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Eric Hananoki

Author ››› Eric Hananoki
  • 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.”

  • White nationalist writer says he’s a canvasser for Brian Kemp

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    A white nationalist writer who says he’s a canvasser for the gubernatorial campaign of Georgia Republican Brian Kemp is calling on voters to elect Kemp because, as he writes in a post on VDare, “I know everything I need to know about what happens when blacks are in charge from Detroit, Haiti, South Africa, etc.” Kemp is running against Democrat and former state House minority leader Stacey Abrams, who would be the country’s first Black female governor if elected.

    VDare is a white nationalist site that publishes commentary pieces by numerous racists, bigots, and anti-Semites. 

    Kemp, who is also Georgia’s secretary of state, has been running a racist voter disenfranchisement effort that has disproportionately targeted Black voters.

    In two pieces published this month on VDare, writer Nathan Doyle described himself as a canvasser for Kemp in the Atlanta area and documented his campaign experiences. It’s not immediately clear if Nathan Doyle is a pseudonym; the screen name for Doyle’s email address is “namelesswriter” and in 2015, editor Peter Brimelow indicated that most writers at the site use pseudonyms. 

    Both of Doyle’s pieces are full of racism. In an October 2 piece, he stated that Abrams “simply must be stopped,” writing: “I know everything I need to know about what happens when blacks are in charge from Detroit, Haiti, South Africa, etc.” In an October 22 piece, Doyle similarly wrote about politics: “As usual, the Left understands the racial dynamics ... while the clueless GOP/GAP insists upon feigning ‘colorblindness’ and quacking about the economy. As a canvasser for Kemp in the Atlanta area, I’ve seen the results. They’re food for thought.”

    Doyle added that “blue” and “red” voters should “come together in defense of their shared whiteness” because “White Americans of all walks of life, like it or not, are in this demographic fight together.” He also called unmarried women “the white race’s foremost traitors” and wrote that “although Brian Kemp is likely to win this year’s Georgia gubernatorial race, he would not be able to in twenty years -- unless America’s post-1965 immigration disaster is abruptly ended.”

    From the October 22 piece:

    Overall, the issue that jumps out at me as I canvass: the need to find a way for the cultural alcoves of “Blue America” and “Red America” to come together in defense of their shared whiteness.

    Both camps stand to lose a lot under any kind of anti-white Marxian regime. For example, Communist and Islamic governments treat both Christianity and homosexuals with great contempt, to say the least. Mass Hispanic and/or Muslim immigration and rampant black crime threaten both Blue America’s quiet neighborhoods, filled with overpriced coffee shops and artisanal trinket shops, and Red America’s bucolic swathes of rural farmland.

    Put another way: Vermont and Wyoming would suffer equally if flooded with, say, 70,000 Syrians, 50,000 Nicaraguans, and 60,000 Nigerians in the span of a few years. An overpopulated America of Third Worlders will see the quality of public parks ruined right along with its public schools. White Americans of all walks of life, like it or not, are in this demographic fight together.

    In the decades to come, as the white share of the population continues to dwindle, it will become more and more necessary for whites to vote as a block. This will necessitate candidates who walk a fine line on a number of cultural and economic issues while standing firm on everything racial: immigration, crime, Affirmative Action, Section Eight housing, etc. That will mean substantially moderating GOP positions on environmental questions, economic regulations, homosexual issues, and diehard “small government is always best” rhetoric.

    Because, although Brian Kemp is likely to win this year’s Georgia gubernatorial race, he would not be able to in twenty years—unless America’s post-1965 immigration disaster is abruptly ended.

    Someone who might though, would be a white candidate, who although as anti-immigrant and anti-crime as Kemp, attracted centrist whites and unmarried women (the white race’s foremost traitors) through policies favoring student loan forgiveness, expanded public transit, and more money for environmental preservation efforts.

  • Candidate dropped by national GOP over racism hires consultant who advised businesses to avoid Black neighborhoods

    Sean Hannity is also trying to save Seth Grossman’s floundering campaign

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    After national Republicans abandoned right-wing pundit Seth Grossman's congressional campaign over his promotion of white nationalist propaganda, the New Jersey Republican hired a political consultant who has repeatedly advised people to avoid opening businesses in Black neighborhoods.

    In July, the National Republican Congressional Committee dropped its support for Grossman shortly after Media Matters documented that he shared white nationalist propaganda, including an opinion piece claiming that Black people “are a threat to all who cross their paths.” Grossman, who is running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo, has pushed numerous other bigoted comments in his career as a commentator.  

    According to his latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) report, Grossman paid Atlantic Media & Research $5,000 for “strategic consulting” on September 17. Atlantic Media & Research is a North Carolina-based company run by Republican consultant Rick Shaftan.

    Reporters have documented that Shaftan has a history of making racist remarks.

    The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill reported on July 29 that Shaftan “tweeted that three majority-black U.S. cities were ‘shitholes’ and repeatedly warned against opening businesses in black neighborhoods.” From her piece:

    Shaftan, who runs communications for [Virginia Republican Senate candidate Corey] Stewart, has for years publicly disparaged black people on Twitter.

    “Crazed black people looting a liquor store is the ultimate racist stereotype. #Ferguson,” he tweeted in 2014 after the unrest following a white police officer’s killing of a black teenager. “After #Ferguson, only a fool would start, finance or insure a business in a black neighborhood,” he tweeted again. After violence in Baltimore following the death of a black man at the hands of police, Shaftan tweeted “The message out of Ferguson and Baltimore is a simple one: DON'T OPEN A BUSINESS IN A BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD!”

    Responding to the news of a robbery in 2011, Shaftan wrote in a now-deleted tweet: “Another reason why white people (and Asians and Latinos) don't want to live with black people. #TheTruthHurts #Reality”

    Weill noted that Shaftan also twice “called the NAACP ‘the Black KKK, only more violent and dangerous.’”

    CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie reported on August 1 that Shaftan “used the term ‘house negro’ to criticize the GOP establishment and disparaged prominent Civil Rights figures John Lewis and Rosa Parks.”

    They additionally wrote that Shaftan referred to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, "the first Sikh to hold the office, as ‘Turban Man,’ a term for which two local radio hosts were suspended” in July

    Grossman isn't the only Republican candidate working with Shaftan in recent months.

    According to FEC records, Arizona Republican and congressional candidate Wendy Rogers has paid tens of thousands of dollars to Shaftan’s company for polling. The payments have continued even after media reports have come out about Shaftan’s racism.

    Shaftan has also done work for neo-Confederate and Virginia GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart, who has numerous ties to white nationalists.

    Though national Republicans have “written off” Grossman’s race, Fox News host Sean Hannity is still holding out hope for retaining the seat.

    During his October 16 Fox News show, while running through “10 more of the House races that will decide the fate of the country,” Hannity said that Grossman is “in an extremely tough race against Democrat Jeff Van Drew. Yes, New Jersey matters.” Grossman picked up Hannity’s comment and promoted it on his campaign website and in a fundraising email.

  • Nevada GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian will hold fundraiser with Vegas shooting conspiracy theorist Roger Stone

    Stone is a misogynist and racist who is being investigated by Robert Mueller

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Nevada congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian is set to attend a fundraiser with misogynist and racist dirty trickster Roger Stone. Stone is a conspiracy theorist who has speculated that the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting was a botched government gun-running operation and the shooter was a government agent.

    Stone is set to be the "special guest" at an October 29 fundraiser in Palm Beach, FL, for Tarkanian. The Republican is running to represent Nevada's 3rd District, which includes a portion of Las Vegas. Tarkanian bizarrely told Axios that "he 'didn’t know' Stone would be there because he doesn’t plan the events." 

    Stone is a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump and works as a paid host for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network. Special counsel Robert Mueller has been closely examining Stone’s activities related to the 2016 election. Stone has repeatedly lied or contradicted himself regarding matters related to the Russia probe.

    Jones and his Infowars network have spread conspiracy theories about numerous tragedies, including wild and irresponsible claims about the October 1, 2017, shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and hundreds more wounded. Jones has said that the shooting was “as phony as a three dollar bill or as Obama’s birth certificate” and “has the hallmarks of being scripted by deep state Democrats and their Islamic allies.”

    Stone has also forwarded conspiracy theories about the Vegas shooting. During an October 4 appearance on Infowars, Stone said the shooting “is beginning to smell more and more like some kind of gun-running operation. Isn’t it odd that this fellow has no history whatsoever of any social media contact? That would be typical of a government agent, an FBI agent, for example, or a DEA agent.”

    ROGER STONE: I think you put it right in the first, in the opening here, this is beginning to smell more and more like some kind of gun-running operation. Isn’t it odd that this fellow has no history whatsoever of any social media contact? That would be typical of a government agent, an FBI agent, for example, or a DEA agent. That he has no record as a gun enthusiast, yet he has a veritable arsenal in his room, an arsenal no one saw him bring in, and no one saw him bring ammunition or any of the other necessary pieces, the elaborate filming apparatus, and so on. How very strange. And then we track him undeniably to an anti-Trump rally, actually, two different anti-Trump rallies, two different events. I think that that’s a pattern --

    ALEX JONES (HOST): This is like Lee Harvey Oswald at the communist rallies.

    STONE: Well, it very well. He could have been put there as a plant, that’s entirely possible.

    During another October 4 appearance on Infowars, Stone said that Paddock had “no social media, very typical of someone who’s either in the mafia or a federal agent” and “seems to have some record of leftist and anti-Trump activism.”

    Stone’s claim about Paddock being involved in anti-Trump activity is false. The conspiracy theory that the Vegas shooting was a botched government gun-running operation has been pushed by conspiracy theorist media. Investigators concluded that Paddock acted alone and did not carry out the attack as part of a wider plot.

    Stone has promoted numerous other conspiracy theories over the years, including claiming that Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) father was tied to the John F. Kennedy assassination; saying that the Bushes and Clintons have murdered or attempted to murder numerous enemies; and relating that he advised Trump that “there’s a lot of questions” about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

    Stone has a history of racist rhetoric. He’s called Black media commentators "stupid negro," "fat negro," "arrogant know-it-all negro," and “Mandingo.” He's also called Hispanic and Black commentators "quota hires." Stone tweeted that he’s a “nigga” with a Nixon tattoo.

    He also has repeatedly used sexist rhetoric. His remarks about female media and political figures include lobbing attacks such as "elitist c*nt," a “self-important, nasty cunt,” and “every man’s first wife.” He also told a journalist, "DIE BITCH."

    (For more on Stone, read Media Matters’ comprehensive guide.)

    Tarkanian has associated with other conspiracy theorists. In April of this year, he went on the program of Wayne Dupree to promote his candidacy. Like Jones, Dupree is a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist, having claimed that the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, CT, was a “hoax” that involved “crisis actors.” Tarkanian’s website promotes his appearance and he posted it on his Facebook page as well, thanking Dupree for "a great time.”

    In November 2017, Tarkanian gave an interview to online host Jack Belgarde, who has claimed that the Vegas shooting was “an inside job.” 

    Media Matters previously documented that Tarkanian was listed as an administrator of a racist Facebook group. He left shortly after information about him publicly surfaced.

  • Sean Hannity told Fox viewers to donate to a GOP candidate, whose campaign then turned it into an ad

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris is running a Facebook ad featuring Sean Hannity stating on Fox News that Harris “needs your help.”

    Harris is a former pastor who has appeared in anti-LGBTQ media outlets such as Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and American Family Association’s American Family Radio. He has a history of pushing sexist remarks and promoting bigotry against Muslims   and   LGBTQ people. Harris’ race is considered one of the most competitive in the country.

    During his October 16 Fox News show, while running through “10 more of the House races that will decide the fate of the country,” Hannity said that “in North Carolina [District] Nine, Democrat Dan McCready has a big-time cash advantage, but conservative Republican Mark Harris has a very slight edge. He needs your help.”

    Harris responded to the segment the following day with a Facebook ad soliciting donations that features video of Hannity’s remarks. According to Harris, “Sean Hannity is Correct! My opponent is a liberal awash in cash because he is #PoweredByPelosi. We need your help to win this race for the good guys.”

    Facebook’s ad performance numbers state as of posting that the ad has been viewed 5,000-10,000 times in North Carolina and the campaign has spent less than $100 on it.

    Fox News has previously asked campaigns to take down advertisements that have video from the network in them. It did not respond to a request for comment.

    The network has frequently helped Republican candidates -- both on- and off-air. Hannity himself has headlined campaign events for two Florida politicians: gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis and congressional candidate Rep. Matt Gaetz this year. He will travel to Texas this weekend to campaign for Sen. Ted Cruz.

  • Rep. Duncan Hunter ad features conspiracy theorist who claimed immigrants are diseased and Muslims are trying to secretly conquer America

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Rep. Duncan Hunter’s (R-CA) racist attack against Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar features a bigoted conspiracy theorist who has claimed that refugees and undocumented immigrants bring “diseases”; Muslim refugees entering the country represent a “stealth jihadi war of conquest and colonization of America”; and the Muslim Brotherhood has been “entrenched as a dangerous ‘Fifth Column’ throughout the US Government.”

    A federal grand jury recently indicted Hunter and his wife on “charges they used $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use and filed false campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission to mask their actions,” as the Los Angeles Times summarized. Hunter has remained in office and been running a racist campaign against Campa-Najjar, a Christian who is of Palestinian and Latino descent.

    Hunter recently released a bigoted ad calling Campa-Najjar a "security risk" and claiming that he’s trying to “infiltrate” Congress (Campa-Najjar passed multiple security clearances when he worked for the Obama administration). The ad includes video of Joseph R. John claiming on the conservative One America News Network (OANN) that the Democrat “is being supported by CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood” and it is “a well-orchestrated plan.” The ad’s line of attack is a main theme pushed by Hunter’s campaign.

    The Washington Post’s Fact Checker section noted that “all the claims in the ad are false, misleading or devoid of evidence,” adding, “It’s worth mentioning that the OANN commentator quoted as saying ‘this is a well-orchestrated plan’ was not referring to Campa-Najjar’s candidacy but to the conspiracy theories that the Justice Department indicted Hunter for political reasons. A selective bit of editing, however, took this quote out of context.”

    Joseph John is a retired Navy Reserve captain and a right-wing pundit who writes online commentary pieces. He also co-founded the Combat Veterans For Congress PAC.

    He has a history of bigoted commentary, including about immigrants and Muslims. John has complained that American children have “to spend every day in public school rooms with refugees and Illegal Aliens” who have arrived from “unprincipled and undiscipled (sic) countries” and bring “communicable diseases” (that old trope is a myth). He's also written that allowing Muslim refugees into the country constitutes "the stealth jihadi war of conquest and colonization of America with a ‘peaceful’ invasion."

    He’s also a heavy promoter of the conspiracy theory that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the government. John has claimed that the Democratic Party placed "Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists into sensitive US Government security positions" and former President Barack Obama purposely tried to populate the country with "criminals and Radical Islamic Terrorists."

    Here are some of the worst remarks in his commentary pieces:

    John: The Democratic Party platform supports “the continued placement of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists into sensitive US Government security positions.” [10/17/16]

    John: “Obama has been filling the Washington bureaucracy ... with thousands of members of Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood front groups."

    Obama has been filling the Washington bureaucracy, including DHS, the CIA, the FBI, DOD, the National Security Council, the White House, the State Department, every Department of Government, every US Intelligence Agency, and the US Armed Forces, with thousands of members of Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Some of those front groups are the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Political Action Committee (MPAC), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); a number of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood & their front groups have become a “Fifth Column.” [10/27/16]​

    John: “The Muslim Brotherhood is better entrenched as a dangerous ‘Fifth Column’ throughout the US Government.”

    Even though the head of the FBI said the Muslim Brotherhood is undermining democracy of the United States and supporting terrorism, for 8 years Obama appointed members of the Muslim Brotherhood Front Groups to highly sensitive leadership positions in US Intelligence, Federal Law Enforcement, National Security, and most Government Agencies creating a very dangerous “Fifth Column” in the US Government designed to destabilize the US Constitutional government. The Muslim Brotherhood is better entrenched as a dangerous “Fifth Column” throughout the US Government, than the Communist Party’s once was as an entrenched “Fifth Column” in the 1940s and 1950s. In addition, Obama and Clinton supported and assisted the Muslim Brotherhood in overthrowing friendly governments to the US in Egypt and Libya, and they established a gun running operation through Qatar to Syria via Turkey, in order to support the MB in deposing Assad and in Syria. [3/14/17]

    John on allowing Muslim refugees into the country: “This is the stealth jihadi war of conquest and colonization of America with a ‘peaceful’ invasion.”

    Those 10,000 Muslim refugees that Obama is dumping on the American people are mostly single young males, of the age where they can bear arms and mount attacks on American citizens and US facilities.

    These 10,000 Muslim refugees will immediately start clamoring to bring in their wives, children parents, siblings and so forth. The total will amount to thousands of mostly hostile Muslims, over and above the first 10,000 refugees. This is the stealth jihadi war of conquest and colonization of America with a “peaceful” invasion, that Obama has been forcing on the Republic for nearly 7 years. [9/21/15]

    John: Obama “is intentionally trying to create a society populated by lawlessness criminals and Radical Islamic Terrorists.”

    Obama intentions (sic) can no longer be misunderstood, when the above actions are coupled with his refusal to secure the wide open southern border for nearly 7 years, he is intentionally trying to create a society populated by lawlessness criminals and Radical Islamic Terrorists, and create unrest throughout the country. By these last ditch actions before his term of office is over, and Obama’s actions are endangering the lives of millions of American citizens, further violating his oath of office where he twice swore to protect and defend the lives of all American citizens? [10/7/15]

    John: Americans "would not want their children or grandchildren to spend every day in public school rooms with refugees and Illegal Aliens” who have arrived from “unprincipled and undiscipled (sic) countries” and carry "communicable diseases."

    Certain countries are dangerous to even walk around in---I have been in many of them. They have corrupt governments, fail to educate their youth, refuse to take care of their sick and dying, fail to properly feed their citizens, have many bad ideas about governing, have population involved in criminal activities with little concern about right or wrong, have broken cultures, have young males who don't respect women & rape them, in some countries young boys are sexual slaves, in some cultures male adults are engage in sexual activities with barn yard animals, some local water system are full of communicable diseases, in some countries roadside ditches are used as community latrines, some countries have populations who support terrorism, some cultures have extremely poor sanitary & personal hygiene standards, some countries support and promote the drug culture, some countries do not inoculate their citizens to prevent diseases, some countries are full of rubbish on the streets and in the water, some countries have diseased flies and mosquitos repeatedly infecting the population, etc.

    When refugees and illegal aliens arrive in the US they are not quarantined, which is required by US Federal Immigration Law and US Public Health Regulations, as immigrants once were at Ricker’s Island. Illegal Aliens have been introducing communicable diseases, that were once eliminated, back into the public school systems. Diseases that were once under control are being exposed to public school children, like ring worm, mumps, Scalia, polio, hepatitis, malaria, scarlet fever, typhus, small pox, yellow fever, etc. Illegal immigrants, without vaccinations, have not only infected school children, they have been infecting many US Border Patrolmen.  

    Law abiding and tax paying Americans would not want their children or grandchildren to spend every day in public school rooms with refugees and Illegal Aliens, who arrived from the above listed types of unprincipled and undiscipled (sic) countries, who have not been quarantined to detect and treat communicable diseases? The Progressives, elected members of Congress, the Washington elite, and the well-known TV anchors from the left of center liberal media establishment, send their children to private schools; they don’t have to worry about having their children get infected with communicable diseases, nor to be held back in their education in very slow moving public schools classes because the illegal aliens and refugees can’t speak, write, nor understand English. [1/16/18]

    John: “Criminal Illegal Aliens” have been “populating over 300 Sanctuary Cities, who have been stealing autos, burglarizing home (sic), robbing businesses, holding up individuals, dealing drugs, trafficking in white slavery, and killing thousands of Americans.”

    President Elect Trump developed a relationship and trust with


    16 Thousands of family members/friends who have been devastated by the estimated 3 million protected “convicted” criminal Illegal Aliens populating over 300 Sanctuary Cities, who have been stealing autos, burglarizing home (sic), robbing businesses, holding up individuals, dealing drugs, trafficking in white slavery, and killing thousands of Americans for 8 years. [12/5/16]​

    In reality, as The Washington Post reported, “Undocumented immigrants are considerably less likely to commit crime than native-born citizens, with immigrants legally in the United States even less likely to do so.

    John: The United States is being harmed by the “continued invasion of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens." [4/9/18]

  • 28 Republican candidates who have connections to bigoted media

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Numerous Republican candidates who are running for office in 2018 have connections to bigoted media.

    Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s election as president has given inspiration and cover to GOP candidates to espouse even more overt extremism. Trump ran a campaign with heavy ties to the white nationalist movement, and his administration has been stocked full of appointees with bigoted histories.

    In 2018, numerous Republican candidates have promoted media that have trafficked in bigotry. In other instances, the candidates themselves pushed bigoted views during their previous work in right-wing media.

    The following list includes over two dozen active GOP candidates who have connections to bigoted media. This list does not include the many Republican candidates this cycle who have promoted other extremist media but are no longer actively seeking office.

    Rep. Lou Barletta (Senate candidate in Pennsylvania)

    As CNN’s KFile team reported: When he was the mayor of Hazleton, PA, Barletta “did an interview with a fringe publication that promotes Holocaust denial and headlined a rally where a political activist and musician who has questioned the Holocaust and promoted conspiracies about the September 11, 2001 attacks also spoke and performed. As a congressman, Barletta appeared on a panel put on by the controversial Youth for Western Civilization and spoke at an event hosted by a journal that pushes extreme anti-immigrant views.”

    Rep. Dave Brat (congressional candidate in Virginia)

     In 2015, Brat touted the white nationalist website VDare’s praise of the anti-immigrant amendment he had proposed that year. Brat’s campaign has received a donation from Ian Smith, a writer who resigned from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over his ties to white nationalists.

    Rep. Barbara Comstock (congressional candidate in Virginia) 

    Comstock has promoted the endorsement of Fox News commentator and friend David Bossie, who was suspended for two weeks from the network for making a racist remark. In a June appearance, Bossie told a Black guest, Democratic strategist Joel Payne, “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”

    Everett Corley (candidate for Kentucky state House)

    In 2014, Corley appeared on the white nationalist program The Ethno State. During that show, he pushed racist talking points and discussed Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) interracial marriage, stating that he believes "we should maintain our people" but also suggesting that McConnell’s "marriage is not my problem" because it hasn’t produced any children. The Republican Party of Kentucky denounced Corley following Media Matters’ reporting.

    Ron DeSantis (candidate for Florida governor)

    DeSantis, whose campaign has had numerous problems with racism, said on Fox News while discussing the prospect of Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum winning the election: "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state." DeSantis spoke at a conference in 2017 for the virulently anti-Muslim ACT for America and has also spoken “four times at conferences organized by a conservative activist who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people and that the country’s ‘only serious race war’ is against whites.”

    John Fitzgerald (congressional candidate in California)

    Fitzgerald is an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier who has appeared on neo-Nazi podcasts. The California Republican Party briefly endorsed his campaign after he won the Republican nomination but rescinded it.

    Rep. Matt Gaetz (congressional candidate in Florida)

    Gaetz has defended and repeatedly associated with right-wing writer and Holocaust denier Charles C. Johnson.

    Seth Grossman (congressional candidate in New Jersey)

    Grossman frequently pushed bigotry while working as a right-wing commentator. Notably, in 2014, he promoted an opinion piece on a white nationalist website that claimed that Black people “are a threat to all who cross their paths.” The National Republican Congressional Committee dropped Grossman following Media Matters’ reporting.

    Tommy Gregory (candidate for Florida state House)

    Gregory attended an event that Peter Gemma, a white nationalist writer involved in the Holocaust denial movement, hosted for him. Gemma was also an official with the Sarasota County Republican Party’s executive committee but resigned following controversy.

    Diane Harkey (congressional candidate in California)

    Harkey has touted endorsements on her website from two groups that traffic in bigotry against Latinos and Muslims: San Diegans for Secure Borders and San Diego Patriots. Harkey took down the endorsement from San Diegans for Secure Borders, which also frequently promotes propaganda from the white nationalist website VDare; the San Diego Patriots endorsement currently remains on her website.

    Mark Harris (congressional candidate in North Carolina)

    Harris has been a right-wing pastor who has frequently appeared in conservative media to attack LGBTQ people. In 2016, Harris signed a false and bigoted statement claiming that “all terror groups … have 100% Muslim membership” and “terrorist entities are not aberrations of Islam, they are the very essence of it.”

    Arthur Jones (congressional candidate in Illinois)

    Jones is a neo-Nazi who has appeared in white nationalist media. Politico reported in June that “Illinois Republicans botched four opportunities to stop” Jones, “an avowed Nazi,” from becoming the party’s congressional nominee.

    Rep. Steve King (congressional candidate in Iowa)

    King has frequently cited and promoted racist and anti-Semitic media, including white nationalist host Lana Lokteff, neo-Nazi writer Mark Collett, and white nationalist website VDare. As HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias noted, “The Republican Party has let King’s bigotry go unpunished.”

    Kris Kobach (candidate for Kansas governor)

    In a 2017 Breitbart column that was also posted on his campaign website, Kobach cited a made-up anti-immigrant statistic from white nationalist writer Peter Gemma, who is also associated with Florida GOP candidate Tommy Gregory. The Kansas Republican also received a campaign donation from writer Ian Smith, who resigned from DHS over his ties to white nationalists. Kobach has a history of associations with white nationalists.

    Rep. Jason Lewis (congressional candidate in Minnesota)

    Lewis is a former right-wing radio host who used his media platform to make toxic remarks about women and LGBTQ people. CNN’s KFile team reported in July that Lewis “has a long history of racist rhetoric about African-Americans, pushing claims of a ‘racial war’ by blacks on whites and arguing that violence regularly occurs at black gatherings. He also frequently claimed that black people have an ‘entitlement mentality’ and viewed themselves as victims.” The CNN unit further reported that Lewis said Black people have “substituted one plantation for another” because of the “modern welfare state.”

    Chris McDaniel (Senate candidate in Mississippi)

    McDaniel is a former conservative radio host. As CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski reported, “McDaniel listed a group that advocates for southern secession among a list of 'favorite websites' featured on the show's website.” The Daily Beast’s Gideon Resnick and Adam Rawnsley also reported that McDaniel’s radio show website “mocked women and minorities.”

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (congressional candidate in California)

    Rohrabacher, like Gaetz, has repeatedly associated with right-wing writer and Holocaust denier Charles C. Johnson. The congressman has also accepted the maximum legal campaign donation from him for his primary and general election campaign accounts.

    Guy Reschenthaler (congressional candidate in Pennsylvania)

    Reschenthaler wrote an enthusiastic foreword to a bigotry-filled 2012 book by Carl Higbie, who resigned earlier this year from a government position because of toxic comments he made as a pundit. Reschenthaler later disavowed the foreword and claimed that he hadn’t actually read the book -- despite stating in the foreword that he wrote it after “reading his work.”

    Walker Stapleton (candidate for Colorado governor)

    Stapleton appeared at an event with supporter and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who sat on the board of the white nationalist group VDare. Stapleton also said he would “love to utilize” Tancredo if he becomes governor. Tancredo was scheduled to speak at VDare events before the venues cancelled them because of the group’s history. Tancredo, who has also been a Breitbart columnist and briefly ran for Colorado governor this cycle, has a long history of pushing bigotry.

    Corey Stewart (Senate candidate in Virginia)

    Stewart is a neo-Confederate who has numerous connections to bigoted political and media figures. Staffers for Stewart’s campaign have also had a racism problem, especially on social media.

    Rep. Scott Taylor (congressional candidate in Virginia)

    Taylor’s 2015 book included an endorsement from Robert Spencer, a writer who has built a career on anti-Muslim bigotry and was even banned from the United Kingdom for his toxic rhetoric.

    Russell Walker (candidate for North Carolina state House)

    Walker is a racist and anti-Semite who, as The News & Observer of Raleigh, NC, reported, authored essays claiming, among other things, that “God is a racist white supremacist and that Jews are descended from Satan.” Walker has also appeared on the white nationalist podcast Stormfront Action.

    Steve West (candidate for Missouri state House)

    As The Kansas City Star reported in August, West is a far-right radio host who has said “Hitler was right,” “promote[d] fanatical conspiracies about ‘Jewish cabals’ that are ‘harvesting baby parts’ through Planned Parenthood,” and “unleashed an array of bigotry including homophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and outright racism.”

    Daniel Crenshaw (congressional candidate in Texas), Ron DeSantis (candidate for Florida governor), Patrick Morrisey (Senate candidate in West Virginia), Rep. Jim Renacci (Senate candidate in Ohio), Matt Rosendale (Senate candidate in Montana), Corey Stewart (Senate candidate in Virginia), and Danny Tarkanian (congressional candidate in Nevada)

    As Media Matters has documented, those Republicans were listed as administrators and moderators for a racist Facebook group. They are no longer part of the group.