Last Friday, CSPAN broadcast a panel discussion sponsored by the Center for American Progress on the prospect of another Oklahoma City "domestic" terrorist act 15 years after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. Mark Potok, director of the "Intelligence Project" for the $PLC, was a featured panelist (one of six) discussing the prospect of violence stemming from “extreme” and “uncivil” political discourse.
Near the end of the panel discussion, about 2:16:45 into the broadcast, he basically blamed Lou Dobbs and other "people" (unnamed public figures, who “spent years demonizing Latino immigrantsâ€?) for spreading a wave of anti-Latino violence from 2003-2007. According to Potok, Dobbs is complicit (but not solely to blame) in the increase of “anti-Latino hate crimes” which he claimed had a “concrete effectâ€?.
Here`s what Potok said: “...even mentally ill people, even people way out on the fringes, want justification for what they do...so it’s important what people say in positions of power...people like Lou Dobbs and other people who spent years demonizing Latino immigrants, you know, is it any surprise that in that very period, 2003-2007, anti-Latino hate crimes went up 40 percent. I think that is a real concrete effect.â€?
Potok and fellow $PLC colleague Heidi Beirich blame conservative commentators and pundits for the "toxic environment" (in the words of Beirich as a panelist on a forum last year sponsored by Media Matters for America) that Dobbs, Pat Buchanan and others were fostering, which leads to unstable nutcases shooting up the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and blowing up federal buildings.
Also noteworthy about last Friday`s forum is panelist Michael Waldman`s comment that Republican officials should distance themselves from the extreme fringes of the right “just as democrats drew lines against the Weathermen in their party” and, of course, all the while sitting to Waldman’s direct left is Potok whose employer posts a glowing interview with Bill Ayers on the Teaching Tolerance website, a sister site of the $PLC.
Waldman, now head of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, is a former Clinton White House staffer and brother of Steven Waldman, a former reporter for Newsweek, former founder of Beliefnet.com and as of last November a political appointee at the Federal Communications Commission.
It probably never occurred to Waldman that the panelist to his near left (Potok) works for a far-left organization that has promoted Bill Ayers, a former Weather Underground fugitive and admitted bomb-planting conspirator during the 1970s as a "social activist" and "distinguished" professor of education.
In essence, Potok and Beirich are nothing more that far-left ideologues advancing a political agenda that seeks to marginalize well-established conservative public figures as the real inspiration of "domestic terrorists". The fact that Lou Dobbs was the only broadcast journalist to consistently draw attention to America`s immigration crisis prompted an unprecedented smear campaign by Potok, Beirich, and other radical activists that eventually spawned enough pressure to drive Dobbs off CNN.
Oh the irony of the "tolerance" police in driving out "intolerance" and "incivility" from public discourse!