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December 27, 2002

A Resource on the Rightwing

Here is a must-have resource from Political Research Associates, the outfit run by longtime activist Chip Berlet which for years has tracked the actions and movements on the rightwing.

In a new resource page, PRA lists and gives hyperlinks to a range of groups, from sophisticated conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation to the racist Pioneer Fund foundation to the Christian conservative Concerned Women for America.

Check out the list and PRA's site more generally. An invaluable resource for understanding the modern Right.

Posted by Nathan at December 27, 2002 03:09 PM

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Comments

I do agree that the PRA website is generally a good resource for information on the right, but I have a problem with the tone of some of Chip Berlet's writings and the guilt-by-association line of reasoning he uses. At one point he was denouncing Ramsey Clark, of all people, as a "right-wing populist", and his writings on conspiracism went over the line beyond a mere critique of conspiracism, which is something I agree should be critiqued, to implying that clearly progressive folks like the Christic Institute, Dick Gregory, Craig Hulet, Daniel Brandt (NameBase), Pacifica radio hosts Dennis Bernstein and Roy Tuckman, etc. were anti-Semitic or were in cahoots with the far right. I'm all for critiquing conspiracy theories and conspiracist worldviews, and have done so on my own blog, but the way Chip Berlet went about it in the early 1990s was in the manner of a witch hunt, and the disruption of the progressive left that he caused leaves a bad taste in my mouth to this day. I'd recommend the PRA website only with reservations.

Posted by: Robert Gregory at December 28, 2002 03:05 PM

Hi,

First off, I have never been the director of Political Reserch Associates, just an analyst on staff.

My criticisms of various conspiracists on the political left have been routinely misrepresented, as they have been here by Robert Gregory. I never launched a witch hunt, that was the term used by those I criticized. I wrote a study and a few articles, and appeared on a few left radio stations, mostly tied to Pacifica. My comments on leftists flirting with far-right or antisemitic groups and individuals were well-documented and never employed guilt by association. If anyone cares to see how I tried to use careful wording in my criticisms, they can review my study "Right Woos Left" and the webpages related to it at:
http://www.publiceye.org/rightwoo/rwooz9.html
http://www.publiceye.org/Sucker_Punch/clues.html

As for disruption, since when is raising criticism a disruption in a movement for democracy?

-Chip Berlet

Posted by: Chip Berlet at August 6, 2003 01:41 PM

I have known Chip Berlet for a long time, probably longer than most here, since that time when he was also a subscriber to PNEWS-L in the old days when it was part of PeaceNet and FidoNet in addition to the Internet, and I have often posted from his work to PNEWS-L (one of the oldest progressive news and views forums on the internet - since 1982) and consider him an authority on the fusion of right and left on some issues (including antisemitism). I hope he continues to expose and challenge the left because there is no doubt it needs it. Thanks Chip Berlet for doing what you do. Keep on doing it.

Hank Roth
http://pnews.org/ for hundreds of Message Boards, Portals, Articles and News....

Posted by: Hank Roth at January 24, 2004 04:14 PM

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