The Associated Press has come under scrutiny from liberal blogs after the news organization published an article that referred to the group European American Action Coalition as a “white rights group.”
The language was first used by the local Philadelphia newspaper Scranton Times-Tribune, according to Daniel Denvir of City Paper. When Denvir contacted the Associated Press for copy of their story, he was rebuffed.
“What possible purpose would there be for me to send you this story when you’re trying to cause trouble for how it was written?” Karen Testa, the East Region Editor at the Associated Press, told Denvir. “That’s a good way to build a journalism career,” she added before hanging up.
The European American Action Coalition was founded by Steve Smith, who the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a “longtime racist activist with a history of violence and top-level ties to numerous white nationalist hate groups.”
Smith announced on the white nationalist forum Stormfront that the 3rd Annual European American Heritage Celebration would take place at a park in Moosic, Pennsylvania.
But the event was later cancelled after borough officials said Smith lied about where he lived. The borough only allows local residents to use its park for organized events.
“I want to personally apologize to everyone that planned to make it to this event,” the group said on Stormfront. “The borough of Moosic has violated our freedom of speech and our right to peacefully assemble – action WILL be taken against the borough for their discriminatory acts against the EAAC.”