Arizona based Alliance Defending Freedom is demanding that Phoenix NBC affiliate 12 News and the Arizona Republic retract “propaganda against ADF authored by the radical, left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center.” The Southern Poverty Law Center also lists Family Watch International and Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe as being anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
In July, Alliance Defending Freedom demanded an apology from ABC News for its “abandonment of objectivity in repeating false accusations against ADF made by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” ABC News referred to ADF as an “alleged hate group” in an article about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ speech to the organization.
“12 News, an NBC affiliate, and The Arizona Republic have committed journalistic malpractice. In an Aug. 14 story entitled ‘What are Arizona’s hate groups?,’ 12 News correspondent William Pitts relied entirely on slanderous and scandalous accusations against Alliance Defending Freedom made by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the basis for his story. On the same day, Arizona Republic reporter Cydney Henderson essentially copied and pasted SPLC data distributed to Arizona media outlets,” stated Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Kerri Kupec.
“For both of these media outlets to malign ADF by parroting a false description from a radically partisan, violence-inciting organization like SPLC and call it ‘news’ is a discredit to their news organizations and to the journalistic profession,” said Kupec.
“Further, these stories were recklessly ill-timed. Tuesday marked the five-year anniversary when would-be mass-murderer Floyd Lee Corkins entered the lobby of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., with the intent to kill as many employees as he was able,” continued Kupec. Corkins cited SPLC as his inspiration for his attempted-mass murder and was ultimately convicted of domestic terrorism.
“ADF is one of the most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates in the legal profession, having won seven cases at the high court in the last seven years<' noted Kupec. "SPLC spends its time and money attacking veterans, nuns, Muslims who oppose terrorism, Catholics, Evangelicals, and anyone else who dares disagree with its far-left ideology. Meanwhile, ADF works every day to peacefully preserve and affirm free speech and the free exercise of religion for people from all walks of life and all backgrounds, because we believe freedom is for everyone." Kupec concluded, “For the sake of its own integrity and the safety of Arizonans, 12 News and The Arizona Republic should issue an apology to ADF and retract their defamatory stories.”