Fox News' Andrew Napolitano defended Jack Hunter, an aide to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), by downplaying his history of "neo-Confederate" and "pro-secessionist" views as speaking "favorably on states' rights."
After conservative blog Free Beacon revealed that Hunter "spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist," Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano defended Hunter in a post on his blog, calling him a "brilliant" and "gifted aide" who "possesses profound intellectual honesty." Napolitano claimed that Hunter's only "sin" was "having spoken favorably of states' rights:
Jack's sin in their eyes was having spoken favorably of states' rights, and negatively of Lincoln. They can't seem to recognize that states' rights--even secession--does not equal racism; it constitutes a brake on the feds' march to totalitarianism. Most modern day states' rights advocates recognize the sovereignty of the states and their inherent ability to nullify and avoid federal violations of the Constitution in order to protect life and liberty from an overgrown, intrusive federal leviathan that literally now interferes in or spies on every facet of our lives. And most historians and legal scholars who appreciate personal liberty and limited government recognize that the history of Lincoln's assaults on civil liberties is a topic capable of divergent views and worthy of exposure.
The Free Beacon reported that Hunter, who also worked as a South Carolina radio host for more than a decade and called himself the "Southern Avenger," often wore a mask emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag during public appearances. According to the Free Beacon, he has chaired the secessionist group League of the South, advocated white pride, disparaged Hispanic immigration to the United States, and supported the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth.
Napolitano has hosted Hunter on the Fox Business program Freedom Watch to discuss Senator Paul without acknowledging that Hunter worked for Paul.
Hunter has been featured in other right-wing media outlets as well. He has written more than 50 articles for The Daily Caller, regularly appeared on Fox Business, and helped author books with then-Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Paul.
Napolitano has defended extreme positions in the past, including 9-11 truther conspiracies, once claiming on Alex Jones' radio show, it's "hard for me to believe that" World Trade Center Building 7 "came down by itself."