Author Page | Media Matters for America

Madeline Peltz

Author ››› Madeline Peltz
  • White supremacists are thrilled with Tucker Carlson’s war on diversity

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. & MADELINE PELTZ


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    During the September 7 edition of his Fox show, Tucker Carlson questioned whether diversity is a strength, suggesting that it weakens institutions “such as marriage or military units.”

    After widespread criticism of Carlson's racism, Carlson attempted a defense first via Twitter before then doubling down on his attacks on diversity during a September 10 segment, claiming the slogan “E Pluribus Unum” encompasses the idea that “differences mean less.”

    Sleeping Giants, “a campaign to make bigotry and sexism less profitable,” called for advertisers to “reconsider” their support for Carlson’s show in direct response to his war against diversity.

    Since Sleeping Giants released its open letter to advertisers, white supremacists have been running defense for Carlson’s argument. (Carlson claims to have nothing in common with such people despite repeating their talking points during prime time on his Fox News show.)

    Lana Lokteff, who has railed against interracial relationships and has hosted white supremacists on her explicitly racist YouTube channel, Red Ice TV, defended Carlson on Twitter:

    @Alba_Rising, a Twitter account that periodically posts extremist content, accused those criticizing Carlson of wanting “to destroy whites” and reacted to the Sleeping Giants letter by promoting its own letter from a nonexistent organization, encouraging advertisers of Carlson’s show to stand “strong against the threats” that it characterized as “antiwhite.”

    Neo-Nazi outlet The Daily Stormer slammed Carlson’s critics, adding that “racist” means a “white guy who thinks he has a right to exist,” and that critics should explain “why we are flooding our country with all of these third world hordes.” The article, penned by neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, ended with warm praise for “this gigantic man” who “showed up and put a wrench in the gears of the white genocide machine” above a photo of President Donald Trump.

    Faith Goldy -- formerly a host for The Rebel Media who was fired for appearing in a neo-Nazi podcast after attending the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, VA, and who has repeatedly pushed white supremacist slogans online -- defended Carlson’s racism as an opportunity to plug her mayoral ambitions.

    American Renaissance, white nationalist Jared Taylor’s racist think tank, republished a post from Mediaite to promote Carlson’s first segment attacking diversity.

    The Twitter account of white nationalist website VDare retweeted far-right white nationalist sympathizer Ann Coulter defending Carlson.

    The Twitter account associated with Jazzhands McFeels, co-host of the white supremacist podcast Fash the Nation, retweeted far-right YouTuber and serial misogynist Stefan Molyneux’s defense of Carlson.

    “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, a troll with past links to the “alt-right” who, as reported by Right Wing Watch, worked with “alt-right” figure Vox Day to publish his latest book, bemoaned the backlash against Carlson.

    White nationalist YouTuber Nick Fuentes, host of America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes, devoted his September 10 livestream to supporting Carlson, calling diversity “no good,” claiming Carlson was just asking questions, and accusing his critics of censorship. Fuentes complained, “Why are you not allowed to talk about the browning of America? Why are you not allowed to talk about white identity or white pride?” and asserted that the “problem with multiracial democracy” is that “you can never bring up the flaws with certain groups of people.”

  • YouTube banned Alex Jones, but it’s letting white supremacist content thrive

    Creators are profiting off hateful content

    Blog ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ & TALIA LAVIN


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On August 6, YouTube removed the channel belonging to Infowars’ Alex Jones, citing violations of community guidelines.

    "All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube,” YouTube’s parent company, Google, said in a statement to CNBC. “When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”

    YouTube’s action came as numerous other tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Spotify, took action against Jones.

    But for those who monitor the popular video streaming platform, it’s hard not to see YouTube’s move as a selective, belated, and inadequate action to quell the hate speech that currently thrives on the platform.

    In a brief research survey, Media Matters found multiple channels with tens of thousands of subscribers -- and some videos with hundreds of thousands of views -- that seem to clearly violate YouTube’s terms of service about hate speech. These channels expose YouTube’s primarily youthful viewership to some of the vilest propaganda on the Internet, and they make a tidy profit to boot.

    A Pew Research Survey found that YouTube is the most popular social media platform among teens. It showed that 85 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds reported using YouTube, and 32 percent said it’s the platform that they use most often. Meanwhile, in the last three years, Facebook usage among teenagers has fallen significantly. Pew also found YouTube to be most popular among 18- to 24-year-olds; 948 percent of respondents said they use the platform. The impact YouTube has on young people is not to be underestimated.

    YouTubers with significant audiences can profit by creating content that draws advertisements. It’s difficult to say how much any individual creator makes, but Polygon estimates that a very large creator like Jake Paul -- who is in the top 100 channels in terms of number of subscribers -- makes $10 for every 1,000 views. While this rate is significantly lower for channels with smaller followings,channels that livestream their content -- common practice among far-right YouTubers -- can get additional income by using “super chats.” Super chats allow viewers to pay to have their comments featured prominently. On a livestream, there is usually a constant flow of comments appearing along the side of the video, but super chat comments are placed in a bar at the top of the chat and creators can react to or read them on air. The more a user pays, the longer their comment appears at the top.

    Like super chats, donations to content creators can also come in through alternative servers that are not hosted by YouTube, like in the example below.

    YouTubers also rely on Multi-Channel Networks (MCN), which provide a variety of services to YouTube creators, including aiding and increasing their monetization rates, expanding audiences, and, most importantly for extremists, appealing YouTube strikes, which are issued when YouTube reviewers are notified that content is in violation of community guidelines.

    The impunity with which racists operate on the site -- and the profitability of their efforts -- make YouTube a potent ground for young people to be exposed to toxic ideologies. Or, as Zeynep Tufekci, a professor and expert in social networks, put it in a powerful editorial for The New York Times, “Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.”

    Below is a sample of YouTube channels that Media Matters found to have violated YouTube’s terms of service, but that continue to profitably engage viewers by the tens or hundreds of thousands. In particular, these videos appear to violate YouTube’s policy against “content that ‘promotes violence against or has the primary purpose of inciting hatred against’ protected classes” -- including LGBTQ individuals, Jewish people, African-Americans, and other racial minorities.

    Jesse Lee Peterson and “The Fallen State”

    Jean-Francois Gariépy

    America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes

    Mark Collett

    Red Ice TV

    Jesse Lee Peterson and “The Fallen State”

    Jesse Lee Peterson is a far-right radio host and media personality whose radio show The Jesse Lee Peterson Show airs on Newsmax TV and is reposted to his YouTube page, which currently boasts 135,000 followers. On another YouTube channel with over 159,000 followers, Peterson hosts his show The Fallen State, where he interviews activists, celebrities and other public figures.

    Peterson’s YouTube content contains a torrent of anti-Black, anti-gay, and misogynistic hate. In July 2018, he announced it was “white history month,”, saying, “Happy white history month, white folks., Tthis is your country, thank you --, I appreciate it.”

    In a video titled “Most Blacks Are Mentally Retarded!” Peterson said Jim Crow laws were good for Black people because they helped their “mentality” and that “most Blacks today, as I mentioned, most Blacks today -- unlike the days when I was growing up -- are mentally ill, they’re mentally retarded.” He has compared the Ku Klux Klan to Black Lives Matter, describing the latter as “a Black, radical, evil, agitated organization that was founded by a bunch of Black lesbians and Black homosexuals.” In another video, Peterson described transgender people as “messed up,” “abnormal,” “confused” people who’ve “been traumatized.” He said refusing to recognize transgender people might help them “overcome their traumas.”

    On The Jesse Lee Peterson Show, Peterson gave a platform to notorious neo-Nazi Andrew Auernheimer, also known as “weev,” to spew anti-Semitic, racist, and homophobic hate with zero pushback. In the video titled “WEEV! White Nationalism, Jews, Homosexuals, and Black people - Daily Stormer,” Aurenheimer identified himself as a white nationalist and called the FBI “a Jewish terror organization.” and He said he doesn’t live in the United States because it’s a country “full of whores and faggots and pornography and wickedness.” He called for America to become a white ethnostate because Black people are “the tools of Jewry” who “betrayed the values of all common decency [and] of morality.” He said, “Righteousness and color are equivalent, because segregation increases trust within a society.”

    Jean-Francois Gariépy

    Jean-Francois Gariépy is a YouTube personality and former Duke University student who relies on his background as a neuroscience researcher to give credence to bogus “race science” theories he pushes on YouTube. The long-standing racist trope holds that “humankind is divided into separate and unequal races.” Gariépy has two channels, “JFG Livestreams,” which has 20,000 followers, and “Jean-Francois Gariépy,” which has 40,000 followers. His show The Public Space, which normally streams daily, features a cesspool of white supremacist guests including former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, Nick Fuentes, Mark Collett, Richard Spencer, Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, and Vox Day.

    Many of Gariépy’s videos are monetized through advertisement placements. Kelly Weill of The Daily Beast identified Gariépy as an advocate for a white ethnostate. She also described a legal battle he had with his ex-wife in which she alleged that he tried to kidnap their child. A separate lawsuit alleges that Gariépy had a sexual relationship with a 19-year-old autistic teenager and attempted to get her pregnant “for U.S. immigration purposes.”

    Gariépy’s The Public Space recently streamed an episode titled “The Truth About German Racial Ideology” with Weronika Kuzniar, a cosplayer and proponent of Third Reich revisionism with multiple books for sale on Amazon who says she works to “De-Weaponize Third Reich History.” During her appearance on Gariépy’s YouTube channel, he described Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf as “pretty solid in terms of understanding basic issues of biology [and] basic issues of race.” Kuzinar responded by citing “a good book” that “denies that there is any anti-Semitism that can be detected in Hitler’s background.”

    In a monetized stream he titled “A Discussion with Ryan Faulk about Race, IQ and Nationalism,” Gariépy and guest Ryan Faulk -- the founder of the white nationalist site The Alternative Hypothesis -- discussed the potential for violence that would be required to establish a white ethnostate in America. Faulk claimed that “from a historical sense,” the United States has always been a white country, and “the only real solution today is a full on partition of the United States” based on racial lines. Faulk conceded that “a violent civil war” might be a result of trying to achieve that goal. Gariépy endorsed the idea that violence is possible despite a “modern society that is very polite” because there is “within humans a capacity for violence that can express itself within a few days if people are in the right condition for violence.” They also discussed what Gariépy characterized as the “very mainstream idea” that “there is an observed phenotypical difference” in IQ levels between racial groups.

    During a stream with “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer, Gariépy called white nationalism “great” and “a romantic vision and one that could be, even in pragmatic terms, a reality. That would be the only option in the future when the white race has lost so much power across western civilization.” Gariépy has also hosted Patrick Casey of the “alt-right” group Identity Evropa in a monetized stream where Casey said that “the best framework for … human civilization overall to be able to exist” is “a degree of separation between ethnic and racial groups.” In another monetized stream, the anti-feminist Lacey Lynn (who has also appeared on neo-Nazi YouTuber Mark Collett’s show, This Week on the Alt-Right) argued that the movement for women’s suffrage was an “anti-male, … communist, anti-family, anti-nation movement” and praised the “privilege that women had being under coverture” laws, which made women legally subordinate to their husbands.

    America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes

    Nick Fuentes, host of America First with Nicholas J Fuentes, is an “alt-right” online personality whose channel has 17,000 followers and streams approximately five days a week. He was previously fired from Right Side Broadcasting, an online pro-President Donald Trump outlet, after he called for the people who run CNN to be “arrested and deported or hanged.” He also was a participant in the Charlottesville, VA, Unite the Right rally last summer. In a YouTube stream titled “Embrace the State feat. Lucian Wintrich,” Fuentes described himself as an “authoritarian.” During the same stream, in a discussion about the film I Feel Pretty starring Amy Schumer, Wintrich called her a “fat, ugly slob” and Fuentes said she “should be a literal punching bag in some cases.”

    During a recent stream titled “The Death of Mollie Tibbets,” Fuentes attacked Hispanic immigrants in the United States, saying, “The problem that we see is it’s the people -- it’s not the culture, it’s not their legal status, it’s not their paperwork; it’s who they are. It’s coursing through their blood, it’s their DNA. They’re different. Race is real. These people are different. They’re not European. It’s not arbitrary that they come from Mexico.” In a different stream, titled “White Identity Gaslighting,” Fuentes applauded the Trump administration for revoking passports from American citizens in Texas. He called this development a “big white pill,” meaning a reason for white supremacists to have hope, and called it one “of the more aggressive approaches to solving the demographic issues.”

    In a stream titled “Who *owns* the Media? Hello,” a reference to a tweet from Elon Musk in which he asked the same question, Fuentes called whistleblower Chelsea Manning a “tranny freak” and said she is “mentally ill.”

    Fuentes frequently hosts white supremacists on his show. This includes Matt Colligan, known online as “Millennial Matt,” who was a participant in the 2017 rally in Charlotteville and once waved a flag featuring a swastika during a Periscope stream with Lucian Wintrich. During a stream titled “THOT WARS,” Colligan denied the Holocaust, calling it “one of the greatest lies in history,” and said his goal was “to become a public Holocaust revisionist.” Other extremists seen on Fuentes’ America First include Identity Evropa’s Patrick Casey; white nationalist Douglass Mackey, A.K.A. “Ricky Vaughn”; conspiracy theorist and anti-Muslim carnival barker Laura Loomer; and fellow YouTuber Gariépy.

    Mark Collett

    Mark Collett is a 37-year-old British far-right activist and author of the book The Fall of Western Man, which features chapter titles including “The Role of Feminism --The Destruction of the Family Unit.” An open reactionary with extreme white supremacist views, he was once featured in a documentary called Young, Nazi and Proud. He was also acquitted in Britain on charges of inciting racial hatred after a television interview in which he called asylum seekers “cockroaches.”

    Currently, Collett has a YouTube channel with 42,000 subscribers. Just last month, he featured David Duke in a livestream called This Week on the Alt-Right. Other recent videos include “The Jewish Question Answered in 4 Minutes,” “The Plot to Flood Europe with 200 Million Africans” (for which, as of this writing, YouTube has “disabled certain features” because it was identified “as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”) and “The Death of White America.”

    “The Jewish Question Answered in 4 Minutes” includes graphics singling out and identifying journalists as Jews -- which surely violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines. The hate speech policy at YouTube prohibits content “that promotes violence against or has the primary purpose of inciting hatred against individuals or groups based on certain attributes, such as race or ethnic origin [and] religion.”

    ”In addition, this explicitly anti-Semitic video posits that “Jews have attacked the glue that holds our communities together, with the aim of breaking up Western society” and that Jewish people “seek to strip … power from those of European descent.”

    In another video, “The Holocaust: An Instrument of White Guilt,” Collett engages in a winking, coquettish flirtation with Holocaust denial, a classic abuse of the “just asking questions” format. He continually refers to the Holocaust as the “alleged extermination of 6 million Jews at the hands of the German people during World War II.” Ultimately, Collett bemoans the fact that “the Holocaust is the one historical event that cannot be questioned,” and ascribes this to “Zionist power.” At the video’s conclusion, he seems to suggest that the Holocaust was inspired by righteous forces: “The Holocaust is the most powerful tool in the promotion of a mindset that is foisted upon those of European descent in order to make them feel guilty for pursuing self-determination, to make them feel guilty for loving their own."

    Another video with over 100,000 views blames Jewish people for the pornography industry.

    In addition to explicitly anti-Semitic content, Collett also traffics in conspiracy theories about the cruel regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad (“Assad Didn’t Do It -- Faked Syrian Gas Attack”) and about LGBT individuals, whom he claims are seeking to “normalize paedophilia” through “debased degeneracy.” Although the latter video was flagged as “inappropriate,” it has garnered over 137,000 views.

    Red Ice TV

    Red Ice TV is an explicitly racist channel that boasts an impressive viewership: With 227,000 subscribers, its hosts claim to reach 1 million viewers a month. Most of their videos draw audiences in the tens of thousands.

    The channel was founded by Henrik Palmgren and his wife, Lana Lokteff, far-right white supremacists whose content is consistently racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant.

    The channel has hosted extremist Richard Spencer and featured Holocaust denier Kevin Macdonald discussing the “JQ” (Jewish Question).

    Lokteff has received attention in the media as one of the few female faces of the “alt-right,” while her husband and cohost Palmgren took part in the infamous “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, VA, which resulted in the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer after a white nationalist drove a car into a crowd.

    In a June video (which as of this writing has been flagged as “inappropriate” but is still accessible after a couple clicks) titled “Why Interracial Relationships are Pushed on White Women,” with over 500,000 views, Lokteff stated, “I do not accept the promotion of interracial relationships, it is very targeted and promoted to white people… You should think your race is the most attractive.” Later in the video, she claimed that “a mulatto baby” was a “trendy” accessory for modern women -- “forget the purse.”

    The channel continually stirs up fear about immigration -- calling immigration advocates “anti-white poison” -- and stoking the racial fears of a white, male audience.

    Many commentators have noted the radicalizing effect viewing increasingly extreme content can have on viewers. YouTube’s ongoing decision to continue to allow channels that are in blatant violation of its terms of service while rewarding their extremist creators through monetary incentives is a dangerous abdication of responsibility on the part of the media giant.

  • Despite YouTube’s vows to “do better,” white supremacist David Duke keeps going on livestreams

    YouTube’s restrictions are not enough to discourage extremists from using the platform to spread white supremacy

    Blog ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ & CRISTINA LóPEZ G.


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

     As evidenced by a recent appearance former Klu Klux Klan’s leader David Duke made on a YouTube livestream, the company’s measures to deal with content produced by extremists are seemingly not enough to dissuade white supremacists from using the platform to evangelize and make money. While YouTube has put other appearances by Duke behind a warning explaining that users have flagged the content as inappropriate, the June 27 livestream has no such label.

    On June 27, Jean Francois Gariepy hosted a livestream -- which, as of this writing, has over 22,800 views -- on his channel featuring Duke and known neo-Nazi Mark Collett. According to The Daily Beast, Gariepy has called in the past for “a white ethnostate” and featured other extremists like Richard Spencer on his YouTube channel. Collett, a neo-Nazi who was recently elevated by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Twitter, has repeatedly collaborated with Duke and expressed his admiration for Adolf Hitler. The livestream included the Youtube feature Super Chat, through which users can pay for their messages to stand out during a live chat, allowing Gariepy to earn money from users paying to highlight racist slogans like “it’s OK to be white.” During the livestream, Collett bragged about the success of his channel despite YouTube’s restrictions on his “most successful video,” an anti-Semitic tirade titled “The Jewish role in the refugee crisis.” Though his anti-Semitic video displays a warning from YouTube that users have flagged the content, it is still easily accessible after a click.

    Duke complained that his appearance on a June 19 livestream on Gariepy’s channel had been restricted, but Gariepy claimed that YouTube didn’t delete the video meant the platform was “admitting that there was no hate speech in there.”

    DAVID DUKE: I’m still kind of recovering from our last show. I’m really kind of angry at YouTube and it’s just amazing to think that this broadcast -- there was no hatred in it, it was very decent, it was just criticizing some aspects of racism in a different way, and it had a 95 percent positive rating, it had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of comments and they were overwhelmingly positive, and they even blocked out the ratings, they blocked out being able to comment, they blocked out being able to share directly, which really hurts a video, and they also wouldn’t put the numbers -- I think you’ve had about 40,000 views now, only you can see that, the average person cannot see that around the world. It’s just -- it’s amazing. That is very powerful propaganda, right? Because they don’t want people to know and people to see that there’s a lot of support for an idea when 95 percent of the watchers say this is great. They know that when people see that, that it makes people also tend to understand it’s OK, it’s alright to like it, psychologically, and that’s what they always do on the other side. So it’s OK to like this interview, and it’s OK to be white.

    JEAN FRANCOIS GARIEPY: Absolutely. And by choosing to censor in that way and not delete the video, they’re essentially admitting, YouTube is admitting, that there was no hate speech in there. There was not a single sentence that could be interpreted as hate speech. However, as we’ve seen many times in the past, the subject of Zionism, of the involvement of Jewish people in certain industries, has always been a subject that YouTube tries to hide, tries to hide any form of encouragement and any form of social sharing. It is sad. We’ve documented right here on the show, the “Frame Game” reports the kind of advocacy groups that are behind that kind of censorship. They are advocacy groups that are tracking our activities. They are organized and financed for the purpose of reporting these videos as hate speech when in fact they are not.

    On the June 19 appearance that YouTube placed behind a warning, Duke claimed Washington, D.C., is “occupied by the Zionists.” He also went on to say that Jewish people “control most of the media conglomerates” and control “Hollywood, which dishes out horrific hate propaganda, the destructive propaganda against our people, against our heritage, against true values of humanity, the true human values.”

    After issuing an apology to advertisers for placing their brands over toxic content and allowing extremist content creators to make money, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki had reiterated her promises, saying, “We can, and we will, do better.” Yet Duke’s repeated appearances on Gariepy’s thriving channel clearly demonstrate that the mechanisms the platform has put in place to identify and combat extremism are not enough to deter content creators who profit from spreading toxic messaging.

  • Ann Coulter wants the US military to kill immigrants attempting to enter the country

    Coulter: The National Guard should "shoot the illegals" because "Just standing there doesn't do a thing"

    Blog ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ

    Syndicated right-wing columnist Ann Coulter criticized President Donald Trump’s plan to send the U.S. military to the border asking, “Are they going to shoot the illegals? Just standing there doesn't do a thing.”

    On April 4, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announced the Trump administration will send the National Guard to the southwest border after days of angry tweets from President Trump about “open borders, drugs, and crime” coming in from Mexico. According to CNN, Nielsen said, “While plans are being finalized, it’s our expectation that the National Guard will deploy personnel in support of CBP’s border security mission” and that details will not be available today or on any specific timeline.

    The pronouncement comes after reports of a “caravan” of migrants traveling north from Honduras toward the border. The New York Times explains that “caravans” of migrants have occurred annually for the past five years “with little fanfare, virtually unnoticed north of the border with the United States.”

    Fox News seized the story to demonize those seeking asylum in the U.S. In reaction to the news, host Tucker Carlson described Mexico as a “hostile foreign power.” Carlson also hosted Jessica Vaughn of the hate group the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) who called the caravan a “walkathon for open borders” and a “stunt to test” the Trump administration’s resolve on border security. Fox News has also credited Trump with the dispersing of the group.

    On Wednesday following Secretary Nielsen’s announcement, Coulter suggested that the  National Guard “shoot the illegals” because “Just standing there doesn’t do a thing.”

    The tweet keeps with Coulter’s long-standing history of racism and hate against immigrants. She has repeatedly called for deporting Dreamers, suggested mass shootings would decrease by stopping immigration, and has decried the “browning of America.”

  • John Bolton, Trump’s pick for national security adviser, has a record of warmongering, bigotry, and pushing conspiracy theories

    ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ & CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    John Bolton, a Fox News contributor, is reportedly under consideration to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, likely because President Donald Trump enjoys his television commentary. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations whose tenure was marred by “his inability to make friends and build alliances,” is a Trump sycophant with a history of warmongering and conspiracy theorizing. He also chairs a think tank that’s been called “anti-Muslim,” and he has connections to anti-Muslim bigots.

  • Trump’s pick for National Economic Council is a CNBC host who gives bad financial advice

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & MADELINE PELTZ

    President Donald Trump has told people he has chosen CNBC's Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as the director of the National Economic Council. Kudlow has no formal training in economics, and he has a history of making poor financial predictions, pushing conservative economic talking points, and making outrageous and offensive comments.

  • YouTube placed ads on a live stream that featured a white supremacist, “alt-right” trolls, and Hitler apologism

    Andrew Anglin: “[Hitler] was a good person.”

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. & MADELINE PELTZ

    Despite powerful advertisers growing increasingly concerned about the “toxic content” on Facebook and Google that is getting monetized by their ads, Google’s video platform YouTube is still showing ads before a five-hour video (initially live streamed) that features racial slurs and apologism for Adolf Hitler.

    On February 10, Tim Gionet -- known on the internet as Baked Alaska -- hosted a “debate” on his YouTube channel featuring “alt-right” personalities and white nationalists. Gionet’s guests were The Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin, Red Elephants’ Vincent James, “alt-right” sympathizer Andy Warski, far-right troll Nick Fuentes, and Carl Benjamin -- who uses the name Sargon of Akkad online and doesn’t shy away from dropping the N-word during live broadcasts.

    Baked Alaska’s extremism has already gotten him permanently booted off Twitter. Now, he is using his YouTube platform to give a voice to “alt-right” figures like Paul Nehlen who recently appeared on his channel to defend his anti-Semitic views. And YouTube is helping Baked Alaska profit from this hateful rhetoric as is evident by the ads on his latest video.

    During live streaming, Baked Alaska also used “YouTube Super Chat” (a pay-to-be-noticed feature), which lets audiences pay for their messages to stand out in the live chat; the streamer can then choose to make those messages visible on screen. The feature allowed Baked Alaska to earn money from viewers paying to highlight their pro-Hitler statements and offensive references to Holocaust gas chambers. He also read some of those comments aloud during the show. As Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt explained, these debates on YouTube are becoming a profitable tool for the “alt-right”:

    Alt-right YouTube personalities are happily using the debates to make money via the streams’ “Super Chats” and to expand their reach among young audiences.

    During the “debate,” Gionet teased an upcoming live stream session that would feature white nationalist and altright.com founder Richard Spencer and “new-right” proponent Mike Tokes. Though YouTube has attempted to cut off monetary incentives for content creators who engage in extremism on their videos, Baked Alaska’s channel is an example that the platform’s efforts still have a long way to go.

    UPDATE: According to Baked Alaska, YouTube has suspended his account from live-streaming for 90 days because he hosted neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin in a previous live-stream.

    In a video statement addressing the suspension, Baked Alaska blamed this Media Matters article as the reason his video containing extremism was banned and he was temporarily suspended from live-streaming on the platform:

  • Thanks to Trump, white supremacists had a big year in 2017

    ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ

    White supremacist, white nationalist, and “alt-right” figures successfully infected the scope of acceptable discourse in 2017 by regularly inserting racist right-wing extremism into the media conversation. From Confederate statues to the defense of the “It’s OK to be white” propaganda campaign on Fox News prime-time, the media normalized white supremacy during the first year of the Trump administration.

  • NBC Charlottesville affiliate shows how not to interview Richard Spencer

    Charlottesville's NBC29 failed to challenge Spencer on his white nationalist extremism

    Blog ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ

    Billed as an exclusive "rare" interview, an NBC affiliate in Charlottesville, VA, aired a segment with well-known white nationalist Richard Spencer without highlighting the extent of his racist, anti-Semitic, "alt-right" hatemongering history.

    The segment, which was posted on NBC29’s website on October 11, was accompanied by an article that focused on Spencer's plans to continue leading hate rallies in Charlottesville, a community that fell victim to hate during the August 12 Unite the Right rally where a counter-protester was killed. Spencer used the local platform to advertise his white supremacist rallies, “vowing to come back to Charlottesville with smaller unannounced rallies" "until he gets a seat at the table.” The segment failed to mention that counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed by a white supremacist at the August 12 Unite the Right rally which Spencer headlined.

    The report did more to promote Spencer’s white nationalist think tank the National Policy Institute than it did to hold him accountable as a racist extremist and the self-proclaimed founder of the “alt-right.”

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Spencer has advocated the “peaceful ethnic cleansing” of minorities, called Martin Luther King Jr. a “fraud and degenerate”, and said that immigration is the “last stand” for white Americans. Spencer also claims that a ban on Muslims in Europe and the United States “must” be done and even likened homosexuality to a “birth defect.”

    Yet for some reason, this local media outlet still decided to give Spencer an uncritical platform. From the October 11 edition of NBC29’s HD News:

    HENRY GRAFF: Richard Spencer says he believes “history chose Charlottesville” but obviously going to UVA, living here after graduating, were also factors to bringing that fight here. Spencer says he admired that Robert E. Lee statue in that park when he lived here and the debate over that statue actually gave him an opportunity here which Spencer seized.

    [BEGIN SEGMENT]

    RICHARD SPENCER: We are not going away.

    GRAFF: A stern warning from the leader of the National Policy Institute. White nationalist Richard Spencer says this scene –

    PROTESTERS: The south with rise again!

    GRAFF: -- Of flames and fury

    PROTESTERS: You will not replace us!

    GRAFF: Marching through the streets of Charlottesville will be repeated.

    […]

    GRAFF: Spencer claims his views of white identity are being threatened and until he gets a seat at the table, Spencer and others are vowing to come back to Charlottesville with smaller unannounced rallies like the one on Saturday night.

    SPENCER: That event was tightly coordinated. It was -- everyone was operating on a need to know basis. It was an operation.

    GRAFF: Richard Spencer says interest has grown in the National Policy Institute located here in Alexandria since the events of August 12 in Charlottesville. While he couldn’t provide us specific numbers, he does say his message is now reaching a much larger audience.

    SPENCER: At some point, one can’t stifle any idea whose time has come.

    GRAFF: Spencer admits the torch rallies are meant to make a splash, give them an image, and communicate a message through the media who cover it. And just like his warning about coming back, Spencer feels just as confident about moving his message forward.

    SPENCER: They’re going to lose because I understand how to play this game and I’ll win.

    [END SEGMENT]

    GRAFF: When pressed, Spencer says torches he believes are not intimidating, in fact he actually described them to me as “beautiful, magical, and mystical.” He says they are not planning any more August 12th style rallies mainly because these smaller pop up torch rallies are very effective in getting his message across and not drawing too much attention from counter demonstrators.

    STEVE RAPPAPORT: Let’s talk about his last comment there, about this is a game, he’s going to win. A lot of people will argue it’s more than a game and he knows his legal rights obviously but he’s also said he knows what he’s doing in terms of what will incite people, what will anger people, what will get people going and emotions boiling.

    […]

    GRAFF: He knows how to play the city of Charlottesville.

    KASEY HOTT: And he’s going to continue doing it, he says.

  • Debunking right-wing media myths on DACA

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE & MADELINE PELTZ

    Following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would reverse the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), right-wing media rushed to praise Trump’s actions by stereotyping DACA recipients, or “Dreamers,” as criminals and gang members. They also falsely claimed that the program constitutes a form of “amnesty,” that DACA recipients take jobs from native-born Americans, that the program is unconstitutional, and that President Barack Obama did not take any action to pass comprehensive immigration reform during his tenure.