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Dana Milbank To Michelangelo Signorile: FRC Is Not The KKK And Therefore Not A Hate Group

DanamilbankRadio host Michelangelo Signorile invited Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank onto his show yesterday so that Milbank could discuss the controversial article in which he criticizes the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling the anti-gay organization Family Research Council a hate group because such a label can inspire madness like the FRC shooting.

Milbank wrote at the time that it is "reckless" calling people who rabble-rouse against equality by spreading lies and vitriol a "hate group." He stuck by that story during his conversation with Signorile and tried to further emphasize his point by contrasting the FRC, which he called a "Washington think tank," with the KKK.

"The hate group category, is with the exception of the Family Research Council, a bunch of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan-like groups, and while they may say all kinds of wacky things at the FRC, they’re a Washington think tank, not a group that puts on sheets and organizes lynch mobs," he said.

Reminded that "hate group" is applied to non-violent groups as well, Milbank again went for the most extreme comparison: Some [hate groups] put on white sheets and go around and lynch people and some of them don’t. It’s not the same as the KKK and Stormfront. There is a fundamental distinction. I think people who say hateful things are in one category and people who commit violent acts are in another category." Milbank also tried to bolster FRC's credibility by mentioning that it was founded by James Dobson and run for a spell by Gary Bauer, a man whose past as a failed presidential candidate somehow makes him more legitimate and wholesome.

Milbank later griped that the interview was an "ambush," but Signorile insists Milbank was informed ahead of time they would be discussing his column. "Milbank was not asked to come on the show under any false pretenses. He was invited on the show to discuss the controversial column he’d written, and he accepted the invitation," said Signorile.

Listen to the interview over at The Huffington Post.

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    Posted by: t | Aug 23, 2012 8:28:50 AM

  2. Groups like FRC prepare the ground and plant the seeds of fear and hate. Groups like the KKK and Stormfront reap the harvest.

    Posted by: Smartypants | Aug 23, 2012 8:30:20 AM

  3. DC insiders protecting other DC insiders.

    Posted by: Gus | Aug 23, 2012 8:30:25 AM

  4. I cannot believe it , Dana Milbank defending the FRC ?
    Surely if any organization has promoted hatred it is the FRC ?

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..........

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 23, 2012 8:32:13 AM

  5. Milbank is an idiot. Any group which campaigns against the equal rights of others is a hate group. Get that, Millie?

    Posted by: jason | Aug 23, 2012 8:36:09 AM

  6. No white hoods?

    Really? Because these "family" and "marriage" groups spend more time trying to get around finance laws to shield their donors than any other groups out there. And the money donated to these groups funds advertisements that spread blatant lies about gay people; lies that stir up a lot of negative emotion towards the gay community and lies that, no doubt, can lead to hate crimes against the community.

    These groups don't provide any backing for their funny social science studies when all signs point to the data being 'cooked.' Transparency is the last thing these groups give us. They police their comments online and ban any users with logical pro-equality arguments that tear theirs to shreds.

    So maybe you can't see a white hood, Milbank, but it's there

    Posted by: kpo5 | Aug 23, 2012 8:36:41 AM

  7. Milbank has always been an idiot. So what sense does it make to say that groups speaking hate somehow aren't hateful? As though that doesn't incite violence too?

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 23, 2012 8:38:19 AM

  8. KPO5, you said it! Who needs white hoods when FRC has the anonymity of the internet to ask as a shield to hind their supporters.

    Posted by: homer | Aug 23, 2012 8:39:24 AM

  9. Dana, Dana, Dana. Where did you get such crazy ideas about what does and does not constitute a hate group? FRC is NOT one just because they don't wear white hoods and hang minorities from the nearest tree?? I used to enjoy reading your commentaries but now I'll just ignore them.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Aug 23, 2012 8:40:43 AM

  10. Milbank has always been a smart-alec whose favorite occupation is getting under other people's skin. Sometimes that's worked in our favor he was one of the only Washington journalists who wasn't afraid to speak the truth and dare to criticize the Bush Administration in 2002-2003, at a time when all the other journalists had fallen in line in the face of threats of retaliation by Karl Rove. So, I respect him for that period when he saw himself as an outsider to the Washington mainstream media establishment. Lately, however, he seems to be craving admittance to that exclusive club, and the price of membership is distinguishing who in Washington politics is a "serious" player - and not offending those players lest you be perceived as too partisan, or losing coveted access. I think this column was a calculated move by Milbank. He is trying to further his career by establishing himself as one of those self-appointed Mr-Reasonable-Moderate-Middle-of-the-Road journalist types who deny that there is any ideology in the center of the political spectrum, that bipartisanship is the highest political value, and that their own personal political views represent the mainstream.

    In other words, Milbank is selling out to follow in the footsteps of Howard Kurtz, David Broder, etc. and he's deliberately making this play at our expense so that he can do it. Feh.

    I liked him better when he was a smart alec thumbing his nose at people in power. Now he wants to be just another one of those powerful people.

    Posted by: BZ | Aug 23, 2012 8:59:41 AM

  11. Chris, you betray your true nature by the "quote marks" and the kook caps.

    Dana is not a bad guy. I don't agree with him though. I understand his argument that some groups are more violent than others, but I think a broad definition of 'Hate Group' is not an unjustified thing. Of course FRC objects to the label - the KKK and Stormfront probably object to it as well. They'd probably prefer "love groups."

    It's a bit of a silly argument over semantics here. I'm not sure who sets the definition of "hate group," but I think most people are reasonable enough to understand that levels of distinction exist within that label.

    Posted by: Yeek | Aug 23, 2012 9:09:53 AM

  12. The SPLC has specific rules as to what constitutes a hate group; and it's been widely accepted, pretty much by everyone. Only now, someone with the political influence of Miss Toni, do those rules not apply. Dana Millbank has tipped his hand--we now know who his "friend$" are.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Aug 23, 2012 9:11:39 AM

  13. Well, now we see Dana for what he is. Which is, as BZ put it, he's a sell-out. A Washington political junkie, DC insider totally removed from the world around him and not willing to ruffle the feathers of those in the DC circle. So I'm no longer offended with his FRC article. Still, for him to publicly continue to go out of his way to defend FRC is disgusting.

    Posted by: Francis | Aug 23, 2012 9:28:21 AM

  14. Dear Christopher H,

    Please lay off the all-caps routine, unless you're really trying to show everyone how loud, pompous and arrogant you are.

    Btw, I don't think vernacular means what you think it means.

    Posted by: RJ | Aug 23, 2012 9:36:20 AM

  15. Christopher - you may be a homo, but you're also an idiot.

    Posted by: doug | Aug 23, 2012 9:52:05 AM

  16. And of course any good ol' white boy knows, promoting the death of a bunch of "negro gays" in Africa is a public service.......

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Aug 23, 2012 10:03:21 AM

  17. Milbank is wrong on this one. It doesn't take white hoods and lynching to qualify as a hate group. The FRC spews and incites hatred. I believe that the FRC is INDEED engaged in an orchestrated agenda against the LGBT community. The FRC is a well-organized and vocal participant in various media - quite different from individuals expressing their own hatred and homophobia.

    Posted by: Mi-miami | Aug 23, 2012 10:54:01 AM

  18. "Family Research Council WAS VIOLATED. THAT WAS WRONG! PERIOD!"

    No, that was not wrong. Religious Right organizations (like the FRC) and their allies have actually claimed it is "inflammatory" when their views are made public and called for “public pressure on some of these gay rights organizations to tone it down”.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Aug 23, 2012 11:14:27 AM

  19. By "ambush", Milbanks actually means "confronted with the facts".

    Posted by: boone68 | Aug 23, 2012 11:35:47 AM

  20. Yes, CAH, gays wanting equal rights is "cocky". How dare we? We pay taxes and then expect to be treated as full citizens of the US? What nerve!

    You should go back to school and learn to turn off the Caps Lock, buffoon.

    Posted by: odsbjorn | Aug 23, 2012 11:39:24 AM

  21. @CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON You're not related to EDWARD EVERETT HORTON, are you?

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 23, 2012 11:52:39 AM

  22. And FRC statements don't incite violence against LGBTs?

    Posted by: mike128 | Aug 23, 2012 12:18:46 PM

  23. The FRC are worse than the KKK the FRC are more like Nazis. You know the Hitler German Catholics who murdered gays and Jews and other minorities by the millions.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 23, 2012 12:50:07 PM

  24. What else would you call a group that spreads hate for (and fear of) another group, especially when they use lies and distortions to do it?

    And when was the last time the KKK actually lynched someone or burned a cross on someone's lawn? That may have been their stock-in-trade at one time, when public opinion was still such that people and law enforcement would look the other way, but thanks in part thanks to the SPLC they now just use hateful RHETORIC, same as the FRC. It's a distinction without a difference.

    Posted by: Caliban | Aug 23, 2012 12:57:56 PM

  25. lame. the KKK is also not, specifically, the Nazi Party. doesn't mean it aint equally abhorrent.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 23, 2012 1:02:43 PM

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