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Our friends over at the Center for American Progress (CAP), which describes itself as “a progressive think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action,” just posted an important article skewering large parts of the media for their frequent depiction of racist or nativist ideologues as mainstream commentators.
“Know Your Sources,” by CAP Senior Fellow Henry Fernandez, mentions some of the country’s most unpleasant nativists, including hate group leader John Vinson (here and here), Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) founder John Tanton (here and here), and former FAIR official Rick Oltman. Fernandez’s point — and it’s an important one — is that the background of these men and others is rarely mentioned in the mainstream press, which frequently quotes them as if they were legitimate critics or analysts of the immigration situation in the United States. Partly based on Southern Poverty Law Center research, Fernandez also points out several other connections linking nativist groups and individuals to unsavory extremists of the far right.