The Southern Poverty Law Center has removed three Russia-related articles from its website following challenges to the articles’ accuracy.
The three articles all focused on drawing conspiratorial connections between anti-establishment American political figures and Russian influence operations in the United States.
The left-wing nonprofit apologized on Wednesday for a March 9 article that linked left-wing writers and activists to Russians and white nationalists. The article sparked an intense backlash from the left-wingers, who accused the SPLC of smearing them with inaccurate accusations. One of the writers, Max Blumenthal, threatened legal action before the SPLC removed that article.
The SPLC also quietly pulled two other Russia-related articles by the same author, Portland State University lecturer Alexander Reid Ross.
The two articles, one on Feb. 8 and one on Feb. 21, each focused on drawing far-reaching Russian connections in American politics. Each article has since been replaced with an editor’s note saying the “post has been removed pending further review.”
In the March 9 article, for example, the SPLC suggested that Blumenthal became a Kremlin mouthpiece as a result of attending a gala for RT, a state-owned Russian media network.
“Blumenthal,” Ross wrote, “was not as clear of a spokesperson for Kremlin geopolitics before he appeared at the same RT gala as disgraced former National Security advisor Michael Flynn and the Green Party’s Jill Stein in December 2015.”
The SPLC did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
The SPLC has consistently courted controversy by labeling conservatives figures as “extremists” and conservative organizations as “hate groups.”
In October 2014, the SPLC labeled neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who is now the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an “extremist” for his conservative political beliefs. After an intense backlash, the SPLC apologized to Dr. Carson four months later and retracted the accusation.
Floyd Lee Corkins, who opened fire at the Family Research Center (FRC) in 2012, said he targeted the FRC because the SPLC listed them as a “hate group.” The SPLC continues to label the FRC a “hate group” to this day.
The SPLC is helping YouTube police content on its platform, as part of YouTube’s “Trusted Flagger” program, The Daily Caller revealed last month. Following TheDC’s exclusive report, the SPLC confirmed their role in the program.
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