Flashback: Southern Poverty Law Center Laughably Criticizes Conservatives for Jumping to Conclusions on Boston

April 22nd, 2013 4:00 AM

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is famous for saying: “You never want a good crisis to go to waste.”

Apparently, that's also the motto of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center's Marilyn Elias, who last week wrote an article amid the hunt for the Boston marathon bombing suspects which urged both caution against jumping to conclusions that Muslims might have perpetrated it but also attempted to smear its favorite target: regular conservatives.

“Who was responsible for the deadly Boston terrorist attack?” Elias began.

The Muslims did it. No, it was an illegal immigrant. Think again -- it was a gay guy. Wait, you missed the key signs: Our own government once again pulled off an act of covert terror to promote its nefarious aims.

The author then noted: “Fingers have been pointed in all of these directions by conspiracy theory peddlers and professional hatemongers since the bombings Monday.”

In support of her claim, Elias referred to an anonymous post on the Tea Party website on Tuesday that stated: “It's a pretty safe bet right now that this attack was carried out by an Islamist.”

The poster also warned that “the Boston bombings are just another event presaging future violence in 'an ideological war' that can only be won if we have tougher, more anti-Islam U.S. political leaders."

Apparently, we're supposed to accept the claim by Elias that one message in an entire conservative website is a sign of the hatred bubbling below the surface of all those evil right-wingers.

Then the writer turned her attention to Pamela Geller, whom she described as a raging Islamophobic activist who immediately declared “case closed” in a Monday blog headlined “Jihadi Arrested in Horrific Boston Marathon Bombing.”

While what Elias wrote on Monday was essentially true, the author apparently didn't bother to check an update before posting her story two days later, on April 17.

“The Boston police are not confirming” the original New York Post report, Geller said in a message which stated that “the 'Twitter hyenas' are rushing to blame” her for the accusations regarding the Saudi national despite her admission that “the situation is unclear at this point.”

“But maybe the man foolishly released by police is not a Jihadi but rather planted the bombings because he’s gay,” Elias said before claiming ”that’s the implication advanced by several right-wing web sites" such as FreeRepublic.com and GatewayPundit.com.

Once again, the writer did not point to any specific posts containing such information, and a Google search of both sites found that many of these claims were found in responses to several stories printed by non-conservative news organizations. Extrapolating from these replies is another case of tarring everyone in such sites with the same brush from the most extreme posters.

“Anti-immigrant activists seized on the terrorism to fuel fears about pending immigration reform legislation,” Elias stated, apparently unaware of the difference between “anti-immigrant activists” and “anti-illegal immigration activists.”

The writer then quoted John Livengood of the Kansas State Militia, who said that “someone pissed off at the government” wouldn’t attack civilians but would rather choose a government target. He cast suspicion, however, on a “skinhead type of militia where it’s all about race -- that’s those guys in Montana and Idaho -- and they don’t like society integrating the way that it has been. They could have done it very easily.”

Perhaps the most bizarre item Elias included in her article came from Alex Jones, whom she referred to as a “conspiracy theorist and radio host.”

Jones suggested that the bombings looked like a “false flag” operation conducted by the government, just like earlier attacks.

You saw them stage Fast and Furious. … They staged Aurora, they staged Sandy Hook. The evidence is just overwhelming. And that’s why I’m so desperate and freaked out. This is not fun you know, getting up here telling you this, but somebody's got to tell you the truth.

Again, Elias is extrapolating from very few “extremists” to infer that the motives are held by other conservatives. She also conveniently left out how Jones is a 9/11 truther and a big hater of former president George W. Bush.

And what liberal blame-placing article would be complete without a slam of the Westboro Baptist Church, which she described as “arguably the most hated hate group in America?"

“God sent the bombs in retaliation for Massachusetts’ decision to allow same-sex marriage," Elias quoted Westboro's Sam Phelps-Roper, a member of the congregation, of saying. “Thank God for his righteous judgment.”

Needless to say, Elias failed to point out that the leader of the church, Fred Phelps, is a Democrat who has run for office several times under that party and also endorsed and supported the campaigns of Al Gore and Bill Clinton.

Also left out of this one-sided analysis were the many instances where liberals openly predicted that the bomber(s) were far-right lunatics. Had Elias been interested in a fair analysis about groups being unfairly singled out, she would have noticed that these baseless speculations were being made by major news organizations like NPR and MSNBC instead of internet forums and not-really-popular radio shows. Of course, any such analysis would have had to condemn the nonsense that SPLC itself has been putting out for decades as well as the past few days.

As NewsBusters previously reported, the Southern Poverty Law Center is a left-wing activist group whose fund-raising is based on finding as many dangerous right-wing hate groups as possible.

While there are definitely extremists at both ends of the political spectrum, the SPLC only seeks out and uses “right-wingers” as indications that all conservatives are hateful. Of course, that's not even close to being true, but the fact that the organization spends a vast majority of its time and effort attacking "right-wingers' indicates that it displays its own special brand of hate.

That sort of hate has very real consequences as the folks at the Family Research Council discovered last year when a man named Floyd Lee Corkins tried to shoot up their Washington, DC office based upon inflammatory materials he read on the SPLC website.