Well, I finally made a list.
It’s not the Pulitzer Prize I expected.
It’s not the list of the best-looking men in America.
It’s not the list of the most popular Arab-Americans among jihadists.
And it’s not the list of the wealthiest media entrepreneurs in the world.
Hey, even so, I’m honored.
I’m joined by some good company – my buddy Rep. Michele Bachmann, whom I would support for president tomorrow, Glenn Beck, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Rep. Paul Broun and Rep. Ron Paul.
Who is the SPLC? I think Reason writer Jesse Walker may have said it best last month when he wrote: “The Southern Poverty Law Center … would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds.”
Morris Dees’ stock-in-trade is raising hundreds of millions of dollars through fanning the flames of phantom threats posed almost exclusively by those who love America and its Constitution. He also files lots of lawsuits, sometimes even on behalf of real victims of racism, and pockets most of the money raised through heart-wrenching direct-mail pitches.
The most famous example was a judgment he won for a black woman whose son was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. While Dees and company raised $9 million sending out solicitation letters featuring a gruesome picture of the victim, the mom received a total of $51,875 in the settlement. Dees pays himself more than $280,000 a year from the “charity.”
Do you get the picture?
Nevertheless, sadly, Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center get plenty of ink and face time in the Old Media. Their reports are peddled like cheap wine at a frat-house party in venues like PMSNBC and the Old York Times.
Consider this column your inoculation for what’s coming.
“Joseph Farah is the founder of the right-wing website WorldNetDaily (WND), which stokes fear with articles on topics like ‘Stocking Up on Guns and Ammo’ and advertisements for survivalist-style solar and food products.”
Stop right there! I won’t deal with the ideological labeling, but I will say I’m proud to find myself to the right of the Southern Poverty Law Center on the political spectrum. However, just to give you an idea of how little the group cares for facts, WND has never run an article headlined ‘Stocking Up on Guns and Ammo.’ The only article I could find that included those keywords was this rather straightforward news story. To the charge of accepting advertising from solar-energy and food advertisers, I plead guilty.
Next: “WND, which boasts nearly 5 million monthly visitors and spices up its ‘news’ reporting with ‘WorldNetDaily Exclusive’ articles like this March’s ‘Girl Scouts Hiding Secret Sex Agenda?’ claims to be ‘fiercely independent.’ It certainly is unique.”
Stop right there! Actually, we boast nearly 8 million monthly visitors, and this time they got the headline exactly right. Read the story if you haven’t already. No apologies for that one. And yes, WND is fiercely independent and unique, thank you very much.
Next: “Farah, who could not be reached for comment, has served as the opening act at Tea Party events headlined by Sarah Palin this year. He is a leading fomenter of the baseless claim that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, but in Africa, and so is not qualified to be president. Farah has repeatedly demanded that Obama release a full-form birth certificate. ‘It’ll plague Obama throughout his presidency,’ he said. ‘It’ll be a nagging issue and a sore on his administration.’”
Stop right there! Could not be reached for comment? Let me state unequivocally and for the record, the gutless, little cowards at the Southern Poverty Law Center with their $300 million annual budget never had the courage to call me, leave a message or send an e-mail! I would have been amused to answer the accusations of Dees or one of his little minions. Anyone who knows me understands how much I like to mix it up with those who disagree with me. Could not be reached for comment, indeed. Larceny and cowardice are the trademarks of Dees and company. And, just for the record, though I have spoken and written hundreds of thousands of words about Barack Obama’s failure to prove his eligibility, I have never said or written that he “was not born in Hawaii, but in Africa.” What I have said is ever so simple: Obama has not proven he was born in the United States and is a natural born citizen. It’s amazing to me with all I write – six columns a week, more than a dozen books, thousands of hours of broadcast time – that people still feel compelled to put words in my mouth!
Next: “Farah is a veteran practitioner of conspiracy ‘journalism,’ having repeatedly hawked the tale of the supposed coverup of the death of Clinton aide Vincent Foster – thought to be a murder, not a suicide, by anti-Clinton conspiracy-mongers like Farah and his ilk.”
Stop right there! Again, I don’t retract a single thing I have ever said or written about Vincent Foster’s mysterious death and the amazing, official coverup that followed it, but I have never said or written that he did not commit suicide or that he was murdered. Isn’t it amazing how some people care so little for facts?
Next: “Like many publications of the far right, Farah’s website, which he started with his wife in 1997, also carries countless product ads with scary headlines like ‘Will You Survive the Coming Dark Age?’ (‘Don’t leave your family’s safety in the hands of the government.’)”
Stop right there! It’s true WND carries countless product ads – literally hundreds of different ones every single day! Even the Barack Obama campaign purchased advertising on WND in 2008. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the Southern Poverty Law Center has purchased advertising on WND – though that would have been the scariest of them all.
Next: “Remarkably, Farah sprang from a California newspaper background. He was executive editor of the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, he edited the dying Sacramento Union, where staffers have said he ordered them to favor conservative views in news coverage and even book reviews and give short shrift to liberals. While at the Union, he gave a page-one column to a local radio host named Rush Limbaugh.”
Stop right there! What’s remarkable about the fact that I am doing the same thing today that I have done all my life – report the news without fear or favor and without getting the approval from anti-American con artists like Morris Dees? Is it surprising that lazy journalists who helped kill an American newspaper institution, and whom I fired as a result of their incompetence and stupidity, might have negative comments about me? And, heck yes, I gave Rush Limbaugh a front-page column at the Sacramento Union. And I’d give him one again today at WND if I could get him to do it.