Why Does NR Find It Necessary To Temper Criticism Of $PLC With Compliments About Its Supposed Storied Past?
March 18, 2018, 11:00 AM
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National Review’s Kyle Smith [Tweet him] the magazine’s “critic at large,” whatever that means, recently posted a piece about the Southern Poverty Law Center. What’s interesting about it isn’t what he reports about $PLC. What’s interesting is that he saw the need to report that $PLC was, back the day, a good organization.

Wrote Smith

“There was a time when the Southern Poverty Law Center did useful work reporting on actual hate groups such as the KKK. These days, though, the SPLC is simply a MoveOn or Media Matters–style outfit. Its core mission now is trying to marginalize and shut up even mildly right-of-center voices by calling them instruments of hate.”
Smith fretted that $PLC is not only attacking “male supremacists” who run pick-up sites, but also female intellectuals such as PJ Media columnist Helen Smith and the American Enterprise Institute’s Christina Hoff Sommers.  Kyle Smith frets that $PLC calls them “‘anti-feminist female voices’ who ‘give the men’s rights movement a veneer of even-handedness’ and lend a ‘mainstream and respectable face to some MRA concerns.’”

Smith also reported that Sommers “told The Weekly Standard that she used to admire the SPLC, but now ‘they’re blacklisting in place of engaging with arguments. They blacklist you, rather than try to refute you.’”

None of this, of course, is news.

But I call B.S. on Smith and Sommers.

What evidence did Smith offer that $PLC was once a “useful” organization? None. We’re just supposed to believe. Does Sommers know something about $PLC the rest of us don’t? This claim is akin to what the left claims about communism: “It started out with the right intention, but got lost and corrupt along the way.” Or some such nonsense.

No, like communism, $PLC was never good or "useful," and never worthy of admiration. It’s always been a scam, as anyone would know who read Ken Silverstein’s November 2000 Harper’s piece about its founder, the crooked pervert Morris Dees, or, for that matter,  Alexander Cockburn’s April, 2009 Nation piece. If writers at NRO were allowed to read VDARE.com, he might have read James Fulford’s article No, Virginia (Dare) The SPLC Was NEVER A “Civil Rights Stalwart”—It Was ALWAYS A “Dangerous Joke”.

Smith is obviously new to this work as this headline well shows: “Hate, Inc.: The SPLC Is a Hyper-Partisan Scam.” That’s hardly news.

Question: Who’s the editor at NR that OK’d this piece? And who wrote the headline? Smith? Or an editor.

Whatever the answer, we now see yet another reason NR is largely irrelevant.