MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Libertarian Pushback – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. Fox on August 25, 2017

The Southern Poverty Law Center and American Defamation League and their brothers in the media finding enemies and Nazis everywhere. You have to do something to keep busy and justify your existence.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/08/thomas-woods/the-libertarian-pushback/

The letter ran:

I am a reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in New York. I am contacting you to let you know that we are including your website in a list of sites that have been designated as hate or extremist by the American Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have identified all the tech platforms that are supporting websites on the ADL and SPLC lists.

We would like to ask you a few questions:

1) Do you disagree with the designation of your website as hate or extremist? Why?

2) We identified two tech companies on your website: PayPal, and AdPeeps. Can you confirm that you receive funds from your relationship with those tech companies? How would the loss of those funds affect your operations, and how would you be able to replace them?

3) Have you been shut down by other tech companies for being an alleged hate or extremist web site? Which companies?

4) Many people opposed to sites like yours are currently pressuring tech companies to cease their relationships with them – what is your view of this campaign? Why?

Our deadline is 5pm EST today.

Thank you, Lauren Kirchner

In any case, for what it’s worth The Remnant responded this way:

Dear Ms. Kirchner: 

In reply to your email to The Remnant (see below), be advised as follows: 

1. The allegation that The Remnant, a fifty-year old Catholic newspaper, is “a hate group” according to the SPLC, a left-wing propaganda organization known for its reckless accusations against conservative groups, is as laughable as it is malicious. Indeed, the SPLC equates the teachings of the Catholic Church itself with “hate.” 

2. Here is The Remnant’s most recent response to this ridiculous accusation. The response was prompted by a local TV news story by a reporter who failed to mention that her supposedly corroborative source, a sociologist at a Catholic university, in fact told her that The Remnant is not a “hate group,” contrary to the SPLC’s libelous claim. The sociologist is quite dismayed by this evidently malicious omission.  

3. We hereby advise you that we expect you to preserve all records of communications of any kind, in electronic form or otherwise, between you, your organization, PayPal and AdPeeps. We will consider those records relevant to any interference with The Remnant’s longstanding relationship with those companies, and will view their destruction as spoliation of evidence. We include in this demand any records of telephone contacts, including notes of conversations with representatives of PayPal or AdPeeps. 

Sincerely, 
Christopher A. Ferrara
Pro bono legal counsel for The Remnant 
Admitted NY, NJ and SC 

This is a blatant attempt to intimidate PayPal and other Web services into ending their contractual relations with the targeted groups­—for no other reason than that they are falsely accused of “hate” or “extremism” by SPLC/ADL. Again, neither Kirchner nor her fellow “investigative journalists” conducted any independent investigation of the “hate group” designations, which they merely collated in spreadsheet form. 

An update to the article admits that “In response to ProPublica’s inquiries, PayPal spokesman Justin Higgs said in a statement that the company ‘strives to conscientiously assess activity and review accounts reported to us.’” That is, PayPal states that, after multiple contacts from ProPublica, it is reviewing the websites of the groups ProPublica has “reported” based on a mere rote repackaging of SPLC/ADL’s already well-known defamatory falsehoods.

Should PayPal or other service provider terminate its contractual relations with any of the targeted groups (including The Remnant) based on ProPublica’s sham “investigative journalism,” there might well be a viable cause of action against ProPublica and its “reporters” for tortious interference with contractual relations. While formulations of this sort vary from state to state, the basic elements, as summarized by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, are: (1) that a valid contract existed, (2) that defendant had knowledge of the contract, (3) that defendant acted intentionally and improperly, and (4) that plaintiff was injured by the defendant’s actions. 

I would suggest that every victim or potential victim of ProPublica’s witch-hunt, as well as similar operations conducted by other elements of the FNIC and the LTPD, consult legal counsel about possible claims for tortious interference with contractual relations.  

What we are witnessing is the beginning of an effort to chill controversial speech, with the threat of withdrawal of essential online services hanging like a sword of Damocles over the respective heads of various right-wing organizations.

Be seeing you

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I am not a number. I am a free man!

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