Topic: Accuracy in Media
Like the Media Research Center, Accuracy in Media is also in distraction mode when it comes to Trump adviser Stephen Bannon.
Cliff Kincaid's Nov. 15 AIM article immediately starts attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center for pointing out Bannon's promotion of alt-right white nationalist views as the guy who ran Breitbartn (and, by extension, media outlets that cite the SPLC), ranting that the SPLC "has no business being cited as a credible source by any responsible news organization. It smears conservatives for profit, diverting attention from real domestic threats, such as the Marxist extremists currently demonstrating against Trump in the streets and threatening to disrupt his inauguration."
Kincaid goes on to whine that "This journalist was named a member of the 'radical right,' a designation then transformed into a charge of 'Islamophobia' by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The accusations are designed to silence First Amendment rights and discourage the media from going to conservative sources for news, information and commentary." Kincaid doesn't dispute the accusation or anything else in the SPLC's profile of him, but is simply attacking the messenger.
Kincaid then plunges into conspiracy-theory mode:
Even more troubling, SPLC President and CEO Richard Cohen was a member of the “Countering Violent Extremism Working Group” of the Department of Homeland Security in 2010. It is possible that Cohen, in this capacity, was able to get access to classified information, and that the SPLC, in turn, shared its erroneous data on conservative opponents of the Obama administration with federal law enforcement agencies.
Kincaid dismisses the allegations against Bannon by benignly describing them stemming from his leadership of Breitbart, which "features some unorthodox conservative views that Bannon’s critics have tried to pin on him." At no point does Kincaid rebut any of the specific charges made against Bannon.
Then, Kincaid goes off on a tangent:
Before [CBS anchor Scott] Pelley uncritically cited the SPLC, Kate Snow was on MSNBC talking about how Trump’s stand against illegal immigration was similar to that of the secretary of state of Kansas, Kris Kobach. She said Kobach had given “support” to the Social Contract Press, which she described as a “hate group” designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Social Contract Press rebuts all of the accusations, while noting that the SPLC’s $300 million cash hoard “rivals that of [the] Clinton Foundation.” It was the Social Contract Press which published one of [Ken] Silverstein’s articles exposing the SPLC.
Indeed, Silverstein’s exposé was just one section of a major report the Social Contract Press published in 2010 that examined the SPLC’s strategy and tactics.
Yet, it’s Bannon who is being accused of being an extremist.
Kincaid is doing a lot of obfuscation here. The specific claim here is that Kobach, in 2015, gave a presentation at a conference hosted by the Social Contract Press. The SPLC has pointed out that the Social Contract Press, published by notorious anti-immigration activist John Tanton -- described by the SPLC as "a man known for his racist statements about Latinos, his decades-long flirtation with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers, and his publication of ugly racist materials" -- is an outlet for the writings of white nationalists and filled with race-baiting. Kincaid somehow failed to mention that.
The Social Contract Press' attack on the SPLC is, like Kincaid's, an attempt to deflect from the SPLC's documentation of its work by attacking the messenger. While Kincaid claims the Social Contract Press has "rebut[ted]" the SPLC's claims, he provides no link to it beyond its general SPLC-bashing work.
Kincaid's defense of the Social Contract Press is another instance of him siding with white nationalists. In August, Kincaid defended the honor of unambiguously racist white supremacist Jared Taylor, and has previously laughably denied that the organization Taylor runs, American Renaissance, is racist.