Christian Science Monitor failed to note Minuteman Project volunteer's white supremacist ties

In a May 2 article chronicling the Minuteman Project's efforts to patrol a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border, The Christian Science Monitor described Minuteman volunteer Joe McCutchen as “a retired pilot” who donated his time and money to man a lookout post on the Arizona/Mexico border eight hours a day for two weeks. But the article's portrayal of a man dedicated to the Minuteman “vigil” -- spending “14 days in a folding chair, buffeted by wind storms, face-cutting sand, freezing cold, and scorching sun” -- failed to include information that seems relevant to his motivation: his connection to two white supremacist organizations.

Monitor staff writer Daniel B. Wood quoted McCutchen describing “a new sense of compassion for the illegals who are being exploited by both countries,” but Wood did not report McCutchen's association with the Council of Conservative Citizens and American Renaissance, despite a January 27 Associated Press report exposing these ties.

The Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the “successor of the old White Citizens Council,” listed McCutchen as a member in a 2001 CCC publication. While McCutchen has denied that he was ever a member, he does not deny that he spoke on a panel at a 2001 anti-immigration forum CCC held in North Carolina, as the AP reported. The Southern Poverty Law Center has noted that the CCC has described blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.” CCC's national website currently features an article titled “David Yeagley speaks on miscegenation,” in which Yeagley states that “Love of race is the only 'saving grace' left in the world” and calls for an end to further mixing of the races. The site also features an advertisement for “White Pride T-Shirts,” with CCC listing the t-shirt group as a sponsor.

McCutchen has lobbied for anti-immigrant legislation proposed by Arkansas state senator Jim Holt, but Holt said he plans to “distance himself” from McCutchen, apparently as a result of McCutchen's alleged ties to CCC, according to an April 24 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette report. He appeared with McCutchen on the State Capitol steps in Little Rock in January to announce the formation of anti-immigrantion lobbying group Protect America Now, which McCutchen chairs. Following the Southern Poverty Law Center's statement that McCutchen had been involved with the CCC, Holt told McCutchen to “step back” from Holt's proposed legislation in order to “make sure the bill is not going to be hurt because you're [McCutchen] attached to it.”

McCutchen also has ties to American Renaissance, a print publication listed as a hate sheet by the Southern Poverty Law Center. McCutchen has acknowledged that he wrote a letter to the paper's editor asking its readers for money to help defeat then-U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI). The AP reported that McCutchen disagreed with Abraham's support for expanding entry visas to foreign high-tech workers.

Further, McCutchen trotted out several old anti-Semitic canards in two June 2003 letters to the editor of the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Times-Record, in which he stated that the “the central government, banking, media (radio/TV/print) and entertainment are controlled by Jews” and that “American and international Jews own the world monetary system.”

McCutchen was also mentioned as a Minuteman Project volunteer in an April 14 MSNBC article, an April 12 Ventura County Star report (registration required), an April 22 Los Angeles Times report, and an April 1 report on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight -- none of which mentioned McCutchen's connections to white supremacist groups or his anti-Semitic statements.