Yesterday the Southern Poverty Law Center reached a $3.3 million settlement with Quilliam Foundation founder Maajid Nawaz. The SPLC had included Nawaz in its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.” Though the Field Guide was later dumped down the memory hole, Nawaz’ attorneys had threatened a lawsuit and the threat itself was enough to get the SPLC to apologize and pay up (no actual lawsuit was ever filed). The fact that Nawaz was so successful apparently has dozens of other groups and individuals thinking about going after a piece of the SPLC’s $430 million endowment. From Pajamas Media:
“We haven’t filed anything against the SPLC, but I think a number of organizations have been considering filing lawsuits against the SPLC, because they have been doing to a lot of organizations exactly what they did to Maajid Nawaz that’s part of the settlement,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told PJ Media on Tuesday…
“There are probably about 60 organizations that we’re talking to — there’s at least 60,” Staver told PJ Media. He mentioned the group of 47 nonprofit leaders who denounced the SPLC last year, and said “that group has grown since then.”…
“I must say, though, this apology to Mr. Nawaz has caused us to consider our options,” Morse added, cryptically.
“We are reviewing all our legal options,” J.P. Duffy, a spokesman for the Family Research Council, told PJ Media on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Prager University, another organization attacked by the SPLC, said that “at this point” the group had “no intention to sue,” but they “reserve the right to change their mind as the situation evolves.”
Speaking of Prager University, today Dennis Prager wrote a column outlining how the SPLC uses guilt-by-association tactics to include his organization on its “Hatewatch” blog:
Now the SPLC has placed an article about PragerU (https://www.splc.org/hatewatch/2018/06/07prageru’s-influence) on its “Hatewatch” blog. It never actually accuses PragerU of “hate” because even it can’t substantiate such a charge. In over 300 videos, it could not find a single sentence countenancing hate or bigotry, so it simply describes two articles by outsiders about PragerU, knowing the dirty work will be accomplished via implication…
Then the SPLC writes, “More troubling, Tripodi discovered, are the connections some PragerU presenters have with white nationalist thinkers.”
Again, only a very careful reader will realize PragerU has no connections whatsoever to white nationalist thinkers. Rather, “some PragerU presenters” do.
And who might they be?
Tripodi and the SPLC give one example: Dave Rubin. Dave Rubin made a video for PragerU titled “Why I Left the Left.” He is a very popular liberal video podcaster, and the fact that he is a gay Jewish liberal who left the left disturbs the SPLC.
Now, do you know any gay Jewish liberals who support white nationalists? I doubt it.
So, on what grounds is Rubin smeared in this way? Not because of any views he espouses but because he has interviewed the aforementioned Stefan Molyneux.
The fact that someone like Rubin, who made his name interviewing people, has interviewed Stefan Molyneux does not mean he agrees with him on every point, much less that Prager U is some kind of conduit to hate. It’s just nonsense.
The problem isn’t that this left-wing group has opinions about people on the right, it’s that people choose to listen to them. At what point are companies like Google and media outlets going to notice that the SPLC is playing an ugly guilt-by-association game here. Perhaps a few more lawsuits, even unsuccessful ones, would get these corporations to stop outsourcing their moral judgment to a group of openly partisan hatchet-men. As Prager says, “Were the SPLC not quoted and used as a source, there would be no reason to pay it any attention.”