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By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — In contrast to his election night promise to bind America’s wounds and pull people together, President-Election Donald Trump has announced the appointment of a white supremacist and anti-establishment media site publisher as his chief White House strategist and put an officer in an anti-immigrant hate group in charge of his immigration transition team.

Stephen Bannon, Trump’s pick as chief strategist, will serve a role similar to that held by Karl Rove, known as “Bush’s brain” during the George W. Bush presidency.  Conservatives tout his experience in business, banking, the military and media.

Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs Wall Street executive, more recently was executive chairman of Breitbart News before joining the Trump campaign. Once a conservative news site, Breitbart under Bannon’s leadership morphed into a mouthpiece for the alt-right white supremacist movement.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, tweeted, “Stephen Bannon was the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill" and  "Trump should rescind this hire.”

Bannon reacted to a mass killing at a black church in South Carolina but publishing a story urging readers to hoist the Confederate flag high and proclaim its “glorious heritage,"  the Charleston City newspaper reported.

Bannon’s ex-wife has accused him of also being anti-Semitic, NBC reported. In a 2007 court declaration, she stated, “He said he doesn't like Jews and that he doesn't like they raise their kids to be 'whiney brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews.”  Bannon also faced charges of domestic abuse and battery, though those charges were dismissed.

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, also denounced the appointment. He states, “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house’," the Washington Post reported.

Even some Republican leaders are speaking out to voice dismay over Bannon.  According to, John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked for Ohio governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign, tweeted: “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant, America.”

Bannon does have a resume with some impressive credentials. Here are biographical details.

 He was born into a working-class,  Irish Catholic pro-union family of Democrats in Virginia, the Telegraph and the Daily Express in the UK have reported. He graduated from  Virginia Tech and got a master’s degree in National Security Studies at Georgetown University,  later earning an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School, according to Bloomberg News.

He served as a Navy officer and surface warfare officer in the Pacific Fleet and later, special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon, Military Times reported.

Bannon became an investment banker at Goldman Sachs before launching Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media, where he handled major media acquisitions and wound up with a financial stake in TV shows such as Seinfeld before selling the company in 1998, according to Fortune and Bloomberg Business reports.

Although Trump says he’s a global warming denier,  Bannon was once acting director of Biosphere 2 , Mother Jones reported, when the earth science research project shifted its focus from space colonization to global warming in the mid-‘90s.

Bannon became an executive film producer in Hollywood.  While making a documentary on Ronald Reagan,  he met publisher Andrew Breitbart and began hosting a radio show, Breitbart News Daily,  on a Serius XM satellite channel, according to Politico.  He co-founded the Government Accountability Institute, arranging for publication of the book Clinton CashBloomberg reported.   He later served as chairman and CEO of Affinity Media, according to Politico.

In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart's death, Bannon became executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, parent company of Breitbart News.  With Bannon at the helm, Breitbart took a more alt-right and nationalistic approach, the Boston Herald reported.

Bannon declared the website "the platform for the alt-right" in 2016, Mother Jones reported. Bannon considers himself a conservative and has been active at CPAC, a conservative political action network, ABC news reported,  before he joined Donald Trump’s campaign.

Bannon also described Breitbart as "virulently anti-establishment, particularly 'anti-' the permanent political class,” according to the Washington Post.

In addition, Trump named Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to head up his immigration transition team.  Kobach is also counsel for the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform or FAIR.  FAIR has been designated as a racist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and FAIR has drawn criticism for its stances favoring racial profiling and taking money from an organization that supports eugenics,or selective breeding to promote white supremacy. 

Kobach is also the architect behind the Crosscheck software that knocked 7 million people,mostly minorities, off voting roles in 30 states by falsely accusing them of voting twice based solely on having similar names. In some states that used the software,  Trump’s margin of victory was a small fraction of the number of voters who were disenfranchised by the Crosscheck program.

Trump also named Rance Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, as his chief of staff.  CNN reports he made the choice at the urging of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate President Pro Tem Mitch McConnell.  Priebus worked to convince a divided party to unite behind Trump sufficiently to win the election.

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SPLC is a joke

Even the FBI has now scrubbed them as a resource from its website. They now consider them a political action group that is used as a funding and bashing group attempting to silence conservatives. They are nothing more than racist fear mongers.

False - the FBI has not "scrubbed" the SPLC

Please do some research before posting fakenews  or garbage off Breitbart (a racist white-supremacist alt-right site that posts mostly false or misleading stories to foment hate and discredit organizations that expose hate). 

Posters who repeatedly try to spew disinformation will banned.  We've all been taken in by fake news on occasion, yes, even myself--but the different is responsible people will do independent researech on reliable news sites to verify whether something that sounds outlandish is really true or not.


Unlike Obama

I am just happy to know that President Obama never had any racist advisors or mentors that this paper complained about!

We have posted critical stories about some Obama appointees

Such as naming a Sempra lobbyist second in command at the Dept. of the Interior and appointing a Monsanto executive to head up the FDA.  You may be a new reader, but rest assured the job of media is to expose controversies involving whoever is in power if the public good is at risk.

If Obama appointed racists,  I never heard about that.


splc is hate in action. they

splc is hate in action. they have no authority , no credibility, and are just another far left group

Morefake news garbage.

The SPLC speaks out to protect people against hate groups.  It does not foment hate.

To say they have no power or credibility is a false statement. They have won many lawsuits they have filed to protect people victimized by hate groups,  to cite just one example of the good works they have done.  Suits by the  SPLC resulted in integration of recreation facilities and police forces in racist Southern states, and made the KKK pay damages to people physically assaulted by the Klan,  to name just a couple of dozens of examples from the 1970s to today. 

Media Matters, a nonprofit fact check  site, has debunked the false rumor that the  FBI dumped the SPLC:

This is another example of distortion of truth by the fake news sites or biased news sources you've probably been reading. 

Remember, hate groups hate the groups that keep tabs on them and reveal their dark and often illegal actions, so they try to discredit those groups.  Don't fall for it, readers.



GB Good- -That is utter tripe.

FAIR is a well-documented group that is overtly racist  with heavy white supremacist involvement. They openly preach  and incite hate based on ethnicity. It's not just about limiting immigration.  Here is theSPLC report on this:  
We welcome civil discussions of issues on our site.  However our site rules expressly prohibit racist remarks and insults.
This journalist, by the way, has won several hundred journalism awards. 
It is absolutely appropriate for the SPLC to identify organizations that espouse hate and racist, bigoted views.
Anyone who can't see what's wrong when a president appoints racists,anti-Semites and hatemongers, has the KKK and the Nazi party celebrating his victory,  has something wrong in themselves.  Imagine how it feels to be a victim of such hate based solely on your skin color, your religion,or the country where you or your parents came from.
Posters who attempt to justify racism have no place on this site,  though a fact-based discussion of issues, however controversial,  is welcomeand appropriate.



Be careful with your opinions... everything in this paper is an opinion... And EVERYBODY has their own slant on the news. "Journalists" especially... The latest "hate group" report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) demonstrates once again that the SPLC is neither a reliable source of information nor an "objective observer" in the immigration policy debate. The latest report issued by the SLPC is long on rhetoric and allegations and short of facts. Responsible journalists will not accept these SPLC allegations at face value; they will independently investigate any and all claims made by the SPLC. Grasping for attention, and no doubt to expand its donor base, the SPLC's recent report claims that the number of so-called "hate groups" has risen 4 percent since 2008 and over 50 percent since 2000. With great fanfare, they warn their own members and uncritical journalists of a "firestorm" of hate engulfing the land. Yet, the Southern Poverty Law Center offers no concrete information about these so-called "hate groups." For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center never identifies exactly where they are; or even who are they, what they believe, or how they act. How many members do they have, if any? Do they have money? How can you contact them? Do they really even exist as an operational group? Occasionally, unsuspecting journalists swallow the bait hook, line and sinker, conferring on the Southern Poverty Law Center or SPLC some claim to quasi-official status, and that the SPLC designation is entitled to some official respect or recognition. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. The Southern Poverty Law Center made up the term, and has shown time and again that its use of the term "hate group" is merely a strategy to try to discourage and suppress political speech in this country. What is a "hate group"? In the eyes of the law, there is no such thing. It does not exist in federal statutes; the term is entirely a concoction of the SPLC. Moreover, the SPLC has no concrete definition; it slides based on its current political objective. What is implied with the term? The Southern Poverty Law Center uses this term to imply - at least in the minds of most people - that those who belong to a "hate group" advocate criminal violence against other people solely on account of race, ethnicity or some other immutable characteristic. Yet the SPLC fudges, and then itself says that "hate group activities" can also include "marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing." (See the SPLC website) Isn't this how most individuals exercising free speech act? Under this absurdly incomplete definition, how would a non- "hate group" behave? How has the SPLC used the term "hate group" and "nativist extremist"? Recently, the SPLC is using the term to try to smear the entire national immigration reform movement: millions of Americans all across the country are being tarred and smeared by the SPLC without cause. Once the SPLC designates a group, its allies who favor mass immigration cheerfully tout the designation as somehow trumping the need for serious policy debate. For example, the controversial National Council of La Raza claimed on its website that one in seven Americans (equaling 45 million people) belongs to "hate" or "nativist extremist" groups. This claim, posted on its affiliated website was unambiguously designed to discourage people from opposing mass amnesty or even have a genuine political debate about the issue of immigration reform. Remarkably, the SPLC and its allies have gone so far as to state that the "debate itself" has caused a rise in the number of "hate crimes" against Latinos. No real evidence is provided, except for fluctuating FBI data - data that both the FBI and SPLC warn is unreliable (See the FBI's "Caution to Readers") The SPLC in fact quotes "experts" declaring the FBI's hate crime data to be "worthless" (See the SPLC's Intelligence Report), yet then turns around and uses the same data to calculate what it determines to be a dramatic increase in the level of hate crime. Clearly, through its "hate group" strategy, the SPLC is laying the groundwork for arguing that it should be unlawful for Americans to even advocate for the enforcement of current immigration laws. This year, the SPLC decided to simply designate - we'd call it smear - hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans working for immigration reform as being members of "nativist extremist" groups. Again, there is no real definition for what this designation means, only that these groups are "groups that go after people, not policy." (See this SPLC article in their Intelligence Report) What strikes many as particularly illogical is that only a handful of the list of "nativist extremist" groups are designated as "hate groups" even though these are the groups that are supposed to go after individuals. Of course, most of these organizations are simply well-meaning citizens who are active in supporting immigration law enforcement, improved state/local cooperation to discourage illegal immigration. The Southern Poverty Law Center is now doing this on behalf of interests who oppose interior immigration enforcement and support mass amnesty in response to illegal immigration. They do this because those interests have found themselves on the losing side of a long list of policy battles. The implications for journalists? This means journalists must be responsible enough to independently judge absurd claims and facts made by the SPLC. Once you begin to try to verify their claims and facts, we are confident you will soon recognize that the Southern Poverty Law Center is not a credible organization, and that its so-called "hate group" designations have become virtually meaningless - fabricated out of thin air to manipulate opinion and control speech. It means no longer relying on the SPLC's designation of a "hate group" as dispositive of anything other than what it is: an intimidation tactic intended to suppress meaningful debate over the controversial and difficult subjects like immigration reform. Its use is journalistically unethical. For the public, it means recognizing that terms like "racist" and "hate group" are becoming modern day substitutes for intelligent discussion and an exchange of ideas. In today's context, we hope it will generate a fierce determination to ensure that public debate on important policy ideas, like immigration control, can be carried out free of the sort of marginal tactics associated with marginal and discredited organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.