NBC offered far-right columnist Steve Sailer a platform to attack Hollywood

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

During an NBC Nightly News report on the increase in "serious" movies that involve current issues and topics, right-wing columnist Steve Sailer was quoted as a "critic" upset over "a lack of diversity of political opinions in Hollywood"; however, the report omitted any mention of Sailer's controversial associations, including his writing for VDARE.com -- the right-wing website that publishes the work of "white nationalists."

During a January 21 NBC Nightly News report on the increase in "serious" movies that involve current issues and topics, NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander aired a clip of right-wing columnist Steve Sailer as a "critic" upset over "a lack of diversity of political opinions in Hollywood," but omitted any mention of Sailer's controversial associations and past statements that might shed light on the precise views Sailer believes have been neglected. While Alexander identified Sailer in his report only as a film critic for The American Conservative magazine, Sailer also writes for the right-wing website VDARE.com -- which publishes the work of "white nationalists," in the words of the site's editor. In the report, Sailer said, "Hollywood's got to start getting on the boat. They've got to do some research, they've got to think about the fact that the whole world doesn't see the world the way they do, that they are off on this little island."

Alexander also omitted that, as Media Matters for America has noted, Sailer has written in defense of the Pioneer Fund, an organization designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its support of the work of white supremacists, eugenicists, and others dedicated to proving the genetic superiority of certain races. Sailer additionally describes himself on his website as "founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute," which claims that it "promotes the study of biological differences among humans and their impact on society"; the SPLC has described the institute as a "neo-eugenics outfit."

In a December 11 VDARE.com column on Jews and Christmas, Sailer stated that "American Jews, those exemplars of successful assimilation now seem to be de-assimilating emotionally, becoming increasingly resentful, at this late date, of their fellow Americans for celebrating Christmas." He further quoted approvingly from a December 7 column by Burt Prelutsky on the conservative news website WorldNetDaily: "[T]he dirty little secret in America is that anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society -- it's been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity." Sailer further wrote that, like the Jews, African-Americans were also "de-assimilating," as evidenced by which sports they chose to participate in:

African-Americans have similarly been de-assimilating too, losing interest in facets of American culture that they can't dominate. For example, in sports, blacks have largely stopped playing baseball, the national pastime, in order to concentrate more on the sports where they have a larger competitive advantage: football and, especially, basketball.

As Media Matters has noted, VDARE.com is named for Virginia Dare, the first child of English descent born in the New World in the 16th century. The site's FAQ page contains two links: one to an explanation of its name and one titled "How can I report an illegal alien?" A search for the word "white" on VDARE will return articles with headlines such as "Do White Men Need Their Own Political Party?" "White Americans: Second-Class Citizens," "No Democracy For Whites in the New America," and "No Equal Protection for Whites?" Peter Brimelow, who operates the site through his nonprofit organization, the Center for American Unity, wrote that "VDARE.COM is obviously not a 'White Supremacist' site, if for no other reason than that it publishes non-whites. We do publish writers who could fairly be described as 'white nationalists,' in that they explicitly defend the interests of American whites." The site has also published the work of Kevin MacDonald, who appeared as a character witness for Holocaust denier David Irving when he unsuccessfully sued a critic for libel during a 2000 trial in Britain. In a November 5, 2005, review of Yuri Slezkine's book The Jewish Century (Princeton University Press, 2004), MacDonald wrote:

Slezkine also ignores the extent to which Jewish competition may have suppressed -- arguably sometimes reversed -- the formation of a native middle class in Eastern Europe. He seems instead to simply assume the locals lacked the abilities required.

But the fact is that in most of Western Europe Jews were expelled in the Middle Ages. And, as a result, when modernization occurred, it was accomplished with an indigenous middle class. Perhaps the Christian taxpayers of England made a good investment in their own future when they agreed to pay King Edward I a massive tax of £116,346 in return for expelling 2000 Jews in 1290. If, as in Eastern Europe, Jews had won the economic competition in most of these professions, there might not have been a non-Jewish middle class in England.

From the January 21 broadcast of NBC's Nightly News, with anchor John Seigenthaler:

SEIGENTHALER: NBC News "In Depth" tonight: "Follow the money" is a truism in Hollywood just as it is in tracking a political scandal. If serious movies start translating into big box-office hits and big bucks, there will inevitably be more serious movies in the production pipeline. Is that starring to happen now? Here's NBC's Peter Alexander.

ALEXANDER: Star-studded Hollywood, where the most frequently asked question is often "who's wearing what," has many moviegoers these days wondering, "What gives?" as filmmakers appear to be on a more thought-provoking phase.

[clip from Brokeback Mountain]

ALEXANDER: Movies Brokeback Mountain and The Constant Gardener, both produced by film divisions of NBC Universal, as well as Syriana, were honored at this week's Golden Globe awards. They tackle weighty issues like hatred, poverty, and greed.

[clip from Syriana]

ALEXANDER: And while the stars gather this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, the tone of many new releases remains serious.

[clip from Syriana]

ALEXANDER: Ricky Strauss is president of Participant Productions, behind Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck.

[clip from Good Night, and Good Luck]

ALEXANDER: The company says its goal is making movies that not only make a profit but make a difference.

RICKY STRAUSS (president of Participant Productions): There's a social return on our investment and a financial return on our investment. Thus, the double bottom line.

ALEXANDER: So far, most of these films are finding an audience. Brokeback Mountain has already doubled its production costs, with Good Night, and Good Luck so far quadrupling the $7 million it cost to make.

HENRY SHEEHAN (president, Los Angeles Film Critics Association): It's very voguish to be heavy-thinking in Hollywood because it's always very voguish to be making money. Plus, you have first-rank directors, top actors that are happy to attach themselves to these projects.

ALEXANDER: Among them George Clooney, one of the most powerful men in moviemaking.

CLOONEY: The last couple of years I've been -- we've been more politically interested in a lot of issues.

ALEXANDER: But critics charge there's a lack of diversity of political opinions in Hollywood, that moviemakers are out of touch with most of America.

SAILER: Hollywood's got to start getting on the boat. They've got to do some research, they've got to think about the fact that the whole world doesn't see the world the way they do, that they are off on this little island.

ALEXANDER: Still, for now, Hollywood continues on its course, and all sides agree ultimately it's the audience that dictates which movies are made. Peter Alexander, NBC News, Los Angeles.

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