They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Robert Poe's students at Arizona State University frantically contacted him last month to ask why he was no longer listed as an instructor on their class lists.

"Hey, what’s going on?" "Are you still teaching the class?" "We didn’t know whether somebody else would come in Tuesday of next week, we don’t know what’s going on with the class," they asked him.

The students were given no notice, but Poe knew full well what was happening: ASU was trying to scrub away any public trace of his current position as a teacher.

Poe, who is a faculty associate and a PhD student at the university, had been drawn into the white freakout over a course the school was offering on "the problem of whiteness” in mid-February. Poe held an informal debate about the course, called a “teach-in," that prompted white nationalist groups to launch email campaigns against him and the university.

Poe told TPM recently that he believes the university is aligning itself with those white nationalist groups by choosing to stay silent about those activists' meddling on campus. Instead of coming to his defense, Poe said ASU's administration has scrubbed his status as a teacher from the Internet and made overtures that it wanted him fired altogether.

Read More →

Officials at Arizona State University probably weren't expecting the full Stormfront treatment when its English department advertised a spring semester class exploring the "problem of whiteness."

But that's exactly what the university got. The floodgates opened in late January after an ASU journalism student complained on Fox News that the class singled out white people as "the root cause of social injustices for this country." Neo-Nazi types and white supremacists then reportedly threatened the white professor who was teaching the course, Lee Bebout. They publicly shared his personal contact information and flooded message boards with menacing rants against him.

TPM recently spoke with the leader of a white nationalist group that's leading the charge against the "problem of whiteness" class, an effort they have dubbed "Operation Bad Teacher." The leader of the group, Angelo John Gage, argued that Bebout’s course was “racist” and a sign of what he said was the increasing oppression of white people in the U.S. He insisted on speaking to TPM via Skype because he said he wasn't comfortable giving his phone number to people he didn't know.

He also insisted that his group was not the one behind the threats to the professor.

Read More →

The conservative blogosphere lit up this weekend with the news that potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson had been designated an anti-LGBT "extremist" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

William A. Jacobson of the blog Legal Insurrection appeared to have been the first to notice that Carson was among those listed on what he called the SPLC's "'Extremist' watch lists." He wrote Friday that "the Southern Poverty Law Center ceased long ago to be a neutral source of information."

There were two issues with Jacobson's blog post, however: the SPLC does not maintain "watch lists," and Carson's profile had been live in the organization's "Extremist Files" for months.

Read More →

Evangelical radio host Bryan Fischer has made it clear that he considers Christians to be privileged above people of all other faiths, including Jews, during his time with the social conservative group American Family Association.

Fischer served prominently as AFA's spokesman and director of issue analysis until last week. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow first reported that AFA president Tim Wildmon dropped Fischer as spokesman, in particular because of past comments he made about gays and Hitler.

Fischer's alleged firing -- he maintains that he chose to scale back his duties so that his personal views weren't conflated with those of AFA -- came as nonprofit groups reportedly pressured the Republican National Committee to cancel its participation in a week-long trip to Israel organized and paid for by AFA and its subsidiary, the American Renewal Project.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had been confirmed to attend, American Renewal Project founder David Lane told Haaretz last week. Yet Priebus lunched with Senate Republicans Tuesday on Capitol Hill; clearly he didn't make the trip.

If Priebus had flown to Israel with about 60 other committee members, according to Lane's tally, he may well have been forced to reconcile the RNC's stated support for Israel with the heated rhetoric of the host organization's former spokesman.

Here's a sampling of some of Fischer's inflammatory statements:

Read More →

The longtime New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) turned himself into the FBI Thursday morning in Lower Manhattan on federal corruption charges. A five-count criminal complaint alleged Silver, who has held the speakership for two decades, used the power of that office to obtain $4 million in kickbacks and bribes disguised as income.

The complaint against Silver grew out of the ashes of the Moreland Commission, a panel New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) set up in summer 2013 that was tasked with investigating public corruption. When Cuomo suddenly disbanded the commission in March 2014, eight months before it was to wrap up its work, federal investigators picked up the pieces. The investigators also reportedly began looking into Cuomo's shutting down of the commission.

The complaint against Silver noted Cuomo announced that he had agreed to end the Moreland Commission as part of budget negotiations, in which Silver and his staff played a key role. A three-month-long New York Times investigation last year found that the governor's office had repeatedly hamstrung the commission's investigations into his political allies and associates.

So does Silver’s arrest signal turbulence ahead for Cuomo?

Read More →

The Daily Caller's political reporter Patrick Howley wrote an article last month asserting that former President Bill Clinton once praised a Holocaust denier.

But the Holocaust denier in question, himself a man with several aliases who's previously admitted to fabricating information, said this week that Howley had just fallen for one of his "inventions."

Read More →

LiveWire

I'm here!