WSJ's Taranto defends Carol Swain, ATTACKS SPLC!!!
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We at have long had good reason to think little of The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto (a.k.a. Tarantoad), the fanatically open-borders neoconservative who polices the paper’s blog.

Possibly we will have to reconsider. On Monday he posted
In Defense of Carol Swain The Wall Street Journal October 26, 2009
which takes the astonishing step (for the MSM) of attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC to us).

This arises out of the $PLC’s attempt to harm black Vanderbilt Professor Swain for her endorsement of Craig Bodeker’s A Conversation About Race ( discussion here).

"Carol Swain is an apologist for white supremacists," Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center tells the Tennessean. Carol Swain is also a friend of this column. To our mind the charge seemed awfully far-fetched, so we decided to get to the bottom of it.

Because we think highly of Swain, we decided to watch the film and draw our own conclusion. Our reaction was mixed: We found the interviews fascinating but Bodeker's narration disagreeable. We do, however, see Swain's point about the film's value in illuminating the subject of race in America.

Taranto’s piece is an astonishing 1,977 words long. This is because, while determined to defend Swain, he is not willing to take the position that A Conversation About Race deserves to be considered on its merit, regardless of what its Producer may have said elsewhere or had for breakfast. Anathematization by Association is a treasured part of the Neocon arsenal, as well as the $PLC’s.

So Taranto writes a long series of quibbles, finally reaching a polemically viable conclusion:

Bodeker …makes of himself an example of the phenomenon described in the publicity material for Carol Swain's "The New White Nationalism":
…Swain goes so far as to say that if liberals and African American leaders don't start to address the legitimate concerns raised by the white nationalists on race matters, they risk being partly to blame for racial unrest in America.
This is a serious argument, and it deserves to be taken seriously, even by those, like the SPLC, that disagree.

Taranto correctly concludes

dismissing Swain as "an apologist for white supremacists" is the tactic of one who is trying to shut down, not encourage, debate.

What is going on here? Neoconservatives have previously been happy to benefit from the demonization process.

Is it just that Taranto has some kind of (an ideological) crush on Swain? Or could it be that the $PLC’s increasing targeting of mainstream political and Christian groups for fundraising scares is being perceived as too provocative?

In any case, what a triumph for Carol Swain. She elicits an extremely rare MSM condemnation of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and she causes the appearance of an extensive and not wholly hostile discussion of A Conversation About Race into a major outlet.

And what an embarrassing contrast to the ineffectuality of FAIR

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