No, I don’t watch MSNBC.
I’m not a glutton for punishment.
But I occasionally get some insight into what is being narrowcast over there through YouTube links forwarded to me by friends who obviously are gluttons for punishment.
That was the case this week when I got to preview a show I never heard of before hosted by Alex Wagner. She’s not the most articulate or coherent anchor I’ve ever seen. But she’s easy on the eyes, as MSNBC hosts go.
Predictably, she did a story that was tailor-made for MSNBC. It was first manufactured out of whole cloth by the BBC, the semi-official news agency of the British government. It came in the form of a pseudo-documentary on the BBC program “Panorama.” It would be more appropriate if the show were called “Paranormal.”
The thesis goes like this: The radical Muslims who bombed the Boston Marathon didn’t do it because they were jihadis. They did it because they were Americanized right-wing extremists.
But MSNBC added a new twist in interviewing Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, otherwise known as Left-wing Conspiracy Central. As Obi-Won Kenobi famously intoned: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Few realize he was actually referring to the Montgomery, Ala., headquarters of the SPLC when he made that statement.
Whom do you suppose Potok blamed for inciting the Islamic terrorists to plant bombs at the Boston Marathon? Why it was WND, of course. Watch the video for yourself.
Potok explains that WND is motivated by racism and cites as evidence its coverage of an otherwise uncovered phenomenon taking place in America today – a persistent rash of black rioting and mob violence that has hit cities and suburbs across the country over the last two years.
Those reports are frequently written by Colin Flaherty, author of the highly acclaimed ""White Girl Bleed A Lot," a book praised by Thomas Sowell and other black scholars.
While not one terrorist or murderer has ever been linked to WND, at least one would-be mass-murdering terrorist has confessed to a judge in Washington that he was inspired by SPLC to attack the Family Research Council one year ago with the intent to shoot and kill every single employee so he could leave a Chick-fil-A sandwich on their corpses.
Of course, Mark Potok didn't mention that.
What he did mention was WorldNetDaily and its 100 percent imaginary connection to the Boston Marathon bombers.
Now that's what I call a conspiracy theorist.
They say the best humor always has a grain of truth and reality to it. It's just the opposite with conspiracy theorists. The best conspiracy theorists weave their tales of unreality without so much as a smidgen of truth to them. And, in this case, they do so while being guilty of what they accuse others of doing.
It's a marvel to behold, really.
But equal to that wonder is that a cable network formed as a partnership between two of the largest corporations in the world and, posing as a news agency, airs this kind of tripe on a regular basis. MSNBC producers have the SPLC on speed dial.
I don't think it's because they like Mark Potok's hairdo. I think it's because he says just what MSNBC's hosts want to say. MSNBC is a semi-official echo chamber for vile disinformation spun by the racketeering SPLC for sport and profit.
And that's my generous assessment.
The SPLC – and likewise MSNBC – are not only well-funded conspiracy peddlers, they are also purveyors of hate and bigotry. The SPLC does its thing while raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in the process through lawsuits, shakedowns and direct-mail scare tactics. It should more appropriately be named the Southern Poverty Lie Center – if only it had anything to do with the south and poverty. Not only is the SPLC nasty, brutish, extremist and anti-American, but it's also one of the biggest con games around – an anti-capitalist moneymaking machine.
To give you just one example of what I mean, several years ago, Stephen Bright, a genuine civil rights activist and progressive with a conscience, was invited to an event honoring SPLC's director, Morris Dees.
Bright politely declined the invitation, stating: "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. The positive contributions Dees has made to justice – most undertaken based upon calculations as to their publicity and fundraising 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. He has taken advantage of naive, well-meaning people – some of moderate or low incomes – who believe his pitches and give to his $175-million operation. He has spent most of what they have sent him to raise still more millions, pay high salaries and promote himself. Because he spends so much on fundraising, his operation spends $30 million a year to accomplish less than what many other organizations accomplish on shoestring budgets."
But there is MSNBC giving credibility to SPLC. The group's 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. It 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 SPLC 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."
Reason writer Jesse Walker may have said it best 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."
MSNBC, on the other hand, would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it learned that I ate Wheaties. No worries, General Mills. I don't eat Wheaties.