The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged a counterterrorism agency to open investigations into Daily Wire host Matt Walsh and other conservative commentators, alleging that the commentators are “escalating harassment of LGBTQ+ individuals,” according to emails obtained by The Daily Signal.
The group, which was founded to combat anti-Semitism but has morphed into an organization more broadly focused on combatting “extremism and hate,” stated in the email to a Washington State unified counterterrorism unit that “growing online anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry puts LGBTQ+ individuals at greater risk of physical violence and harassment.” The ADL goes on to list not only Walsh, but also the Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo and Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik, among others, as “perpetrators of online hate,” and urges law enforcement to take action.
“ADL is advocating for government partners to strengthen laws against perpetrators of online hate, as well as consulting with law enforcement partners to act on online hate speech that incites violence and/or credible threats,” the group said, according to the report.
The email appears to be rooted in a collaboration with the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, more commonly known as GLAAD, in which the two groups would work together to “alert law enforcement and community organizations to threats targeting LGBTQ+ individuals and institutions.”
The counterterrorism unit, the Washington State Fusion Center, told The Daily Signal that no action was taken against Walsh or any of the other individuals.
“We do not investigate anyone or anything ‘at the direction of the Anti-Defamation League,’” Christopher Loftis told The Daily Signal. “We receive tips from a variety of sources and interested parties and we follow each to its logical conclusion to assess if any possible public safety threat actually exists.”
Walsh says he views the attempt to mobilize law enforcement against him as “a very serious threat,” and called it “an explicit attempt to use state force to shut down opposing speech at gunpoint.”
“I’m not surprised that the enemies of free speech and common sense are using this tactic but I do find it deeply concerning,” Walsh told The Daily Signal.
“Democrats (and the ADL is just an activist arm of the Democrat Party of course) clearly want to use force to shut down speech that threatens their narrative,” Walsh said. “We’ve been moving in that direction for some time. I expect that if Biden wins re-election we will start to see, in the next year or two, outspoken conservatives getting fined and arrested on the grounds of ‘hate speech,’ etc.”
The Heritage Foundation, which is the parent organization of The Daily Signal, said that groups like the ADL are “a key driver of government weaponization.”
“They provide the phony predication and intellectual cover in order to point the people with guns at their enemies,” said Mike Howell, the director of the conservative think-tank’s Oversight Project. “Our investigative work continues to expose examples of these groups driving government action.”
As I say in the article, I have no doubt that if Biden wins another term we will actually see prominent conservative commentators arrested on hate crime and terrorism charges. Only real question is which of us do they hit first and try to make an example of.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 24, 2024
Walsh, who drew the ire of Left-wing groups such as the ADL with his popular “What Is A Woman?” documentary film, is described by the ADL as “one of the biggest purveyors of erroneous and harmful narratives surrounding gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary youth.”
The ADL’s transformation away from an anti-Semitism-focused organization is pegged by many to its elevation in 2015 of Jonathan Greenblatt, a partisan Democrat who has worked to broaden its focus. Greenblatt, who worked for both President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, has turned the organization into a partisan group. In 2018, for example, he used the ADL to fight the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, on grounds that had nothing to do with anti-Semitism or even broad hate.