Roll Call is facing calls to retract after publishing a ridiculous hit piece smearing two conservative foreign policy groups based on disinformation gleaned from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing smear machine.
The article, written on Wednesday by Emily Kopp, former press intern for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, describes ACT for America and the Center for Security Policy as “anti-Muslim hate groups” that “peddle anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.” Kopp also accuses ACT for America of having ties to a neo-Nazi, based on an SPLC smear.
NEW: Among the “Jewish groups” Trump cited calling for Rep. Ilhan Omar’s removal from the Foreign Affairs Committee is a hate group with neo-Nazi ties https://t.co/CbylLLxRIB
— Emily Kopp (@emilyakopp) March 6, 2019
The groups were among twelve pro-Israel organizations that signed a letter addressed to Pelosi and Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, calling on them to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the Foreign Affairs Committee after she espoused a series of anti-Semitic tropes. The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a longtime pro-Israel advocacy group, spearheaded the effort. Most of the organizations that signed on are either Jewish groups or groups that have close ties to the Jewish community.
Repulsive article on two counts- calling respected National Security NGO ‘neo-Nazi’, and citing as a source the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center. This is malicious, and in my view shows serious incompetence as a reporter. This should not even have been an opinion piece.
— Dan Pollak (@PollakDan) March 6, 2019
Shame on you. Absolutely repulsive. This kind of phony, bullshit “reporting” is why people rightly despise the media. You’re a glorified DailyKos blogger. https://t.co/LsRZp1hGBQ
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) March 6, 2019
Rather than engage in the substance of the letter which was Omar’s fundraising speech two weeks ago before a group tied to terrorists, Roll Call seeks to smear two signatories of the 12 signers. Typical. @EMET4u
— Richard Pollock (@rpollockDC) March 6, 2019
This is just terrible and lazy ‘reporting’. Does anyone still know how to perform journalism out there? Worst part: These types of garbage stories get you a promotion in the modern news world. https://t.co/lICMJdDtM5
— Adam Kredo (@Kredo0) March 6, 2019
The Center for Security Policy is led by Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council chief of staff, CIA analyst, and House Intelligence Committee staff member.
Fleitz was incensed that Roll Call would use the SPLC as a credible source.
“I was proud to sign this letter as President of the Center for Security Policy, an organization that is pro-Israel and has taken a strong stand against a dangerous surge in anti-Antisemitism on the Left,” he said in a statement to Roll Call. “I was very disappointed that Roll Call included as credible sources discredited far-left organizations to smear the signers of this letter such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and J Street.”
Fleitz told PJ Media that Roll Call’s hit piece was “outrageous, especially its claim that ACT for America has ties to neo-Nazis.”
Via The Washington Free Beacon, here is the response to the controversy from Sarah Stern, EMET’s founder:
Rather than go high, Roll Call decided to go low. When reporting about the letter we authored to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairman Eliot Engel discussing Representative Ilhan Omar’s highly anti-Semitic comments, tweets and associations with a group tied to known terrorists, they made vicious, ad hominem attacks at some of our esteemed colleagues who are among the 12 signatories of the letter.
We find it revealing that Roll Call never reported on the substance of our letter, which is that Rep. Omar exposed her real sentiments when she delivered a fundraising speech two weeks ago before Islamic Relief USA, a “charity” that has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and Israel. International banks Credit Suisse, UBS and HSBC have refused to do any banking with Islamic Relief because of fears of ties to terrorist financing.
Instead of focusing on the substance of Rep. Omar’s poor decision to speak before the group, whose leadership also has openly called for the murder of Jews, Roll Call’s first article on the subject is a smear against two of the 12 signatories of this letter.
We have known both the founders of the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney, and ACT for America, Brigitte Gabrielle, for years. They are led by distinguished individuals who have fought against hate in all its forms, including anti-Semitism. We personally know they are compassionate, loving individuals. That is why it was important to have them join our group letter.
It is ironic that rather than respond to a real and obvious hatred, the anti-Semitism and Judeophobia that Ilhan Omar so obviously has, the author of this article tried to manufacture some fictitious bias of two such incredibly wonderful human beings.
The Roll Call article is not good journalism. If it were, they would have reported on the substance of the letter, a poor attempt to smear good people as a substitute to discussing the substance at hand: Rep. Omar’s vile anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish people and her decision to align herself with groups which openly have ties to terrorism.
That is where the debate is.
The EMET founder also wrote a letter to Roll Call editor Ed Timms decrying the shoddy journalism and demanding a retraction.
“It is also a very apparent conflict of interest that the author of this article, Emily Kopp, had once worked for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is one of the people our letter had been addressed to,” wrote Stern.