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CNN Backs Down From False 'Hate Group' Story

Latino people are also upset with CNN. This placard from Caracas, Venezuela in February reads, "CNN, irresponsible journalism." (Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters )

Recently, CNN was criticized for listing 917 "hate groups" online—designations made by the widely discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)—among them the 40-year-old, pro-conservative-values organization, the American Family Association.

If CNN, often called out for publishing "fake news" and practicing shoddy journalism, had done its research, says AFAthe news network would have discovered that the SPLC spreads hate itself and attacks organizations that defend Christian values.

Late last week, AFA sent an Action Alert to its more than 1 million friends and supporters, asking them to sign a petition to CNN, urging the news outlet to stop putting AFA and other conservative Christian organizations in harm's way. The petition has received nearly 37,000 signatures. CNN has since made changes to the story, altering the headline and no longer listing the groups online by state:

(CNN Editor's Note: This story has been updated to provide direct links to the full list from the SPLC as opposed to publishing the entire list here, and context has been added regarding some groups who oppose their inclusion on the SPLC list.)

"AFA continues to urge CNN to stop using the SPLC as a source when reporting real news," said AFA President Tim Wildmon." The SPLC is a radical organization, and its hateful rhetoric was implicated in a 2012 shooting at the Family Research Council's headquarters in Washington, D.C. By citing the SPLC, CNN underscores why many Americans don't trust it for honest reporting. The SPLC has been widely discredited over the years because of its false labeling of Christian organizations as 'hate groups.'"

In fact, Wildmon added, even the Obama administration's Department of Justice quietly reprimanded SPLC and its attorneys because their conduct "overstepped the bounds of zealous advocacy and was unprofessional."

"CNN knows SPLC materials are specifically anti-Christian and falsely label many faith-based organizations like American Family Association because we take a strong stand defending natural marriage and resisting the aggressive, radical homosexual agenda," Wildmon added. "While AFA would like CNN to fully retract the story, the change to the headline and removal of the full list of groups is a positive sign that our voices are being heard."

In what AFA calls the "sham news article," CNN still links to the Southern Poverty Law Center website, which falsely lists AFA as a "hate group."

For more information on American Family Association, visit or follow AFA on Facebook or on Twitter @AmericanFamAssc. Read more about AFA.

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