For fair-minded observers, this has been a bad week for the credibility of the two most aggressive (and punitive) “watchdogs” of the right — Media Matters and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Thanks to Peter Hasson at the Daily Caller News Foundation, we discovered the stunning hypocrisy of Media Matters president Angelo Carusone. The man who helms an organization that combs through the past of every conservative public figure looking for evidence of hate and bigotry has his own history of hateful posts.
And now the SPLC faces its own internal challenge. Yesterday, the SPLC fired its legendary co-founder, Morris Dees, for unspecified “inappropriate conduct” and then hired an “outside organization” to conduct a “comprehensive assessment” of its “internal climate and workplace practices.” According to the Los Angeles Times, the SPLC just might have a tolerance problem:
The Times has also learned that the organization, whose leadership is predominantly white, has been wrestling with complaints of workplace mistreatment of women and people of color. It was not immediately clear whether those issues were connected to the firing of Dees, who is 82.
Also Thursday, employees sent correspondence to management demanding reforms, expressing concerns about the resignation last week of a highly respected black attorney at the organization and criticizing the organization’s work culture.
A letter signed by about two dozen employees — and sent to management and the board of directors before news broke of Dees’ firing — said they were concerned that internal “allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism threaten the moral authority of this organization and our integrity along with it.”