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William Gheen, the obstreperous head of the nativist group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, has pulled his group out of all June Arizona rallies backing that state’s controversial new illegal immigration law. Gheen said he is doing so because former Colorado Republican congressman Tom Tancredo, one of the country’s most hard-line opponents of illegal immigration, is supporting one event in which racist skinheads and neo-Nazis may be involved.
That rally, scheduled for June 5 in Phoenix, is being organized by Dan Smeriglio, founder of Voice of the People USA, an anti-illegal immigration group based in Pennsylvania. Gheen says it could hurt, not help, the efforts of those supporting SB 1070, the bill signed last month by Gov. Jan Brewer giving police wide latitude to detain anybody they think may be in the country illegally and making failure of non-citizens to carry immigration documents a crime. Critics say the law will subject Latinos, whether citizens or not, to racial profiling and police harassment in a state whose population is 30% Hispanic. President Obama, among others, has criticized the law, and a number of cities around the country have voted to protest it by halting business travel to Arizona and banning contracts with businesses there.
Gheen supports the law and initially favored the June 5 rally. But he notified supporters on Tuesday that ALIPAC won’t be attending or promoting any rallies scheduled next month in Arizona to support SB 1070. “We will have no future dealings with Dan Smeriglio or retired Congressman Tom Tancredo due to the neo-Nazi connections and this disaster they have cooked up in Arizona that puts our issue at risk,” Gheen wrote.
Gheen became concerned after a Philadelphia-based anti-hate group called One People’s Project criticized ALIPAC for associating with Smeriglio, who it said was working with racist skinheads. Gheen checked and concluded that was true. He learned, for example, that among the “friends” that Smeriglio listed on his Facebook page was Steve Smith, a regional coordinator of Keystone United, a Pennsylvania racist skinhead group with several chapters. Smith’s Facebook page also indicated he’s a fan of a Swedish white nationalist singer named Saga, whose ditties have included “Goodbye, David Lane.” Lane, a convicted terrorist who died in 2007 while serving a 190-year prison sentence, remains one of the most revered figures in the white nationalist movement. He came up with the famous “14 Words” slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.” ( continue to full post… )
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Talk radio host Lou Dobbs excoriated nativist leader William Gheen on air today for making comments about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sexual orientation.
“I cannot even imagine why you would do such a thing,” Dobbs told Gheen, who appeared as a guest on Dobbs’ nationally syndicated show. Gheen, who heads Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), had asserted in a South Carolina Tea Party speech and in a news release that Graham, a South Carolina Republican, should reveal that he’s homosexual. (Graham has previously denied rumors that he’s gay.) Dobbs called Gheen’s remarks “disgusting” and urged him to “dump the hate from your heart.”
“Bill, you’ve become someone I don’t recognize,” Dobbs said.
As he’s done before, Gheen insisted that Graham’s sexuality is relevant because the lawmaker could be working with Democrats on immigration reform to avoid being outed. “The lives, jobs, wages, health and security of Americans — the sovereignty of America we are trying to save — is more important than Lindsey Graham’s personal feelings,” he said. Gheen claimed that ALIPAC had received a “huge amount” of support for his statements and asked Dobbs how it feels to “be the Southern Poverty Law Center yourself.” The SPLC had been a frequent critic of the former CNN anchor, who demonized Latino immigrants night after night before he resigned from the network under pressure in November. After leaving CNN, Dobbs told Telemundo that “we need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants under certain conditions,” and he has appeared to reach out to the Latino community. The Telemundo interview prompted Gheen to apologize to his supporters “for being wrong about Dobbs.”
Gheen struggled during the 13-minute debate, flailing at Dobbs and frequently sounding flustered. At one point Gheen mispronounced the name of National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia. When Dobbs corrected him, he accused the radio host of working with “the open borders lobby.” It wasn’t Gheen’s only blooper: Near the beginning of the show, he huffed that Dobbs had “come on this show all indignified.”
“It’s called indignant,” Dobbs replied.
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Nativist leader William Gheen routinely demonizes undocumented immigrants, whom he portrays as violent, disease-ridden criminals.
Now he’s targeting Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), saying the longtime Washington politician should acknowledge that he’s gay. “The national border security organization known as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) [Gheen’s group] is officially calling for [Graham] to make his homosexual lifestyle public knowledge in the interest of political integrity and national security,” Gheen wrote in a news release today.
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It’s that time of the year again, and Hatewatch’s intrepid staff is just now climbing out of the protective moonsuits needed to trawl through the year’s worst from the filth-spewing hate-mongers and fellow travelers who populate the radical right in America. Once more, we’ve done our best to go beyond the merely off-putting or revolting — the workaday nastiness that regular readers of Hatewatch already know so well — in search of the truly grotesque lowlights of the last year. While it hasn’t been easy getting here, the Hatewatch 3rd Annual Smackdown Awards Committee (earlier editions are here and here) is pleased to officially unveil its annual year-end countdown of the worst of 2009.
10. Schlockiest Neo-Nazi ‘Art’ Award
It’s not like we didn’t know that former Klan chieftain David Duke is a cad, an egomaniac who rips off his followers and chases their womenfolk whenever he isn’t busy getting plastic surgery in hopes of taking in even more people. We knew all about his neo-Nazi pronouncements on “Jewish supremacist power,” his description of AIDS as “the only disease that turns fruits into vegetables,” and his opinion that black people (not the word Duke used) “are primitive animals.” But we were grievously undereducated on one key point — it turns out that “Dr.” Duke (the Ph.D. comes from a Ukrainian diploma mill) “has a wonderful photographic and artistic ability.” That is, at least, if you’re into picture postcard-type schlock photos of places like Moscow and Salzburg, Austria (both meccas for white people, apparently), snapped by the big man himself and then retouched “to make a truly beautiful photo-artwork that will captivate and inspire you,” in the words of Duke’s pitch. The cost to collectors for prints signed by the Dukester? Just $99 a pop, or six for $500. Long live bad art for white people!
9. Whiniest Mass Murderer Award
Terry Nichols always was a complainer. Well, yes, he did help Timothy McVeigh build a bomb that left 168 people, including 19 small children, dead in the 1995 attack on the Oklahoma City federal building — but he really wasn’t all that into the bombing, he didn’t actually accompany McVeigh that day, and he only helped out because his old Army pal just wouldn’t quit hassling him. He did also help buy the bomb’s components and rob weapons from a gun dealer to finance it, but, hey, he was just trying to be agreeable and not cause a stir. Now comes Nichols, a man who failed in his Army career, his marriages and just about everything else, to tell a court that the food he’s fed in Supermax, where he’s serving a life sentence on 161 counts of premeditated murder, is constipating him. And he wants it stopped. From now on, he insisted after a cringe-inducing description of his problematic bowel movements, he requires a high-fiber daily diet of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit (oh, and $4.5 million for his suffering, too). But a federal judge — apparently a pawn not only of the evil government but also of the evil refined food industry — disagreed, noting that Nichols faces no immediate danger and, anyway, only objected to white bread after four years of eating it.
8. Most Intrepid Researcher Award
This category had a crowded field of contenders — especially among the host of mendacious Christian Right groups that claim homosexuals routinely rape children, “recruit” in schools, and push a hate crimes law that they say will result in pastors being sent to prison — but in the end all votes went to Ann Coulter. Sure, we all knew that Coulter had called Al Gore a “total fag,” labeled Muslims “ragheads” and said that Americans should “kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” But Coulter went one better last January in her latest bestselling hissy fit, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, where she reported the results of her research into the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). Most of us knew the CCC as a group that has written that blacks are “a retrograde species of humanity,” run photographic comparisons of pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee, and whined about “Jewish power brokers” and “perverted sodomites.” Gosh, they even say right in their “Statement of Principles” that they “oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” But Intrepid Annie set us straight, revealing that despite its bad rep, the CCC has been defamed and is merely “a conservative group.” ( continue to full post… )
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Lou Dobbs and Americans for Legal Immigration – ALIPAC – are divorcing, and the parting isn’t amicable. ALIPAC President William Gheen has notified supporters that his organization has withdrawn its support of Dobbs and suspended two websites promoting the former CNN showman for president.
In a lengthy E-mail, the heartsick nativist said it was “painful” to realize he misjudged Dobbs, and that ALIPAC hopes to “put this painful episode behind us.” Gheen added contritely, “We apologize to our supporters for being wrong about Dobbs.” ( continue to full post… )
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Think back to Jennifer Anniston’s distress when Brad Pitt dallied with Angelina Jolie; Debbie Reynolds’ angst when Eddie Fisher strayed with Elizabeth Taylor. Now meet the latest big-name heartbreaker: Lou Dobbs. No, he hasn’t left his wife. But some of his most ardent anti-immigration supporters at Americans for Legal Immigration PAC – ALIPAC — are feeling shock and betrayal like that of a cuckolded lover. Lou, they cry, has embraced the enemy, caught in flagrante delicto on the American Spanish-language television network, Telemundo, making nice to Hispanics and immigrants. And if you missed the program, why, there it is on YouTube. To some ALIPAC members, it was comparable to a far-right conservative discovering Ann Coulter in a steamy tryst with Bill Maher.
Dobbs, you recall, left CNN as abruptly as a ruler toppled in a coup on Nov. 11, after the SPLC and other organizations had persistently urged he be fired because of his repeated falsehoods about undocumented immigrants on his CNN show and on his radio program. One of the most infamous myths, in 2005, was that they were at least partly responsible for 7,000 new cases of leprosy in the United States in the prior three years. There actually were about 400 new cases, and nobody knew what role immigrants had in those numbers. The Columbia Journalism Review wrote that Dobbs was “tamper[ing] with facts” and David Leonhardt wrote in The New York Times that “Mr. Dobbs has a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”
Then Dobbs was interviewed on Telemundo’s Al Rojo Vivo on Nov. 20. He assured the Latino community that he is one of its “greatest friends” who has been falsely portrayed by the far left. He told interviewer Maria Celeste that “we need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants under certain conditions.” He added, “What isn’t working is a penalty to those who are in this country illegally for whom we can both be building a bridge to the future in which there is legalization and at the same time constructing an environment in which everyone is clear and unequivocal about the need for border security and a regulated flow of immigration.”
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To: Bill O’Reilly
The O’Reilly Factor
Fox News Network
You lost the bet. Time to pay up!
When I appeared on your show in July, you were so certain that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s call for CNN to fire Lou Dobbs was a waste of time that you bet $10,000 (with the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity) that it wouldn’t happen.
“CNN’s never going to fire him – you know that,” you said.
I told you that I disagreed, because I wasn’t as cynical as you. I believed that if enough people spoke out – and they did – that CNN would do the right thing.
I expect you will argue that Lou didn’t get fired – that he got fed up and quit the network he had been with for three decades.
But as a litigator, I’d like to present Exhibit A: Dobbs’ $8 million severance package, which was reported today by the New York Post. I think you’ll agree that Mr. Murdoch’s Post would never report such a thing were it not, indeed, a fact.
And would CNN fork over $8 million – enough money to pay for 13 miles of electric border fence – to an employee who simply wanted to walk away from his multimillion-dollar contract because he couldn’t constrain his opinions on a news show?
I doubt it!
Maybe your fall-back position is that it wasn’t a real bet. I don’t know. But I think that if you’ll stop spinning for a moment, you’ll agree that in the court of public opinion, you lose. I know it hurts deeply to be wrong. (Although Lou won’t admit it, it happens to the best of us.) You can be assured that your loss will be a big win for a family in need of housing.
CNN did the right thing. Now it’s your turn!
J. Richard Cohen
President, Southern Poverty Law Center
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It didn’t have to end this way for Lou Dobbs. He could have been a contender.
But Dobbs, a supremely self-confident man who often mentions his Harvard education in private conversation, just wouldn’t listen. Time after time, as the “Lou Dobbs Tonight” show he has hosted on CNN since 2003 grew more rabidly critical of undocumented immigrants, he was warned of the kind of people he was putting on his show. He was told that many of the “facts” he was presenting just weren’t so. At first, he was gently called out for his defamations of Latino immigrants, then, as his tone grew sharper still, he was subjected to all kinds of public criticism from human rights groups, the journalism trade press, even a leading New York Times financial columnist. Instead of righting his course, or even slightly moderating his tone, Dobbs called his critics “commies” and “fascists.” He fudged facts, defended earlier falsehoods, and promoted racist conspiracy theories. He fumed.
It all ended last night, when Dobbs announced on his program that he was resigning from CNN effective immediately. In a moment of supreme irony, he complained that public political debate was now overtaken with “partisanship and ideology,” and promised to use “the most honest and direct language possible” in whatever future role he plays in public life. For once, he did not attack his critics.
My colleagues at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and I were some of those critics, and early ones at that. I began speaking to Lou Dobbs in 2004, not many months after he started airing virtually nightly segments entitled “Broken Borders.” By that time, he had already run “reports” complaining about “illegal aliens” getting free medical care, educating their children in public schools, committing sex crimes, getting breaks on college tuition, filling the prisons and spreading diseases. ( continue to full post… )
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Instead of being simply a draw for Hispanic viewers, CNN’s four-hour documentary, “Latino in America,” turned into a political rallying cry for activist groups who are calling on the cable news channel to fire Lou Dobbs, a veteran anchor with well-known views on immigration.
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Immigrant leaders in Chicago on Wednesday urged CNN to pull the plug on host Lou Dobbs, arguing that his prime-time television show spreads myths and misinformation about Latinos, especially Mexicans.
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