National conservative leaders published an open letter today from the website of the Family Research Council (FRC) that asked the mainstream media to stop using data from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” database.
Today’s letter was signed by 46 conservative leaders from across the country that include movement stalwarts like FRC’s Tony Perkins; former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, now the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at the Heritage Foundation; Gary Bauer of American Values; and Michael Farris of Alliance Defending Freedom, to name a few.
The eight-page letter read in part:
“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…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…All reputable news organizations should immediately stop using the SPLC descriptions of individuals and organizations based on the SPLC’s obvious political prejudices.”
Near the end of the letter, the signers pointed out the hypocrisy of the media for using the SPLC’s hate map, as they wrote:
We wonder how the media would react if a corresponding situation arose on the center-right of the political spectrum.For example,let’s assume that congressional debate were raging as to whether or not taxpayers should continue to fund Planned Parenthood, which receives about $500 million a year from Congress. If a national pro-life advocacy organization were to release a map with caricatures of abortionists and title it, “Here’s Where the Baby Killers are Located in Your State,” would the media run the story? Would it reprint the map and discuss the location of these “pro-death” doctors throughout the news day? Clearly, it would not.
The letter also shed light on the SPLC’s hypocrisy for designing “hatewatch” which denigrates those who merely hold a different point-of-view.
This move follows last week’s reports of the Alabama-based SPLC transferring massive sums of money off-shore, notwithstanding its 501(c)3 nonprofit status.