10/31/17 – SPLC


[Update 6/20/17: On June 18, 2018, SPLC admitted it paid $3.4 million and apologized to Maajid Nawaz for smearing him with its false claims.]

[Updated 12/7/17: The SPLC responded to this segment. You can see the response here.]

The Southern Poverty Law Center gained its reputation suing the Ku Klux Klan.  Forty years ago.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

It claims to employ more than 100 lawyers and advocates engaged in public interest litigation.  But according to its 2015 tax returns it spent only $62,000 on legal expenses that year.

That miniscule figure isn’t because it’s strapped for cash.  It received about $58 million in donations and grants in 2015.  It reports assets of nearly a third of a billion dollars.  So where’s the cash?

An investigation by the Washington Free Beacon revealed the SPLC funneled millions of dollars into offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands.  Stashing money in offshore accounts is certainly a head-scratcher.

The SPLC is mostly known for its hate groups map promoted by CNN and NBC News. It lists about a thousand groups including the Klan and skinheads.

But the inclusion of others raises serious questions.  Christian ministries, think tanks and public interest law firms are named hate groups. A young woman who called into a radio show to discuss socialism is on the list. Muslims opposed to Islamic extremism are deemed hate groups.  One is Maajid Nawaz, who is suing the SPLC for defamation. So are Christian groups such as the D. James Kennedy Ministries and Liberty Counsel.

It’s gotten to the point that serious people don’t take the SPLC seriously.
You can follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter at @BehindTheHead.
You can follow Mark on
 Twitter at @MarkHyman.
Join us on our
 Facebook page.