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Eric Hananoki

Author ››› Eric Hananoki
  • Fox News host Pete Hegseth received money for event with GOP candidate then repeatedly interviewed him for the network

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Fox News host Pete Hegseth was paid roughly $10,000 by Republicans in Michigan to speak at a fundraising event with then-Senate candidate John James. Fox News then allowed Hegseth to repeatedly interview James and promote his candidacy on its network.

    Hegseth, a Republican who has said that he doesn’t consider himself a journalist, co-hosts Fox & Friends Weekend. ​The Washington Post reported in March that “Hegseth has been a confidant of Trump’s, who watches his Fox News show and frequently calls him to discuss veterans’ policy.” On Fox & Friends, Hegseth interviewed Trump during a rally to support Republican candidates ahead of the midterm elections.

    Fox News recently claimed that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” which is a blatant lie. In reality, Fox News personalities regularly appear at events for candidates and political parties and sometimes get paid to do them. Media Matters reported last month that Fox News host Jeanine Pirro received more than $200,000 in speaking fees from 13 Republican organizations in the past two years. Other Fox News personalities who have headlined GOP events since President Donald Trump took office include hosts Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Greg Gutfeld, and contributors Sebastian Gorka and Karl Rove

    Hegseth has also cashed in on the Republican speaker circuit: The Livingston County Republican Committee in Michigan paid him to keynote its May 24 Lincoln Day Dinner.

    James was the event’s master of ceremonies and introduced Hegseth to the crowd. In his introduction, James noted his own appearances on Fox & Friends and praised Hegseth as “one of the best in the business.” While on stage at the event, Hegseth called James “the real deal” and told the audience to “do whatever you can” to support him.

    According to records from the Michigan Department of State, the Livingston County GOP paid a total of $10,239.55 in fees and costs to Premiere Speakers Bureau, which represents Hegseth, between February 7 and July 18 of this year.

    Despite that clear conflict of interest, Hegseth repeatedly interviewed James on Fox & Friends Weekend. In the runup to Election Day, Hegseth interviewed James on July 28, September 9, October 14, and October 28. Hegseth did not state during those interviews that he had received money from the Livingston County Republican Party.

    Hegseth used those interviews to repeatedly promote James’ unsuccessful campaign and tout his purported strength as a candidate. For instance:

    • On September 9, Hegseth told James that his race is “one to watch, for sure, largely because of a strong candidacy you’re running.”
    • On October 14, Hegseth told James that “whatever you’re doing is working, according to the polls, and I don’t always believe [polling].” Echoing the candidate’s own talking point, Hegseth later asked James: “What is the most important fresh perspective that is resonating with people in your state?”
    • On October 28, Hegseth suggested that James was “closing the gap against his Democratic opponent,” telling him that his message “seems to be resonating in your race” based on “recent poll numbers in the Michigan Senate race” which showed James “trailing by, you know, seven points, which is a lot less than where you were, and if you consider the margin of error, it could even be closer than that.” 

    A request for comment to Fox News was not returned.

  • Daily Caller reporter appeared on shows hosted by white nationalist and pushed Pizzagate conspiracy theory

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Daily Caller reporter Andrew Kerr repeatedly appeared on shows hosted by a white nationalist and pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

    The conservative publication has had numerous problems with staffers and contributors who have associated themselves with the white nationalist movement. Editor Scott Greer left the publication this year after The Atlantic’s Rosie Gray reported that he had been “writing as ‘Michael McGregor’ for Radix, the online publication founded by the ‘alt-right’ leader Richard Spencer, who wants to turn America into a white ethno-state.”

    Founder Tucker Carlson, who is no longer involved with the day-to-day operations of the site, has used his Fox News program to echo white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis -- and become a hero to them

    The Daily Caller has also employed people who have pushed Pizzagate. That became an issue when Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, danced with then-staffer and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Martina Markota and others in a Daily Caller-produced video about net neutrality in December 2017 (Markota has since left the site).

    Kerr, an investigative reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation since January 2018, has associated himself with both the white nationalist movement and the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. He ran a website called The Citizens Audit, which was primarily focused on attacking Media Matters and American Bridge 21st Century, which were both founded by David Brock.

    While writing for Citizens Audit, Kerr appeared in several episodes of the online show Reality Calls with host and white nationalist Tara McCarthy. McCarthy is a proponent for the creation of a white ethnostate, claiming on her website “that the solution to reversing the destruction that globalism has wrought on our civilization is ethno-nationalism.” In 2016, Kerr appeared in McCarthy-hosted Reality Calls videos that were published on December 14, December 15, December 16, and December 30.

    McCarthy later co-hosted the online program Virtue of the West with “alt-rightpersonality Brittany Pettibone. Kerr appeared in a March 30, 2017, Virtue of the West video with McCarthy and Pettibone.

    Kerr might claim he had no knowledge about McCarthy's background. But he could have easily found numerous examples of racism from McCarthy by the time he appeared on her show with Pettibone. For instance:

    • During the period in which Kerr appeared on programs with McCarthy, she also interviewed numerous fellow white nationalists, including American Renaissance leader Jared Taylor; Identity Evropa founder Nathan Damigo; and YouTuber Lana Lokteff.
    • McCarthy wrote on January 1, 2017, after she was banned from posting videos to YouTube for two weeks: “So this is what happens when you try to speak out against white genocide. I will continue to speak out wherever I am able to. The best thing you can do personally to fight white genocide is to have lots of children!”
    • McCarthy wrote on Facebook on January 16, 2017: “#Globalism seeks to create workers and consumers. They don't care about wiping out our ethnic heritage. Is #EthnoNationalism the solution?”
    • McCarthy wrote on Facebook on January 18, 2017: “The people who know that whites are being outnumbered in their own countries yet don't care are the ones who trouble me the most.”
    • McCarthy wrote on Facebook on January 24, 2017: “‘Mexico’s birth rate has declined from 6.8 children per woman in 1970 to about 2 children per woman in 2011.’ Thank goodness. #Demography.”
    • During a March 17, 2017, interview with white nationalist writer Greg Johnson, McCarthy offered support for a white ethnostate using deportation, stating: “OK, so you propose nonviolent means, using mainly financial incentives and legal means such as deporting illegals and things like that to restore the original ethnic makeup of the United States and also European countries. Yeah, and I think that sounds very reasonable, personally.”

    Kerr also made it clear during an appearance on Virtue of the West that he was aware of criticism of the program. In January 2017, co-host Brittany Pettibone attempted to raise money for the program through GoFundMe, but the organization canceled her campaign “because it violated the company’s terms of service, which include rules against promoting hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, terrorism or ‘intolerance of any kind.’”

    Kerr defended Pettibone during a March appearance, telling her: “Somebody just accused you of what -- being a white nationalist -- and that was enough to get GoFundMe to prevent you from, you know, spreading your thoughts and ideas. Yeah, it’s absurd.” Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt wrote in October 2017 that Pettibone “has expressed white nationalist views, such as that it’s ‘our fault’ if white people become a minority race. She uses her platform to host even more unabashed white nationalists and has appeared on extremist outlets like Red Ice. Pettibone has also perpetuated ‘white genocide’ and ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theories.”

    Pizzagate is the lie that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign trafficked children through the Washington, D.C., pizzeria Comet Ping Pong. A North Carolina man who wanted to “self-investigate” the conspiracy theory traveled to the restaurant and fired a rifle inside on December 4, 2016 (he is now serving a four-year prison sentence).

    Kerr helped fuel the Pizzagate conspiracy theory in a video posted on December 15, 2016 -- less than two weeks after the shooting. During that video -- headlined,“Is ‘Media Matters’ Involved in #Pizzagate?” -- McCarthy said that “Comet Ping Pong, owned by James Alefantis, still links to Media Matters. So it’s a -- these guys are all connected. This is related to Pizzagate, although not directly.”

    In the interview, Kerr first attempted to flimsily cover himself by saying that “everything with Pizzagate, I really can’t talk to that,” and later adding, “I’m not going to make any accusations without, you know, any, you know, really solid evidence.” But he responded directly to McCarthy when she talked about Pizzagate, stating that “you can draw a direct connection from Media Matters to anything that’s been coming out,” adding that “now all the key players from Pizzagate that I’m seeing, they can all be linked, they’re one degree of separation away from Media Matters. And Media Matters and their related organizations has spent thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars over the years in catering fees for Comet Pizza.”

    He then called for an investigation of Media Matters’ finances by citing Pizzagate, stating: "If Media Matters’ book of business is open, and authorities can look at their transactions on a granular level, that means that they’re going to be looking at those transactions to Comet Ping Pong on a granular level. And so if you’re more interested in the Pizzagate angle to this, this is a really good shot."

    Toward the end of the video, McCarthy said, “Media Matters is an evil company,” and told her followers to do “whatever we can do to take them down.”

    Kerr returned to pushing the Pizzagate conspiracy theory with McCarthy in another Reality Calls video, which posted on December 15, 2016. He claimed of Media Matters: “They have connections to Pizzagate, which you’ve been following.”

    The Daily Caller also employs video columnist Stephanie Hamill, who repeatedly pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory on her Twitter account. She deleted those tweets after Media Matters documented them.

  • Fox host Jeanine Pirro has banked more than $200K speaking at GOP events since Trump's inauguration

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Fox News host Jeanine Pirro has received more than $200,000 in speaking fees from 13 Republican organizations in the past two years, according to a Media Matters analysis.

    The network recently lied by claiming it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.” In reality, Fox News personalities have routinely participated in Republicans events such as fundraisers and rallies.

    Perhaps the most prolific campaigner for Republicans is Pirro, the host of the weekend show Justice with Judge Jeanine. Pirro has positioned herself as one of President Donald Trump’s most sycophantic backers in the media. She has ​reportedly attempted to cash in her on-air advocacy for a senior job in the Trump administration.

    Pirro has also turned her pro-Trump advocacy into a lucrative side business as a paid speaker for Republican events. Fox News has no apparent problem with her and other personalities such as Fox News host Pete Hegseth and contributor Sebastian Gorka getting paid by Republican organizations; in one case, a Republican committee sent a payment directly to Pirro at Fox News’ New York City headquarters.

    Here is a list of 13 events that Pirro has done since 2017, along with the amount of money she or her speaking agency, Premiere Speakers Bureau, received in speaking fees near the time of the event. The data was obtained through a search of available campaign finance reports posted on state and federal databases.

    • Scott Wagner for Governor in Pennsylvania (October 10): $35,000. (Note: Initial reports documented that Wagner paid Pirro $24,500; an additional payment of $10,500 was made public following those reports.)
    • Kern County Republican Party in California (March 16): $25,000
    • Sangamon County Republican Central Committee in Illinois (February 8): $13,250
    • New Jersey Republican State Committee (Pirro received a “speaker’s fee” in January, February, and March of 2018 for an “event”; Media Matters wasn’t able to determine which event she did, and the committee did not respond to a request for clarification.): $15,000
    • Alachua County Republican Party in Florida (November 9, 2017): $15,000
    • California Republican Party (October 21, 2017): $20,000
    • Volusia County Republican Party in Florida (October 8, 2017): $20,000; separately, Pirro also received $442.35 for "books."
    • Republican Party of Arkansas (July 28, 2017): $15,000
    • Bonneville County GOP in Idaho (March 31, 2017): $14,000; separately, Pirro also received $2,204.42 for “airfare and hotel.”
    • Republican Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth in Pennsylvania (March 20, 2017): $5,284; separately, Pirro also received $240.90 for "transportation expenses."
    • Georgia Republican Party (March 13, 2017): $15,000; separately, Pirro also received $261.38 for “travel fees.”
    • Erie County Republican Committee in New York (March 9, 2017): $7,579.34
    • Kent County Republican Committee in Delaware (February 18, 2017): $12,000 (via SENR PAC, which is the campaign committee of the Delaware Senate Republicans).

    Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Updated: A guide to discredited conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has reportedly been questioning right-wing writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi as part of his Russia investigation. Corsi has a long history of producing false research, and he was instrumental in pushing the lie that former President Barack Obama supposedly has a fake birth certificate.

  • Fox claims it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.” That's a brazen lie.

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    In response to controversy over Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro campaigning with President Donald Trump, the network claimed that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events. … This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”

    Fox’s statement is a lie.

    Sean Hannity has previously participated in campaign events this year

    Hannity’s participation at the Trump event was not the first time the Fox host has done a campaign event this year. During the summer, he participated in campaign events with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis.

    In a Facebook ad, Gaetz himself described Hannity as “campaigning with” him at a July event. DeSantis similarly said that Hannity was “on the trail” with him. And here’s a picture of Hannity behind a DeSantis campaign podium:

    Fox News has repeatedly allowed its “talent” to do events for Republicans (and even get paid for them)

    As Media Matters documented earlier this year, Fox News has repeatedly allowed its on-air “talent” to not only participate in Republicans events during Trump's term but also receive compensation for their work.

    The list of Fox News employees who have headlined Republican events includes both contributors such as Sebastian Gorka and Karl Rove; and hosts such as Lou Dobbs, Greg Gutfeld, Pete Hegseth, and Jeanine Pirro.

    Pirro has been particularly active doing events for Republicans. Just last month, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Scott Wagner “paid a grand total of $24,500 to Judge Jeanine Pirro Inc. … Pirro, an ardent defender of the president, spoke at a fundraiser for Mr. Wagner.”

    Here are several images of flyers promoting Fox News “talent” doing campaign events just this year:


    Flyer via The Philadelphia Inquirer

    Fox News has been allowing its on-air personalities to do campaign events for Republicans for years.

    In 2012, Media Matters documented that at least 32 Fox News figures backed Republican causes in more than 300 instances during the 2011-2012 election cycle. Those efforts included Fox figures officially endorsing candidates; advising campaigns; playing key roles in fundraisers and events; recording advertisements and robocalls; and helping direct expenditures to support Republicans and oppose Democrats through Republican-aligned groups.

    In 2010, Media Matters similarly documented that more than 30 Fox News personalities endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or organizations in more than 600 instances.

  • Numerous Republican candidates have been using Sean Hannity in their Facebook ads

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI



    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Sean Hannity hasn't just been airing Republican propaganda on his Fox News program -- he’s also been a prominent feature of online GOP advertisements.

    The right-wing Fox News host appeared as a “special guest” at a November 5 rally with President Donald Trump in Missouri. He used that night’s program to boost Republicans and afterward campaigned on-stage with the president -- despite his previous pledge that he wouldn’t do so.

    Hannity's influence in Republican politics also extends to candidates' ad campaigns. Media Matters searched Facebook’s database of political advertisements and found fourteen Republican campaigns have used Hannity in paid ads since June of this year.

    Those candidates are: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis; New Hampshire congressional candidate Eddie Edwards; Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz; New Jersey congressional candidate Seth Grossman; North Carolina congressional candidate Mark Harris; unsuccessful Virginia congressional candidate Shak Hill; Minnesota Senate candidate Karin Housley; South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster; Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry; Texas state Rep. Dade Phelan; Arizona congressional candidate Wendy Rogers; President Donald Trump; and unsuccessful Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward.

    The advertisements include messages about Hannity supporting and endorsing candidates, hosting them, and appearing at their events.

    In another instance, which is not included in this count, Republican congressional candidate Janice Arnold-Jones of New Mexico paid for an ad that targeted Hannity’s home base of New York and asked the Fox host for “a shout out!”

    Ted Cruz

    Ron DeSantis

    Eddie Edwards

    Matt Gaetz

    Seth Grossman

    Mark Harris

    Shak Hill

    Karin Housley

    Henry McMaster

    Scott Perry

    Dade Phelan

    Wendy Rogers

    Donald Trump

    Kelli Ward

  • Steve King twice promoted a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying website on Twitter

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    In previously unreported tweets, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) promoted a website that advocates for the “geographical separation of the races,” states that Jewish people are conspiring against Europe and the United States, and pushes Holocaust denialism.  

    King is a white supremacist congressman who has a long history of promoting bigoted media, including British neo-Nazi writer Mark Collett; white nationalist website VDare and its founder and editor Peter Brimelow; white nationalist host Lana Lokteff; and anti-Semitic and racist commentator Faith Goldy. In response to increased criticism of the Republican congressman, white supremacist media have been urging their fellow racists to support King.  

    In a January 6, 2017, tweet, King wrote: “Six months to remove all illegal immigrants. Pakistan & Afghanistan doing sweeping deportations. Too hard 4 America?” He then linked to a piece on The New Observer which concluded:

    Furthermore, it seems that when nonwhite nations take steps to close their borders and secure their nations, the controlled media in the West either ignores them or reports it without comment.

    If, however, a white or European nation should dare impose restrictions on illegal immigration, the same controlled media would pillory them as “bigots” and “inhuman.”

    On February 3, King again promoted The New Observer on Twitter, writing: “Four ‘Dreamers’ doing the work that Americans won’t do.” He then linked to a piece headlined “Four ‘Dreamers’ Arrested Smuggling Invaders into US in 1 Week.”

    The New Observer is a virulently anti-Semitic website. Here are some headlines that were posted on the website before King’s February tweet:

    In a February 2016 piece headlined “Jews Push Muslim ‘Refugees’ on US,” the site writes of Jewish people: “Why do Jews all over the world demand that America and Europe accept millions of nonwhite invaders, while at the same time building walls to protect Israel and barring any invaders from entering their country? This obvious Jewish hypocrisy cannot be an accident. It must be malicious -- there is simply no other explanation.”

    Its November 2016 piece headlined “Jews, Muslims Form Alliance against Trump” states: “Jewish-Muslim cooperation against Europeans has a long historical record, most notably during the era of the white-slave trading Barbary States of North Africa.”

    The website's anti-Semitic pieces include attacks on HIAS (which was founded as the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society), a nonprofit humanitarian organization that was repeatedly vilified by the Pittsburgh, PA, synagogue shooter. 

    The New Observer also pushes Holocaust denialism. It heavily promotes The Six Million: Fact or Fiction? by Peter Winter; that book purports to disprove the Holocaust’s death total.

    The site is openly white supremacist and advocates for a separation of the races.

    An August 2014 piece stated: “The uprising in Ferguson is actually only the tip of the iceberg -- and it serves as a prominent warning to whites in America, and all over the globe, that the only path to racial peace lies in physical geographical separation -- and nothing less.”

    A December 2016 piece concluded of “what can be done about the specter of black crime and violence overwhelming America’s urban areas": “The answer to this question is, of course, a political solution which must be based upon a physical geographical separation of the races -- not segregation, nor supremacy, but separation.”

    Here are other white nationalist headlines from the website which were posted prior to King’s tweet:

  • Nevada GOP-backed congressional candidate promotes QAnon video

    The NRA's state association for Nevada also endorses Joyce Bentley

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Republican congressional candidate Joyce Bentley recently tweeted out a “QAnon” conspiracy theory video which claims that “the deep state” occupies “the highest levels of power" and the "cabal" includes members who are part of "a dark and deeply sinister death cult with a strong reliance on symbolism and numerology with levels of cruelty unimaginable to all right-thinking people."

    The Nevada Republican Party’s website includes Bentley in its list of “our” Republican candidates and encourages people to vote for her. She’s also endorsed by the political arm of the Nevada Firearms Coalition, an independent organization that is “affiliated with and recognized by the National Rifle Association” as one of its state associations.

    On October 17, Bentley tweeted out a YouTube video with the title “Q -- We Are The Plan” by the account “Storm Is Upon Us.” Both phrases are references to “QAnon” or “The Storm,” a sprawling and nonsensical conspiracy theory which claims that an anonymous government official with “Q” clearance has been leaving clues online about President Donald Trump’s actions against the so-called “deep state” and its alleged activities, including child trafficking. The “Storm Is Upon Us” account contains other videos dedicated to QAnon, including one video that says various political figures would have been "hung ... for treason" by the Founding Fathers.

    Media Matters has documented right-wing media figures who have helped spread the conspiracy theory online. QAnon surfaced in the news during the summer when a man who was reportedly influenced by the conspiracy theory drove an armored truck to the Hoover Dam and blocked traffic on the nearby Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge (he is now facing terrorism charges).

    The video Joyce Bentley promoted on Twitter contains numerous conspiracy theories. Here are some of the claims in the video:

    • “Our world has been under the growing influence of a vast transgenerational criminal mafia that was able to rise up to the highest levels of power. … Through a system of threats, blackmail, and bribery, they would come to occupy the highest levels of power in government, corporations, and education. You may know them as the deep state, or cabal.”
    • “Most dangerously of all," members of the deep state "achieved almost total influence over the media -- their primary means of controlling the good people of the world who were just trying to get on with living.”
    • “There was no way to continue without a plan to eliminate all threats to their survival, even if it meant imposing a single world government under their jurisdiction -- where no national identity, police force, or military could stop them. They called it globalism.”
    • “Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal funded [Barack] Obama’s Harvard education and took power by proxy, picking his entire cabinet while buying vast quantities of control in our largest media companies.“
    • "The western faction of the cabal was different. It was another kind of sick all together: a dark and deeply sinister death cult with a strong reliance on symbolism and numerology with levels of cruelty unimaginable to all right-thinking people. The reach and scale this secret society had achieved would have sent destabilizing shockwaves across the world were it ever to be publicly exposed.”

    The video also includes violent and conspiratorial images; for example:




    Media Matters has previously documented numerous Republican officials and candidates who have ties to conspiratorial media figures and social media groups. (In some instances, local Republican officials reversed their backing after news surfaced that the candidates were pushing conspiracy theories.) In July, a Twitter account for the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee of Florida tweeted out (and later deleted) a video promoting QAnon.

  • Rep. Dave Brat appeared in conspiracy theory-filled Alex Jones interview and praised him for “educating people”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    When Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) wanted publicity for his new book, he gave an interview to Alex Jones and helped him push conspiracy theories about Muslims and refugees. He also praised the conspiracy theorist for “educating people,” and asked Jones’ audience to visit his website.

    Jones is one of the nation’s most toxic media personalities, having claimed that the U.S. government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and the tragedies at Columbine, Oklahoma City, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon, among others. Jones’ dangerous rhetoric has gotten him banned from numerous platforms, and he is also being sued by families of the Sandy Hook victims for defamation. Jones has repeatedly pushed lies and smears about the December 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, CT, including claiming that the shooting has “inside job written all over it” and it was “synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured.”

    Despite widespread knowledge about Jones’ dangerous and violent rhetoric, Brat appeared on the June 28, 2016, edition of The Alex Jones Show to promote his book, which was released that day. Writer Brian Tashman documented Brat’s appearance at the time for Right Wing Watch.

    Brat praised Jones, telling him at the conclusion of the interview that he’s “educating people.” Jones also celebrated Brat, calling him a “true populist” and “one of the best up there.”

    Brat and Jones exchanged conspiratorial and anti-Muslim rhetoric. While summarizing an Evening Standard of London article, Jones falsely claimed that London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim, said “we’re going to start bringing in Sharia law, basically” and was being “seditious.” Jones then claimed that he sees “the left truly allied with Islam, with orthodox, which is aggressive, jihad Islam. … I’m sorry, [then-President Barack] Obama and others have allied with it. Am I wrong, congressman? What’s going on here?” Brat replied: “No, you nailed it but there’s some severe splits and contradictions coming up on the left."

    Responding to Brat’s remark that “the leftists are taking control,” Jones told him that “Hitler was a socialist. You can call him a fascist, but whatever. He came from the left, a command-and-control guy. So was Stalin. ... The left, historically -- look at the French Revolution, it was a nightmare. They just run around murdering people. I don’t know what’s wrong with them.” Brat replied that "getting rid of history in the K-12 agenda right now is one of the most troubling things.”

    Jones also told Brat that “Obama orders Border Patrol to ship in TB (tuberculosis),” and refugees coming into the country “just get released to Democratic Party facilities.” Brat replied that he's “been following in Virginia. We’re keeping our eyes on several facilities in my own 7th district.”

    The Republican congressman continued: “Our government is demand-driven, right? I mean, ultimately, the citizens have to get fed-up. And so -- you’re educating people. I’m educating -- that's what’s got to happen. And we [have] got to educate the next generation that you've got to put up a fight if you would like to keep living in this country the way it is.”

    Brat's website address was prominently featured on-screen and was promoted at the conclusion of the interview.

    Media Matters previously documented that in 2015, Brat promoted white nationalist website VDare's praise of his anti-immigrant amendment on his Twitter account.

    Then-candidate Donald Trump appeared on Jones’ program in 2015 and praised his “amazing” reputation. This January, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also appeared on Jones program -- months later, and following criticism, Gaetz said he wouldn’t go back on the show.

  • Steve King says he's repeatedly talked to white nationalist commentator Faith Goldy and taken her "through a lot of philosophy"

    King: White nationalist "is a derogatory term today. I wouldn’t have thought so maybe a year, or two, or three ago"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said that he has talked with white nationalist commentator Faith Goldy “a number of times” and "took her through a lot of philosophy." 

    King endorsed Goldy’s mayoral bid in an October 16 tweet. She lost the October 22 election, coming in third place. Goldy is an open white nationalist and anti-Semite. For instance:

    • Last year, Goldy went on a program affiliated with the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. Her employer, the Canadian-based company Rebel Media, fired her as a result of her appearance.
    • Goldy stated during an interview with “far-right YouTuber Stefan Molyneux that neo-Nazis offer ‘robust’ and ‘well thought-out ideas’ about the ‘JQ,’ a.k.a., the ‘Jewish question,’ a common anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish people controlling many aspects of society,” as The Daily Beast’s Pilar Melendez wrote.
    • Goldy “recited and defended the ‘14 Words’ white supremacist slogan and said the ‘pervasiveness of homosexuality’ enabled Nazi Germany. Goldy has recommended literature that advocates for the ‘elimination of Jews’ and has pulled supporters from local extremist groups to work her campaign for mayor,” as Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt wrote.

    King defended his endorsement of Goldy during an appearance on the October 21 edition of WHO’s The Insiders with Dave Price, claiming that she’s a “legitimate candidate.”

    The Iowa congressman expanded on his ties to Goldy, stating that “she and I have talked a number of times. Face to face, not."

    When asked if Goldy is a white supremacist, King replied: "I don't know that. I have not seen the evidence of that. Nothing came out in our conversations that would have indicated that. And I took her through a lot of philosophy, this was over the phone. We have mutual friends. I've asked some of those questions." 

    King additionally said that white nationalist "is a derogatory term today. I wouldn’t have thought so maybe a year, or two, or three ago. But today they use it in a derogatory term and they imply, it implies that you’re a racist.”

    King has a long history of pushing bigotry, including tweeting that anti-Muslim European politician Gert “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”; promoting a tweet from British neo-Nazi Mark Collett; retweeting white nationalist host Lana Lokteff; and promoting the white nationalist site VDare and praising its founder and editor Peter Brimelow.

    Recently, as HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias and Nick Robins-Early reported, King gave an interview to a far-right Austrian propaganda site in which he “discussed his belief in the superiority of European culture over others. He talked fearfully of falling fertility rates in the West and spoke at length about his belief that Europe and America are threatened by Muslim and Latino immigration.”

    Mathias also noted in a July article headlined “Steve King Is A White Supremacist, And The GOP Doesn’t Care” (after King had retweeted Collett): “It’s not surprising that the eight-term congressman from Iowa retweeted a neo-Nazi. King has a long history of making terrible, bigoted comments. … What is surprising, and concerning, is that a sitting U.S. congressman can unapologetically promote a neo-Nazi’s propaganda on Twitter without real political consequence. Over the past month, none of King’s fellow Republicans have pushed to censure him or expel him from Congress. None have called for him to resign. Mostly, they have stayed quiet.”