April 2, 2013

In what was an otherwise very informative segment discussing the rise in the number of hate groups in America in the wake of the recent shootings in Texas and questions as to whether there are links with a white supremacist prison gang, the audience of MSNBC's The Cycle were treated to conservative co-host S.E. Cupp playing concern troll for right-wing gay-hating fundamentalists, who are none too happy about being designated as hate groups by the SPLC.

As Dave Neiwert discussed here:

When right-wingers got wind of the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center had designated a number of Religious Right organizations who specialize in rhetorically bashing gays and lesbians as hate groups, they and their allies on the Right came more or less unglued.

Now, rather than face up to the substance of the accusations, they're choosing to demonize the SPLC and their critics. Par for the course for this crowd.

Which is exactly what Cupp did this Wednesday with the SPLC's Heidi Beirich right about mid-way through the segment above:

CUPP: But Heidi, your group, the SPLC, has earned significant criticism over the years for smearing religious and far right groups and ignoring far left hate groups. Shouldn't people be aware of your ideological biases before they take seriously your claims about who they should be afraid of?

BEIRICH: Well, I guess I have to dispute the notion of the question on its... on the premise. The fact of the matter is that we've written about left wing domestic terrorism for almost a decade now coming from animal rights groups, for example, or eco-terrorist types. The criticism we get most heavily from the right-wing are complaints about our listing of groups like the Family Research Council or the American Family Association as anti-gay hate groups.

And the fact of the matter is that those organizations are akin to many of the white supremacist organizations that we list in the sense that they lie about gay folks. White supremacist folks lie about African-Americans.

In the case of something like the Family Research Council, they put out all kinds of defamatory information about how gays are child molesters at higher rates and so on, with the intention of destroying that particular population and making them appear to be lesser. So for us, it is a no-brainer to put groups like that on our hate list.

CUPP: The Family Research Council was actually the victim recently of a hate crime as I'm sure you're aware, when a gentleman stormed the building in D.C. with a bag full of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.

BEIRICH: Yeah, I mean obviously, we condemn all kinds of violence. It's a horrible thing and what we're all about trying to stop domestic terrorism, violence and anything inspired by hate. That was a disgusting incident.

The wingers over at Brent Bozell's rag, Newsbusters, who I will not link to, were all over this, defending Cupp and blaming the SPLC for the shooting at FRC's headquarters, because of course they want to paint someone who tells the truth about hate groups and the lies they tell as a hate group themselves, as though the work the SPLC is doing is somehow equivalent to the garbage being spread by these so-called Christians. And naturally their comment section was full of attacks on Beirich for her looks, because we all know the most important thing is how you look on TV and not what comes out of your mouth. As Dave noted in his very long post which I linked above, when you can't defend your message, you attack the messenger.

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