Four writers and commentators from WND – founder and CEO Joseph Farah, marketing coordinator Kevin DeAnna, columnist Molotov Mitchell and columnist Pamela Geller – are on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of the 30 most dangerous activists in the country.
“It’s hard to argue with facts,” said Farah. “But since facts are precious few in the SPLC’s hit pieces on me and others, that makes it a lot easier.”
Farah pointed out that in the SPLC’s biography of him, WND Books is credited with publishing the hottest-selling Christian book of 2012, “The Harbinger,” by Jonathan Cahn. While WND has promoted the book and sells it in the WND Superstore, it is not the publisher.
“I wish we published it,” said Farah, “Sometimes, in trying to build up the bogeyman, SPLC strays from reality – in fact, always.”
The report by the SPLC’s “Intelligence Report Staff” warns about the “American radical right” and its “30 new activists.”
“What was once a world largely dominated by a few relatively well-organized groups has become a scene populated by large numbers of smaller, weaker groups, with only a handful led by the kind of charismatic chieftains that characterized the 1990s,” the report says.
The report says the “explosive growth” of the “radical right” has been driven “by anger of the diminishing white majority … and the … still-ailing economy.” An “anti-Muslim movement” has grown enormously, it says.
There also are “anti-gay groups” and “so-called ‘Patriot’ groups – which, unlike most hate groups, see the federal government as their primary enemy.”
The SPLC’s attacks are nothing new to WND.
A year ago, its “hate groups” report warned of the growth of groups such as the Constitution Party, Oath Keepers and WND.
In the Spring 2011 issue of its Intelligence Report, titled “The Year in Hate & Extremism,” the SPLC identified 824 “patriot” organizations it says “define themselves as opposed to the ‘New World Order,’ engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines.”
“Hate groups topped 1,000 for the first time since the Southern Poverty Law Center began counting such groups in the 1980s,” wrote the SPLC’s Mark Potok in the issue’s lead article. “But by far the most dramatic growth came in the antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement – conspiracy-minded organizations that see the federal government as their primary enemy – which gained more than 300 new groups, a jump of over 60 percent.”
The SPLC describes itself as a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to “fighting hate and bigotry” but has a clearly left-leaning political bent – criticizing in its spring issue alone the tea parties, “anti-gay” groups such as the Family Research Council, anti-abortion activists, radio host Glenn Beck, elected Republican officials and “patriot” groups.
Farah cited Reason writer Jesse Walker’s comment that the SLPC “would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds.”
Farah said SPLC leader 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,” Farah said.
Farah said the most famous example was a judgment Dees 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 mother received a total of only $51,875 in the settlement. Dees pays himself more than $280,000 a year from the “charity.”
Ken Silverstein at Harper’s published a letter from Stephen Bright, an Atlanta-based civil rights lawyer, about Bright’s rejection of an invitation to speak at a college event.
The letter was addressed to Ken Randall, dean of the University of Alabama school of law. Bright noted he had been invited to be at the presentation of the “Morris Dees Justice Award” but would not come.
“Morris Dees is a con man and fraud, as I and others, such as U.S. Circuit Judge Cecil Poole, have observed and as has been documented by John Egerton, Harper’s, the Montgomery Advertiser in its ‘Charity of Riches’ series and others,” Bright wrote. “The positive contributions Dees has made to justice – most undertaken based upon calculations as to their publicity and fund raising potential – are far overshadowed by what Harper’s described as his ‘flagrantly misleading’ solicitations for money. He has raised millions upon millions of dollars with various schemes, never mentioning that he does not need the money because he has $175 million and two ‘poverty palace’ buildings in Montgomery.”
Farah also warned recently that readers can expect, any day now, to see a major hit piece on WND in the SPLC’s Intelligence Report.
He said he was told by Leah Nelson, “an SPLC intelligence project fellow, that the fear-mongering scam is preparing a ‘profile’ of WND in the next issue.”
“I already know the SPLC’s conclusions about me and WND,” he said, citing the following SPLC writings that already have appeared:
- “Conspiracy theory buffs need an endless supply of fuel to keep chugging along. And no one out there seems to provide more of that than Joseph Farah, the archconservative and slightly mad publisher/editor of WorldNetDaily (WND). From obsessively attempting to debunk the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate to stoking anti-Muslim fear that Shariah law is about to topple the Constitution, Farah is the supermarket tabloid publisher of the radical right. Farah doesn’t limit his propagandizing to his apparently popular website. In recent years, the self-described Christian has branched out, publishing books and producing movies, even while regularly speaking at Tea Party events. Farah boasts that his WND book operation has produced a higher percentage of New York Times best-sellers ‘than any other publishing company in the U.S.’ – a claim that some may dispute. The latest WND book, ‘The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future,’ suggests parallels between ancient Israel and what’s occurring today in the United States – and an imminent judgment by God. Farah’s name recognition jumped significantly when he was at the head of the ‘birther’ pack, attacking the legality of the Obama presidency based on the theory that he wasn’t a legal U.S. citizen at birth. ‘My dream is that Barack Obama … won’t be able to go to any city, any town, any hamlet in America without seeing signs that ask, Where is the birth certificate?’ Farah said in 2010 at a National Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tenn., where he shared the stage with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Despite all his clamorous pot banging, it was not Farah but multimillionaire developer Donald Trump who ultimately became such a pain that President Obama released his ‘long-form’ birth certificate last year. That didn’t satisfy Farah, who, along with his attack-dog writer Jerome Corsi, continues to insist Obama is no citizen. Farah later traveled even further down the citizenship road, questioning the birth of Sen. Marco Rubio in early 2012, when the Florida Republican was mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate. ‘Rubio is not eligible,’ Farah told Fox News host Sean Hannity. Farah is so hard-line in certain views that he’s perfectly willing to turn on fellow ideologues of the far right. In 2010, when right-wing raver Ann Coulter agreed to speak at a gay GOP group’s event, he attacked her. In return, Coulter called Farah a ‘publicity whore’ and ‘fake Christian’ – what may be some of the few truly accurate phrases to ever come out.”
- “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. 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. 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.’ Farah is a veteran practitioner of conspiracy ‘journalism,’ having repeatedly hawked the tale of the supposed cover-up of the death of Clinton aide Vince Foster – thought to be a murder, not a suicide, by anti-Clinton conspiracy-mongers like Farah and his ilk. 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.’) Remarkably, Farah sprang from a California newspaper background. He was executive editor at 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.
WND also reported just weeks ago that the SPLC’s pronouncements are losing their impact.
Weld County, Colo., Sheriff John Cooke said the SPLC just lists groups its officials disagree with politically as “hate groups.”
“We don’t pay any attention to it at all. If you’re not left wing, you’re a hate group according to them,” he said.
It also was not long ago when a team of Christian activists, black pastors and Orthodox Jews called on the SPLC to actually carry out its stated mission of speaking out against the hate that exists in society.
“The SPLC has moved from monitoring actual hate groups like the KKK and Neo Nazis to slandering mainstream Christian organizations with that very same ‘hate group’ label,” said Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, who attended a news conference held outside the headquarters of the SPLC in Alabama.
“By extension, the SPLC is smearing billions of Christians and Jews worldwide as ‘haters,’ simply because they embrace the traditional Judeo-Christian sexual ethic,” Barber said.
The event was assembled by Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, one of the organizations following biblical standards regarding sexuality that have been tagged by SPLC as “hate” groups.
Others participating in the event were Patrick Wooden of Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, N.C.; DL Foster of Gay Christian Movement Watch of Atlanta; Tim Johnson of Fredrick Douglass Foundation of Washington; Rachel Conner of Abiding Truth Ministries; Pastor Glen Sawyer of New Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ in Elizabeth City, N.C.; Pastor Wil Nichols of Victorious Praise Fellowship in Durham, N.C., Pastor Jon Robinson of Kingdom C.O.M.E. Ministries of Clairton, Pa.; and Pastor Kenneth Jefferson of Greater Harvest COGIC.
Also joining the effort, even though they were not in attendance, were Rabbi Yehuda Levin of the Rabbinical Alliance of America; Laurie Higgins of Illinois Family Institute, Arthur Goldberg, author of “Light in the Closet”; Linda Harvey of Mission America; and Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance.
The new listing identified Farah as an “archconservative.”
“Farah is the supermarket tabloid publisher of the radical right.”
DeAnna is identified as the marketing coordinator for WND, but more importantly, founder of Youth for Western Civilization.
“His first item, a fawning interview with white nationalist Pat Buchanan, … appeared in February.”
Molotov Mitchell, a WND columnist, was described as wanting to “advancing the [Christian] kingdom on earth.”
Michael Brown wrote at Townhall that he never expected to be listed alongside “the leader of the New Black Panthers (Malik Zulu Shabbaz), a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (David Duke), a Jew-bashing white Supremacist (Don Black), and a Neo-Nazi (Morris Gullet).”
“In keeping with their pattern of not always getting the facts right, the SPLC lists my year of birth as 1967, which would make me really precocious … since it would mean that I was bar-mitzvahed at the age of one in 1968 … that I graduated high school at the age of 6 in 1973, was married at the age of 9 in 1976, and became a father at the age of 10 in 1977.”
The rest of the SPLC list has a mix of high-profile people such as pastor and prolific author Chuck Baldwin and Tenth Amendment Center Chief Michael Boldin along with leaders who identify with groups such as the Klan and the agenda of white supremacy.
They include: Virginia Abernethy, Baldwin, David Barton, Don Black, Boldin, Michael L. Brown, Tom DeWeese, David Duke, Lou Engle, Bryan Fischer, Frank Gaffney, Pamela Geller, Morris Gulett, Michael Hill, Alex E. Jones, Cliff Kincaid, Randal Lee Krager, Alex Linder, Kevin MacDonald, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, Kyle Rogers, Malik Zulu Shabazz, Samuel Jared Taylor, James Timothy Turner, Michael Brian Vanderboegh, Pastor John Weaver and David Yerushalmi.