Like every other major news network in the country, CNN has focused a lot of attention on the man who killed six people at a Sikh temple earlier this week. Unfortunately, some of yesterday's CNN's coverage had a more-than-slight liberal bent to it. From one CNN article yesterday:
Currently, there are more than 1,000 hate groups in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks them and says it was tracking the Wisconsin gunman for years before the attack.
Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League, said right-wing extremism is experiencing a resurgence.
But to grow, white supremacist groups have to buck a long-term trend toward inclusion, he said. "For the white supremacist movement to expand, that's swimming upstream."
Around 1:30 yesterday afternoon, a CNN discussion of hate crimes in the United States quoted the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) extensively -- without noting their very liberal bias or having a conservative/non-liberal group as a balance:
Authorities are investigating the Sikh temple gunman's ties to white supremacist groups. Those groups are on the rise in the United States. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are more than 1,000 known hate groups operating in the United States. Those include neo-Nazis, Klansmen, Skinheads, White Nationalists and Black Separatists. The agency says hate groups have increased by 69 percent since 2000. That growth has been fueled by the struggling economy, immigration, and the election of Barack Obama as a first African- American president. That is what they say.
After any shooting of the kind that happened on Sunday, especially one where the alleged killer is alleged to be a white supremacist, it is necessary to investigate fully someone's background. It would be a dereliction of duty by police and media to do otherwise. However, the SPLC's definition of what a hate group consists of is very...flexible. From its website:
Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included in this list. Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.
So the SPLC has such a loose definition that any group of racists taking advantage of their freedom of speech could qualify as a hate group. This is unlike the balance the FBI takes in defining hate crimes (which, for the record, shouldn't exist, but at least have a higher threshold):
A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation." Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
So far, there is no denying that the shooter is a white supremacist, and CNN is right to note it. However, by citing the SPLC (which considers the Family Research Council, for example, a hate group) without a balancing viewpoint, CNN is giving an unchallenged voice to an organization that regularly steps well over the line that separates hate from protected speech. Dealing with the tragedy that took place in Wisconsin is difficult enough, but adding politics into the mix only two days later is too much too fast.
- New CNN Host Pushes Stronger Gun Laws, Mental Health Database
- Piers Morgan Defends the Nanny State: 'People Need Nannying'
- CNN Fawns Over Chelsea Clinton And Her 'Extraordinary Parents'
- CNN Puffs Up Hillary's CGI Speech, Hypes 2016 Prospects
- Piers Morgan Compares Gun Debate to Civil Rights, Drunk Driving Debates
- Ace of Spades HQ
- Americans For Prosperity
- Big Government
- Big Hollywood
- Big Journalism
- Breitbart TV
- Business & Media Institute
- Culture & Media Institute
- Gateway Pundit
- Hot Air
- Live Action Blog
- MRC Action Team
- Media Research Center
- Michelle Malkin
- Powerline Blog
- RCP Video
- The Blaze
- The Foundry
- Weasel Zippers