Left-wing group with ties to Z. Smith Reynolds and James Goodman promotes anti-Catholic attack on Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Last fall, a Drudge Report style news aggregator site owned by the Civitas Institute was the target of outrage by Leftists at NC Policy Watch. While it was active, the aggregator site had linked to thousands of articles of relevance to North Carolina politics. Linking to articles clearly did not equate to an endorsement of the article’s content.
Policy Watch’s source of indignation was an article linked to by the aggregator, which included anti-Semitic theories.
Specifically, Policy Watch found that the article in question contained “hate speech” and amounted to an “anti-Semitic attack” on Attorney General Josh Stein because the article suggested Stein’s religion explained his support for a certain policy.
As Policy Watch wrote:
According to the author of the story, Stein has joined with several other attorneys general from around the country to challenge President Trump’s ban on immigrants from certain Muslim countries and the recent order rescinding the DACA program for young immigrants because…wait for it…he is Jewish.
In response, in order to prevent the possibility of repetition, Civitas took down the link and shuttered the site shortly thereafter.
Another Example of Leftist Hypocrisy
Last fall, Policy Watch set the standard that “bigoted hate speech” involves criticizing an individual based on his or her religious beliefs or claiming that one’s religion motivates their policy decisions.
Indeed, Policy Watch sought out a quote from a local Rabbi, who declared “Criticizing Attorney General Josh Stein based on his religious beliefs is beyond the pale and should have no place in North Carolina politics.”
Now fast forward to last week, and an article published by NC Policy Watch attacking Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, in which the author suggests Kavanaugh would base his judgement on a critical federal case because…wait for it…he is Catholic.
From the article:
But wait! God is about to get a wake-up call. It’ll come in the U.S. Senate, not exactly a reliquary of sainthood, when Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears for confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s Roman Catholicism, and the weight of the Catholic Church on the Supreme Court, along with his views – past, present and future – on the Rorschach-test of Roe vs. Wade, will be enough to give God heartburn. So packed with Catholics is the Supreme Court that soon it’ll be telling the Vatican what to do.
In an email, state Senator Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), a Catholic, responded: “What a bigoted, hate-filled rant, written by a man who thinks God is dead is desperately hoping he’s right. People of faith should never be mocked.”
Policy Watch Actively Chose to Publish This Bigoted Attack
Compare the act of simply linking to an article on a news aggregator site while not endorsing its content to Policy Watch’s decision to actively seek out and publish this attack on Kavanaugh on their site.
Moreover, the author of the column has a history of anti-Catholic and anti-religious rants.
The Frank A. DeFillippo who authored the article is a longtime, hard-left political journalist from Maryland. DeFillippo is no stranger to bigoted attacks such as the one leveled at Kavanaugh. He once wrote that the issue of gay marriage is “awkward” for the Catholic Church “because of its problems with homosexual priests and pedophiles as well as the sexual exploits of clergymen, gay and straight, of other religious denominations.”
Moreover, he has characterized the ‘culture wars’ as having found “a new home in the womb where conservatives and the Catholic Church can happily co-exist,” and once lamented that Baltimore was previously run by a “shadow government” that included businessmen, lawyers “and even the Roman Catholic Church.”
DeFillippo also flippantly claimed that Mike Pence would select Jesus as his vice president, and hysterically warned that if given the chance Pence would fuse church and state together “into a caliphate, based on his beliefs.”
Not content to direct his bigotry at just one religion, DeFillippo also penned this egregious example of paranoid anti-Semitism:
And yes, a large degree of the transformation (of Maryland to a more Democratically-controlled state) traces to the liberal Jews in the General Assembly and in Baltimore’s City Hall as well as the wealthy Jews outside of government who provided financial support to the NAACP in the fight for racial parity.
Connections to Largest Progressive Funder in NC, and Media Giant
NC Policy Watch is a leftist news and commentary organization that has been on the scene in North Carolina for some time now. It is the media project of the NC Justice Center. The Justice Center considers itself the “state’s preeminent voice for economic, social and political justice.” Without a doubt, it is one the largest and possibly the most radically left-of-center groups in North Carolina.
The Justice Center was picked to be the “administrative home” for Blueprint NC, the group responsible for the infamous memo that directed their members to “eviscerate, mitigate, litigate, cogitate and agitate” the state’s leadership in 2013. Former state representative Rick Glazier heads the Justice Center.
The intentional posting of this hateful and ignorant attack on Kavanaugh is even more disturbing when combined with the knowledge that NC Policy Watch’s parent organization – the NC Justice Center – is not only the largest left-wing advocacy group in the state but also funded largely by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation – North Carolina’s most generous funder of progressive causes.
The Justice Center also receives significant funding from the AJ Fletcher Foundation, an organization headed by James Goodman – head of Capitol Broadcasting. Capitol Broadcasting owns, among other channels, WRAL – one of the leading sources of state political news in North Carolina.
What to Make of All This
While it seems hard to imagine that James Goodman and Z. Smith Reynolds board president Lloyd Tate, Jr. would intentionally fund such hateful and bigoted content, it’s hard to see how they could possibly be unaware of it now.
The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
Over the years, the Justice Center and their primary funders have lectured others about embracing “diversity” and “tolerance”, while insisting “facts matter.” They present themselves as having moved beyond the blatant racism and anti-Catholic bigotry so ingrained in the early “progressive” movement from which they adopted their ideological moniker. This most recent incident casts that into doubt.
Civitas’ news aggregator site merely linked to an offensive article without endorsing its content, and ended up taking down the entire site. Policy Watch, on the other hand, actively sought out and published DeFillippo’s latest bigoted missive on their website. What will their response be?
Let’s hope that Glazier, along with leaders from Z. Smith Reynolds and the Fletcher Foundation, act quickly and forcefully to disavow the bigoted hate penned by Mr. DeFillipo, as well as publicly make amends to the legions of people they have wronged by these types of bigoted and false accusations.