Conservatives Warn Media: Don’t Trust THIS Organization

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Forty-seven of the country’s most outspoken conservatives wrote an open letter to the mainstream media this week, warning them away from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC has attracted a great deal of publicity in recent weeks and is seen by the media as the go-to source for information on hate groups in America. In the wake of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, news stories looking for quotes and data about hate groups have relied on the SPLC to fill them in on what’s happening across the nation.

That’s fine as far as it goes, but in their letter, the conservatives warned against giving the SPLC too much credence.

“We are writing to you as individuals or as representatives of organizations who are deeply troubled by several recent examples of the media’s use of data from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC),” wrote the coalition. “The SPLC is a discredited, left-wing, political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a ‘hate group’ label of its own invention and application that is not only false and defamatory, but that also endangers the lives of those targeted with it.”

The conservatives aren’t sticking up for the Ku Klux Klan, by any means. Rather, they are attempting to shed light on the full extent of the SPLC’s “hate group” designation, which often pulls mainstream conservatism into the web. In recent years, the organization has labeled anti-gay marriage groups with the “hate” label, as well as groups and individuals who oppose Islamic terrorism and unrestrained illegal immigration.

These labels have not only damaged the reputation of the targeted groups, say conservatives, but also put innocent people in harm’s way. The SPLC’s “hate group” designation has been linked to the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise as well as the 2012 shooting at the Family Research Council in Washington.

Signed by such conservative luminaries as Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center and former Attorney General Edward Meese III, the letter advises journalists to be cautious when citing the SPLC for their stories.

“To associate public interest law firms and think tanks with neo-Nazis and the KKK is unconscionable, and it represents the height of irresponsible journalism to do so,” they wrote. “All reputable news organizations should immediately stop using the SPLC descriptions of individuals and organizations based on the SPLC’s obvious political prejudices.”

The delegitimization of the Southern Poverty Law Center is long overdue, though we suspect few in the mainstream media will heed the timely warning included in the letter. Even knowing full well that the SPLC is a corrupt, left-wing institution, they’ll continue to use them for quotes and information…simply because they ALSO believe that “Islamophobia” and anti-gay marriage sentiments constitute hate. Still, we can hope that at least some of the truth about the SPLC will squeak by the gatekeepers and convince average Americans that this group is not to be trusted as an unbiased authority on “hate.”