After an outpouring of complaints from conservatives, CNN made modifications to a story published Thursday on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups.
The article was initially headlined, "Here are all the active hate groups where you live," but changed to "The Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups" following hours of criticism from conservatives. The original article also included the SPLC's entire list of hate groups, which was substantially scrubbed in the update.
These modifications were explained in an editor's note posted beneath the article that read: "The headline on this story has been changed to more closely align with the content of the piece, which clearly indicates that the data on hate groups is from the Southern Poverty Law Center. This story has also been updated to provide direct links to the full list from the SPLC as opposed to publishing the entire list here."
As we noted earlier, the SPLC's list of hate groups lumps conservative nonprofits in with legitimate hate organizations, putting proponents of traditional family values in the same category as neo-Nazis and the KKK. In its article, CNN still maintains that "since the FBI doesn't keep track of domestic hate groups, the SPLC's tally is the widely accepted one." Given the modifications the outlet made to its own story, arguing the SPLC's list is "widely accepted" is a stretch. (If that were truly the case, why would CNN change its headline?) In fact, the credibility of the SPLC's practices has been questioned for years by people on both the Left and the Right.
The best update CNN could have made to this story would have been to just take it down.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.