The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Barry Nussbaum: Hello, and welcome to ATP Report. We have a very special guest today, author and commentator Tyler O'Neil is here. He's a senior editor of PJ Media. He's appeared on numerous shows across media, including Fox News with Tucker Carlson, but we're here today to talk about his very special new book on the Southern Poverty Law Center. Welcome, Tyler.
Tyler O'Neil: Glad to be here. How are you, Barry?
Barry Nussbaum: So glad to have you today. Thanks for coming on. I want to start with the book itself. Tell everybody the title and tell everybody where they can get it, please.
Tyler O'Neil: Yes, it's called Making Hate Pay the Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and you can find it on Amazon. Just search Making Hate Pay. It's the number one result. They haven't taken it down just yet.
Barry Nussbaum: Alright, and I would advise people to go because on a personal note, as Tyler knows, I used to be a supporter way back when of this group. I mean, a long time ago, they were the pre-eminent group fighting hate in America. Tyler, what are the origins of the SPLC?
Tyler O'Neil: Yes. So the SPLC started to help poor people in the South, as its name suggests, but then Morris Dees decided that he would make it a weapon against the Ku Klux Klan, which, of course, is a notorious hate group. And he fought against the Klan, got a lot of Klan groups bankrupted, but a lot of his fellow lawyers at the SPLC were saying, this isn't what I signed up for. They said it was like shooting fish in a barrel. It was too easy, and so the entire legal team quit with the exception of Dees himself. And then he kind of had to restart the team from scratch, and he pushed it in an ever more liberal direction. So it started with the Klan, and it then proceeded to the Council for Conservative Citizens which is, you know, Klan adjacent. It was a bad group, and then they moved on and on and on. And then by 2010, they were after groups like the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom came later but, you know, Jihad Watch, the Center for Security Policy, organizations that are rightly warning against radical Islamic terrorism, you know, this is where they ended up. And I tell the story more in detail there. You can see some of the foundations of where they were going early on with Morris Dees' history. He worked and got a lot of his donors from the George McGovern campaign in 1972, and I think a lot of SPLC's donors from when you were a donor would be surprised to hear that this was, you know, this was where Morris Dees is coming from.
Barry Nussbaum: So when the first traunch of lawyers went out the door, what year was that when he redid things?
Tyler O'Neil: 1986.
Barry Nussbaum: OK, so before that, it was an activist law group. Is it a group of lawyers, or does it have something to do with poverty? Let's explain that if we can.
Tyler O'Neil: Well, it did. In the beginning, it was a very noble group that helped specifically poor people in the South. It actually got the first black representatives elected in Alabama since the days of reconstruction, which is a really tremendous achievement. And they also defended people who were harassed by the Ku Klux Klan, and they actually defended a reverse racism case. But as things continued, they started drifting more and more to the left, and they started only taking up cases that would excite liberal donors. And today, they're all the way on the side. Like they're constantly looking for the next immigration lawsuit to bring the Trump administration down a peg. They're looking for the next right-wing conservative they can label an anti-Semite. Wow, you have some people quoting fake Hitler. You know, they're focused on attacking Jack Posobiec. At the same time, you have all these people defending Louis Farrakhan. So they have a very interesting double standard in the way that they choose the cases that they follow these days.
Barry Nussbaum: So let's talk about that. So they evolve, as it were, and now they've got this master list of the people that are the haters. And if you get on the list pretty much as far as mainstream America is concerned, you're a really, really bad guy, gal, or group, agreed?
Tyler O'Neil: Yeah, it depends on who you ask, but according to the SPLC, if you're on that list, your statistically significant evidence for the white supremacist terror threat. So they testified before Congress, and they said, look, we found these hate groups and, of course, the hate groups are from all across the spectrum. Some of them are anti-LGBT hate groups. Some of them are anti-immigrant. Some of them are anti-Islam. Most of them have nothing to do with racism, much less terrorism. But the SPLC goes before Congress and says, "Hey, here's proof that white supremacist terrorism is increasing across the United States, and we have the hate group list to prove it." That's just how nefarious their rhetoric is on this.
Barry Nussbaum: So during the Obama years, there was a major push to make this list,'The List'. How did Obama and the Obama administration use the SPLC list of enemies, as it were?
Tyler O'Neil: Yeah, it's interesting. They had this project called Countering Violent Extremism, and they redefined terrorism and tried to not mention any radical Islamic terrorism or radical Islam ideology that might inspire terrorism, and yet they focused on right-wing extremism. Now, I don't think they ever succeeded in actually getting the SPLC list enshrined at the FBI or the DOJ, but they certainly were moving in that direction. And you saw that terrifying moment I believe it was in 2012 when the U.S. Army circulated SPLC hate group list and was warning against these people. And, you know, it rightly caused an outrage, and the army had to retract it, and one of the best statements about why the SPLC list is unreliable comes from the Secretary of the Army at that time.
Barry Nussbaum: So let's talk about conspiracies. The biggest funder of the bad guys, so to speak, is a man named George Soros, allegedly. Not that allegedly that's his name, but he's the funder behind a lot of these groups. Does he have a connection to the SPLC? I keep hearing about it.
Tyler O'Neil: Yeah, he does. Now, George Soros is kind of, you know, the man behind the curtain. I like to think of him as the Emperor Palpatine of the left.
Barry Nussbaum: Got it.
Tyler O'Neil: He's sitting there directing money in a broad way that organizes his broad vision of restructuring and undermining society. But I don't think that he is the one specifically saying, you SPLC, you get this money. He has his Open Society Foundation that directs the money where it needs to go, and it definitely has funded the SPLC. And the SPLC, in turn, went and funded the Canadian Anti-Hate Network up north of the border. And the Canadian Anti-Hate Network actually works very closely hand in glove with Antifa radicals up there. While the SPLC is a little bit more savvy in the way that they, you know, they're going to condemn Trump for calling Antifa terrorists, but the SPLC doesn't go around saying, oh, we should all be anti-fascist and here are these anti-fascist groups were defending. The SPLC is smarter than that. In contrast, the Canadian Hate Network and Anti-Hate Network are on the fringe. And yet the SPLC funded them, helped them get their start. So very interesting connections if you look at the money.
Barry Nussbaum: Any idea how much Soros gives them?
Tyler O'Neil: So the difficult thing with the SPLC is that it has so much money that Soros' money doesn't really direct or control them in any way. It's just an added bonus for them, but he has contributed fairly heftily. I want to say it's upwards of five million, but I'd have to look at the records. I know it has been sizable.
Barry Nussbaum: Thanks for joining us today on ATP Report and a special thank you to Tyler O'Neil, our guest with a fantastic book out about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Tyler, remind our guests where they can find your book, would you please?
Tyler O'Neil: Yeah, you can find it on Amazon.com. Just search Making Hate Pay. If you Google Making Hate Pay, it should be the first result as well.
Barry Nussbaum: Terrific. I advise of our listeners to go check it out. This is the information you really need to have. And for those of you that haven't subscribed yet to our text message alert system, please take out your cell phone, type in the word TRUTH, T-R-U-T-H and send it to 88202. You'll be automatically subscribed to our text message alert system. It's always free. You'll get everything you need to read from ATP right on your cell phone, and you don't have to do anything other than look down into the palm of your hand. For ATP Report, I'm Barry Nussbaum.