WHO TV 13, Des Moines’ NBC affiliate, ran a piece originating at CNN that repurposed the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate map” as a news piece. CNN did not originally identify the map as Southern Poverty Law Center’s map, and they changed it under pressure from conservatives. WHO TV’s piece does not indicate that in their headline either.
The problem with the “hate map” is that it includes conservative groups and Christian groups that oppose same-sex marriage, the radical LGBT agenda, who promote border security, and/or groups that indicate concern about radical Islamic terrorism and seek to promote robust national security policy. The groups are listed alongside Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups, and white supremacist groups, which do belong on such a list.
So virtually any group that SPLC disagrees with will end up on the list, groups such as:
- Pray in Jesus Name Project
- D. James Kennedy Ministries
- Alliance Defending Freedom
- ACT for America
- Ruth Institute
- Family Research Council
- Pacific Justice Institute
- Center for Family and Human Rights
- Center for Immigration Studies
- Family Security Matters
- Federation for American Immigration Reform
- Immigration Reform Law Institute
- American College of Pediatricians
- Citizens for National Security
- Liberty Counsel
- Illinois Family Institute
For Iowa, they list ACT for America (a national security group, not a hate group). They do list three neo-Nazi/Alt-Right groups with ties to Iowa that do deserve to be on the list: Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance, National Socialist Movement, and The Daily Stormer (I have no idea how active these groups are in Iowa).
SPLC came under fire before the Iowa Caucus when they placed Dr. Ben Carson in their “extreme files.” Carson, who is now the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was added because he believed in traditional marriage (how radical, how hateful!). Carson, who incidentally is black, overcame growing up in housing projects and childhood poverty to become a world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. After the public backlash, they apologized.
In 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins II walked into the Family Research Council’s Washington headquarters and proclaimed words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics” and then shot their security guard at their building. This prompted liberal Washington Post opinion writer Dana Milbank to call on SPLC and the Human Rights Campaign to stop calling pro-marriage groups “hate groups.”
A call that was lost on both of them, and now media outlets are passing on their lists as though they are accurate. Notably, this ignores Antifa, it neglected to add Black Lives Matter after their movement inspired deadly attacks on police in Dallas, TX and Baton Rouge, LA, and it also doesn’t list any radical Islamic group.
WHO TV’s publishing of this list is not only sloppy journalism. It is borderline libel.