Mark Steyn observes in The Collapsing of the American Skull:

One of the most ingenious and effective strategies of the Left on any number of topics is to frame the debate and co-opt the language so effectively that it becomes all but impossible even to discuss the subject honestly….

The Southern Poverty Law Center has become a moving force in the collapsing of the political skull.

Because of its history of fighting against the Klan and other actually violent groups (although even that narrative is questionable), when the SPLC puts a “hate” label on a person, group, or issue, it’s devastatingly effective because SPLC gives others the cover to shut down the debate by pointing to the SPLC label.

We saw that with the Family Research Council, with violent results.

Lee Stranahan also has a good post about how the SPLC “hate” label is shutting down discussion of Jihadist violence, Southern Poverty Law Center Provides Cover for Jihad Apologists.

It’s against this backdrop that I noted this video by Bill Maher via an approving reference from Andrew Sullivan, Dismembering Liberal Bullshit On Islam:

Bill Maher backs me up. I’m not Islamophobic; I’m trying to tell the truth and understand what happened last week.

(language warning):

SPLC does not have Maher on its anti-Muslim Hate Watch list even though his statements in the video, which he has made numerous times before, seem to fit squarely within SPLC’s definition.  (For the record, I don’t think Maher should be on the list, even though he would be by the SPLC definition.)

It’s not hard to guess the reason.  Maher’s base is SPLC’s base.  Maher is a liberal with a very large megaphone, a bigger megaphone than SPLC.  Maher could do more damage to SPLC’s fundraising than SPLC could do to Maher’s career.

Who is not on SPLC’s lists says as much about the politicized nature of SPLC as who is on the lists.