie McHugh, a former Breitbart editor who was fired in June of 2017 after she was outed for being an actual racist and white supremacist — but who’s since allegedly renounced her past views and vowed to help expose other racists.
“One of the emails, published by the SPLC and later obtained by CNN, showed Miller sent a Breitbart staffer a link to VDARE, a prominent white nationalist website,” CNN’s Darcy uncritically reported. “In another email, Miller sent a Breitbart employee a link to the fringe right-wing media organization InfoWars.”
While CNN and other partisan media outlets have gobbled up these claims as fact, a legion of evidence exists suggesting that the SPLC’s latest report should not be trusted.
First, the left-wing group has a history of smearing conservatives of all stripes, including black conservative analyst and commentator Carol Swain:
(Source: Fox News)
“The SPLC rakes in donations by claiming to fight hate, but its lists of hate groups routinely include not just truly vile outfits but also ones that simply don’t toe a politically correct line,” the New York Post’s whole editorial board wrote last summer.
As an example, the board cited the group’s treatment of Maajid Nawaz, a renowned Muslim reformer whom the SPLC smeared as an “anti-Muslim extremist.”
“Actually, Quilliam is dedicated to countering extremism, and Nawaz is a practicing Muslim — indeed, a prominent voice for reform within the faith, having turned from extremism during four years in an Egyptian prison for his work with the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir,” the board noted. “Nawaz sued, and the SPLC plainly realized it couldn’t win: It has agreed to pay $3.4 million to settle the case and also issued a full apology.”
Others who’ve been smeared by the SPLC include:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, a black man who was once placed on an “extremist watch list” for his Bible-based Christian outlook on marriage.
Renowned Jewish conservative intellectual David Horowitz and his think tank, the eponymously named David Horowitz Freedom Center. Last year Visa and Mastercard blocked donations to his think tank after the SPLC began smearing it as a “hate group.”
And Michelle Malkin, a conservative commentator raised by two Filipino immigrants.
SPLC is a discredited smear machine that cooks the books on “hate” statistics and is being sued successfully around the world for systematic defamation. Shame on open-borders Bloomberg for regurgitating their propaganda. https://t.co/FBcsCJB3NH
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) February 21, 2019
In a column published last month, Malkin noted that the SPLC has no qualms about falsely linking literally anybody who boasts conservative views with racism and white nationalism/supremacy.
“Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. Cops, vets and government officials. Attorneys, doctors, academics, authors, journalists and activists. White, black, brown, multiracial, multiethnic, interfaith and intermarried. Has there ever been a more diverse universe of ‘white supremacists’ on the planet?” she sarcastically wrote.
She also provided a more comprehensive list of the SPLC’s victims:
- “–Black conservative scholar Carol Swain.
- –Black Trump administration Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.
- –Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz.
- –Refugee Resettlement Watch blogger and citizen journalist Ann Corcoran.
- –Investigative Project on Terrorism founder Steven Emerson.
- –Former Reagan official and Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney.
- –Jewish anti-jihad activist Pamela Geller.
- –Former FBI agent and Marine veteran John Guandolo.
- –Somali-born ex-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
- –Renowned historian and author David Horowitz.
- –Scholar and Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes.
- –Palestinian-American ex-jihadist Walid Shoebat.
- –Scholar and Jihad Watch founder Robert Spencer.
- –Lawyer, Fox News host, LifeZette.com founder and talk radio veteran Laura Ingraham.
- –Former prosecutor and judge and Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro.
- –Author and nationally syndicated columnist Diana West.
- –Alliance Defending Freedom.
- –The Remembrance Project.
- –Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum.
- –American Principles Project.”
Even David French, a “Never Trump” Republican who’s not particularly liked by the GOP base, has conceded that the SPLC as it currently exists is a fraudulent organization.
“[T]he SPLC’s transformation from a valuable anti-Klan watchdog into a glorified version of Media Matters for America was plain and obvious,” he wrote last spring, citing the radically far-left propaganda group known as Media Matters.
“It steadily expanded its definition of ‘hate groups’ to include mainstream Christian organizations such as my former employer, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and it labeled as “extremists” men such as American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray.”
He added that the group’s false accusations often engender “serious real-world consequences” — sometimes even violent ones.
“Remember the man who tried to commit mass murder at the Family Research Council?” French wrote. “He found his target through the SPLC’s list of alleged ‘anti-gay groups.’ Remember when an angry mob attacked Murray at Middlebury College and injured a professor? Because of the SPLC, those protesters thought they were attacking a ‘white nationalist.'”
And yet the group’s false claims are still being touted as truth.
“This organization has devolved from helping people to hurting people, but it only has the power that the media and progressive corporations give it,” French’s column concluded. “Now, every single time a media organization or a company uses the SPLC’s listings, it should be held to account. There is no excuse. The emperor has no clothes. The SPLC is in a state of moral collapse.”
And so, arguably, is every media outlet and Democrat that still relies on it as a source.
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