A front-page New York Times profile of Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which fights gay marriage legislation, was actually fair until reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg's laudatory reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which raises money by smearing social conservative organizations as "hate groups."
Stolberg's Saturday story, "Ready to Fight Gay Marriage At Court Door," briefly cited as an authority the opportunistic left-wing group:
But gay rights advocates see Mr. Brown as the personification of evil, a man who traffics in distortions and smears with a smile.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which fights intolerance, says the National Organization for Marriage pushes the line of being labeled a hate group because it “continues to spread lies about gays” and uses its Web site to link to debunked research. The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, devotes a portion of its Web site, headlined “NOM Exposed,” to tracking Mr. Brown and his group.
Stolberg matched the paper's typically shallow and fawning coverage of SPLC while leaving out the recent criminal incident involving the group: Floyd Corkins Jr. wounded a security guard at the headquarters of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group fighting against gay marriage. FRC was brought to the attention of Corkins via the Southern Poverty Law Center website, where FRC is labeled a "hate group."