April 22, 2010 – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and CNN have been busy demonizing “patriots” again. In December, CNN slammed the “patriot movement” and distorted FEMA camp evidence. The SPLC joined in the fun at the first of the year with their Spring 2010 Special Report publication. In March, the SPLC reported that patriot and militia groups are “surging in number” and also took aim at public broadcasting station KBDI for airing the documentary, Camp FEMA, during its Winter fund drive.
It’s April and, lest a month go by without some mention of the nasty “patriots, the SPLC has issued a new publication, “Meet The Patriots.” The newest fare from the SPLC is a list of active patriots, most of whom this writer knows at least something about. The list is nearly a complete Who’s Who in the patriot community. CNN has chimed in with its recent “Radical Right or Anger Against the Government” piece during Anderson Cooper’s 360°, speaking about a few members on “the list,” as well as taking yet another opportunity to disparage Camp FEMA.
Alternative Radio and Television hosts Alex Jones, Gary Franchi, John Stadtmiller, Jim Stachowiak made the list. Former law officials and government employees Joe Banister, Ted Gunderson, Richard Mack and Jack McLamb made it. Independent writers Dr. Edwin Vieira, Devvy Kidd, and Joseph Farah made the cut. Activists with organizations challenging the tyrannical government including Catherine Bleish, Paul Venable, Larry Pratt, Stewart Rhodes, Luke Rudkowski and Bob Schultz were not left out and politicians Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul along with Presidential hopeful Chuck Baldwin were included, and the list goes on. In fact, the list is so broad that, unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you are bound to know someone on it!
In an open and honest call to action, I would like to know if the SPLC or CNN has given any thought to the actual concerns of these people? I dare say they have not. It is unfortunate, too, because many of these people are simply pointing out the blatant discrepancy between our out-of-control federal government with its well-defined Constitutional role.
In the CNN piece, writer John Avlon makes the comment, “People are afraid…willing to believe the worst about their government…believe that there are people trying to undermine this Constitutional Republic.” Has Mr. Avlon bothered to read either Patriot Act? The John Warner Defense Act? The Military Commissions Act? Or, maybe he read the appropriations bill to which the Real ID Rider, after the Act itself did not pass, was attached? What about the massive health care bill? May I also take a moment to point out that our own Chief Justice John Roberts has been caught, many times, referring to our country as a Constitutional Democracy?
Avlon may have missed the proposed Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which never became law, but the very fact that a legislator that represents the people could propose it is frightening. CNN’s Drew Griffin makes reference to the “now stalled HR 645,” yet another piece of egregious legislation that, even though stalled, should never be proposed by legislators who represent you and me.
Many of the poetic, yet decisive, words our forefathers penned in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution rang through my ears as I read through the “list” (emphasis mine):
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence…
“The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…” The Bill of Rights
Our forefathers clearly knew of the very dangers most of these freedom fighters are concerned about as they were debating and writing our founding documents!
When asked about his thoughts of the new SPLC’s “list” and his inclusion on it and CNN’s latest criticism of Camp FEMA, producer Gary Franchi had this to say, "My hat’s off to the Southern Poverty Law Center for making it easier for me to find new patriots and build a bigger and better coalition to continue the fight for freedom in America. Unfortunately, they are doing the same thing for the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis, too." Not deterred by the blatant moves of the SPLC and CNN to include anyone who has the audacity to question the federal government’s motives, Franchi, of Restore the Republic, is about to release his newest project with director William Lewis, Don’t Tread On Me.
If the SPLC and CNN thought Camp FEMA was conspiracy-minded, the newest Lewis/Franchi film will surely grab their attention! Many of the very same “patriots” who made the SPLC list are guests in the film discussing State’s rights, sovereignty, what the states can do about the encroachment of the federal government and, yes, even the Constitutionality of the militia! Unfortunately for the SPLC and CNN, viewers of the new film will not get baseless rhetoric but a clear education about what our country, founded on the principles of a Constitutional Republic, is all about.
This leaves one to wonder why the SPLC, a group founded to battle “hate and bigotry” and fight for injustice, would make such broad “lists” without regard to the message of the actual people on the list. It also begs to ask why CNN would seem to be so biased in its journalism. In earlier articles responding to claims made by the SPLC and CNN, many “points” they find “conspiratorial” within the “patriot community” were expounded on, and actually, with research, proven to be of real concern.
The SPLC does give a brief description of each person on their list, although painting a less than accurate picture of most. Former IRS agent, Joe Banister, was, indeed acquitted, in his trial on tax fraud charges. What the SPLC (and CNN, too as they railed against Bob Schultz) conveniently left out is that during the trial, Banister’s IRS supervisor “was unable to cite any U.S. law that required Banister to pay income taxes.” Are the SPLC and CNN just conveniently ignoring that fact?
In fact, the only thing most of the people on the list are guilty of is asking questions and seeking answers. Some of those people, Jones, Franchi, Stadtmiller, Baldwin, Bleish, Stachowiak, Kidd, Farah, Rhodes, and others, have huge followings and those people are concerned for the state of our nation, but they aren’t anti-government, as the SPLC, CNN and Avlon would have you believe. They are merely interested in a Constitutional government. Maybe, one day, this salient point will sink in!
In her quest for answers, Bleish has been arrested twice for no reason, yet is the SPLC defending her rights? No, they are adding her to a “list” of people who are “antigovernment” and of the “radical right.” She isn’t even “right,” she’s an independent!
Chris Broughton attended an Obama rally carrying his AR-15. The news painted an interesting picture. The SPLC even makes mention of the fact that Broughton “claims that some news broadcasters edited video footage of the scene to hide his race (he's black) when reporting on the racist backlash to Obama's election.” This is actually not a claim, it was true. Photos of the back of a man (no full pictures) with an AR-15 strapped to it surfaced all over the place while the news took the opportunity to paint protesters as racist and dangerous. The news had to later admit to the race of the protester, only after the alternative media brought it to the attention of the nation.
This brings me to the question, where was the SPLC (or CNN) when Kenneth Gladney was attacked in St. Louis as he attended a one of the many Town Hall meetings surrounding the Obama health care bill. Gladney’s attackers, at least four, were members of the pro-Obama SEIU (Service Employees International Union) in attendance that night and “used a racial slur against him before the attack started.” Gladney had to go to the hospital. Where is Gladney’s protection against hate, bigotry and injustice? By the way, Gladney is a black man, also.
Writer Anthony Martin calls the SPLC on a “flat-out lie” with regards to their “report” of Michael Vanderboegh. Martin writes, “The 'Southern Poverty Law Center' is misnamed. Rather than focusing on providing legal aid to those who live in poverty the organization is actually an extremist Leftwing group that pushes an anti-Constitutional, pro-Socialist philosophy and 'monitors rightwing hate groups.'”
These are just a few examples of less than truthful information being spread by the SPLC and CNN. These two have seized the utter disappointment in the Obama administration as a reason to claim that right wing extremism is on the rise, conveniently leaving out the fact that most of these people found fault with the Bush administration, as well AND the majority of these individuals are not right wing extremists, at all, but fiercely independent.
Once again, the SPLC proves they are, indeed, not the organization they claim to be. And what does it say for the truth in journalism of CNN? What these two seem to be good at is lumping all people questioning our government together and pointing fingers at many with only speculative evidence. When will people realize that the SPLC and CNN are just as guilty of dividing our country and spreading hatred and “conspiracies” as those they claim to be exposing?
SPLC's new "Meet the Patriots"
CNN Radical Right or Anger Against the Government
CNN Slams “Patriot Movement,” Misrepresents FEMA Camp Evidence
Chief Justice, Do you really not know what kind of government we have?
Former IRS CID Special Agent Joseph Banister Acquitted of Tax Fraud And Conspiracy
Exposing the Southern Poverty Law Center…Now It’s Personal!
Catherine Bleish detained in Maplewood MO Please Help.
Catherine Bleish Arrested at a Pot Rally for Filming Arrest!
SEIU Thugs Attack a Black Conservative Kenneth Gladney Outside Russ Carnahan Townhall