FRC Joins 47 Other Conservative Leaders in Calling on News Media, Social Media Giants to Stop Citing the Southern Poverty Law Center

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council (FRC) today joined a coalition of 47 other conservative leaders and organizations in releasing an open letter to government agencies, news organizations, corporations and social media platforms to “dissociate themselves from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and its ongoing effort to defame and vilify mainstream conservative organizations.” 

The SPLC has recklessly labeled dozens of mainstream conservative organizations as "hate groups."  SPLC's labeling of FRC as a "hate group" was connected in federal court to an act of domestic terrorism committed almost six years ago at FRC's Washington headquarters by Floyd Corkins. Corkins confessed to the FBI that he used SPLC's "hate map" to choose FRC as a target for violence. Last June, James T. Hodgkinson, attempted a mass assassination of Republican members of Congress while they were practicing baseball. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others were shot by Hodgkinson as a result. The Washington Examiner reported on June 14, 2017  "James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Illinois, liked the SPLC on his Facebook page, along with other liberal groups such as Media Matters and"

The letter reads in part: 

“We, the undersigned, are among the organizations, groups and individuals that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has maligned, defamed and otherwise harmed by falsely describing as “haters,” “bigots,” “Islamophobes” and/or other groundless epithets.  We are gratified that the SPLC has today formally acknowledged that it has engaged in such misrepresentations.  

“In an out-of-court settlement announced this week, the Southern Poverty Law Center formally apologized in writing and via video for having falsely listed Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation as “anti-Muslim extremists” in one of the SPLC’s most notorious products, The Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.  It also agreed to pay them $3.375 million, tangible proof that the SPLC, which amounts to little more than a leftist instrument of political warfare against those with whom it disagrees, fully deserves the infamy it has lately earned.  For example, in addition to its settlement with Nawaz and Quilliam, the organization has had to disavow multiple misstatements and other errors in its reporting in the past few months. Journalists who uncritically parrot or cite the SPLC’s unfounded characterizations of those it reviles do a profound disservice to their audiences. 

“Editors, CEOs, shareholders and consumers alike are on notice: anyone relying upon and repeating its misrepresentations is complicit in the SPLC’s harmful defamation of large numbers of American citizens who, like the undersigned, have been vilified simply for working to protect our country and freedoms. 

“With this significant piece of evidence in mind, we call on government agencies, journalists, corporations, social media providers and web platforms (i.e., Google, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon) that have relied upon this discredited organization to dissociate themselves from the Southern Poverty Law Center and its ongoing effort to defame and vilify mainstream conservative organizations,” the letter states.

To read the full letter, please see: