Blogger and writer Rick Heller of Smart Genes, who I often agree with, has presented me with a challenging issue. He believes an icon of the Right, David Horowitz,' has been done wrong by an icon of the Left, Morris Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC, bane to both old-fashioned and modern bigots throughout the United States, published a recent report depicting Horowitz' Center for the Study of Popular Culture as one of several groups that promote bigotry. Rick, a centrist, believes the center does not deserve such a designation. He has written Dees a letter, saying, in part:
There may not be many people who contribute both to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Frontpage Magazine. I have been a member of the SPLC since 1996, and also contribute articles to Frontpage.
This morning, I read a letter from David Horowitz taking issue with the characterization of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in an article entitled "Into The Mainstream," by Chip Berlet, in the Summer 2003 Intelligence Report. I hadn't cracked open my copy yet, but in reviewing it, I find that Horowitz is right.
. . .To include the Center for the Study of Popular Culture among a list of organization[s] spreading bigotry, in an issue which features a "Hitler Doll" on its cover, is unfair to Mr. Horowitz, and frankly, to myself as a contributor to his magazine. But not only does the Berlet piece harm the reputation of the CSPC, it is damaging to the reputation of the Southern Poverty Law Center as an honest broker in the charged debate over civil rights.
One of the most useful things I learned as a reporter is to follow the money trail. People dissemble, but where their money comes from usually tells the truth about them. The CPSC's money trail leads to the same Right Wing foundations that have been responsible for movement to dignify scientific racism, defund PBS and cripple public education through 'choice.' Donors include the Olin, Bradley and Sarah Scaife Foundations, which also have funded Philip Rushton, Charles Murray and Ward Connerly's attacks on people of color. This is part of a pattern of the monied Right using mouthpieces who poison the public discourse while claiming to do just the opposite.