Over the last few months, an obscure conservative pundit and collectible knife maker with a history of making bigoted statements has interviewed some of the most prominent politicians in his home state of Arizona.
Greg Medford, founder of Medford Knife & Tool, hosts an obscure podcast and posts rants to YouTube, many of which contain racist and sexist remarks. Still, Arizona Republican candidates Blake Masters, running for Senate; Mark Finchem, running for secretary of State; and Abe Hamadeh, running for attorney general, have all appeared on his show since April.
In these appearances, each of these top political figures has made controversial comments. Masters appeared to endorse the racist great replacement theory, Finchem suggested listeners should read the extremist anti-abortion writer Matthew Trewhella, and Hamadeh made disparaging comments about Black communities. None had a critical word about Medford, and all were friendly with him over the course of the hour-plus-long interviews.
Medford styles himself a no-nonsense truth teller, and many of his videos are sophomoric attempts at being edgy and provocative. Sometimes, though, they cross over into explicit racism and sexism.
On February 25, Medford posted a straight-to-camera rant to YouTube making a nonsensical argument that women’s suffrage was responsible for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Medford weaved together a string of disparate topics, from the military draft to energy policy, crescendoing in a meltdown about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and, seemingly, Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
“Imagine a government that approves you to spend billions of dollars on a pipeline, and lets a stupid cunt fucking bartender from New York take away your license and 40,000 jobs and a nation’s energy independence,” Medford huffed. “Off the stupid fucking rantings of a fucking Marxist bartender and some goddamn immigrants who have somehow made it into the halls of power, selling women on this horseshit.”
Medford then described what he said is the relationship between Black people and the Democratic Party.
“The Blacks have been owned — they have been owned — they got the freedom of their body but their spirits have been owned by the same share cropper-organizing Democrats who held them as slaves,” Medford said. “Black people are still mostly slaves; intellectually, they’re just slaves.”
“If you still vote Democrat as a Black person, you either are dumb or you’re a slave,” he continued.
Medford’s bigotry stretches back years, and it isn’t hard to find online. He previously made and wore a branded T-shirt for his knife company that read: “Stabbing the Shiite out of the Middle East one terrorist at a time.” On the back it says: “Don’t like it? Then Summi.”
As Medford explained at a trade show, he included puns on Shia and Sunni to offend Muslims of both sects. “That way, if a Shia sees me, a ‘Persian,’” Medford said, using finger quotes, “they’re like, ‘That’s so —’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, hold on.’” As he turned around, he continued, “Sunnis too.”
“And then if I see a Sunni, they laugh. I go: ‘Hold on. Look at the back.’ And they see the back and go, ‘Aye-yi-yi,’” he said. “They don’t even know what to do with me.”
After receiving substantial backlash, Medford offered an expletive-laden response in which he doubled down and defended his shirt, characterizing it as “satire.”
“So fuck you, you bunch of skinny-jean, liberal cunts, snowflake fucking pansies,” Medford said. “You and your fucking useless offspring, in your corduroys and your Birkenstocks, you dumb fucking bunch of cunts.”
Medford’s bigoted rhetoric isn’t confined to his solo rants, either, and in at least some cases it appears that his guests either follow his lead, or use the opportunity to engage in their own racist commentary.
For example, Arizona Republican attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh made derogatory comments about Black people on Medford’s show in June. Hamadeh, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is an election denier who said he would not have certified the 2020 election.
In a wide-ranging discussion that lasted over an hour, the two touched on many topics, including Medford’s paraphrasing of a common conservative theory that the “rise of the welfare state” was detrimental to Black people.
“You wonder what happened, you know. How did you have such high literacy rates, such high engagement rates?” Medford said. “You had the communities that made Martin Luther King, and they made Malcolm X.”
“Remember, they used to wear suits, right?” Hamadeh interrupted. “They were, like, very proud of — and they — you’re so right where it’s become — they want the government — you want to be dependent on the government.”
“And now it’s not just in the African American community,” Hamadeh continued. “It’s spreading all over.”
The two also discussed a signature topic of Hamadeh’s, the supposed illegitimacy of the 2020 election. Hamadeh regularly makes the false claim that the election was rigged, often labeling mail-in voting as one of the culprits. In his conversation with Medford, he went even further, arguing that forcing people to vote in person — even if it is more difficult — was actually socially beneficial.
“Being a citizen — there’s a sacrifice with it, there’s a civic duty,” Hamadeh said. “I’m sure you’ve been to jury duty before. You know, there’s a requirement that you must go to jury duty."
“Yet we’ve made it so convenient and so easy to vote that it’s like voting for your next American Idol star,” he continued. “We’ve robbed us Americans as voting in person, and seeing your neighbor, and actually being through the process of it all.”
Hamadeh also praised 2,000 Mules, the widely discredited election denial conspiracy film by Dinesh D’Souza.
One month earlier, Medford interviewed Masters during the Republican Senate primary. Like with Hamadeh, the conversation lasted around an hour and 20 minutes and covered many topics, including the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Masters framed Biden’s choice to select a Black woman as a disservice to Jackson, arguing that it positioned her as being selected for her identity, rather than her credentials. Medford agreed and elaborated on the point.
“Her package was good. She’s a nice package, and she was the right color, and all they did is Uncle Tom her ass,” Medford said.
“That’s right,” Masters responded.
Earlier in the conversation, the two discussed immigration. Masters said that the current level of immigration “ruins” the country, and he blamed Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) for what he described as unacceptable levels of migration.
"I think Kelly is just as complicit as Biden in causing this border crisis,” Masters said. “That means 3, 4 million people are coming here, the fentanyl that crosses the border every month is enough to kill every American twice over, people are getting raped, murdered.”
"And it’s this slow flood of people that just ruins the country,” he continued. “I think the left, they want to change the demographics of this country and amnesty all these people.”
Minutes earlier, Masters had said that Democrats want to provide amnesty to immigrants and “make them Democrat voters.”
Masters’ remarks appear to be an endorsement of the racist great replacement theory, which states, falsely, that a cabal of wealthy oligarchs — usually coded as Jewish — is attempting to bring nonwhite immigrants to the United States to replace native-born white people on voter rolls. Masters has espoused the theory before but appears to be attempting to scrub it from his record.
Medford also argued that Ocasio-Cortez’s call for campaign finance disclosures is like “Kristallnacht,” which Masters agreed with, as previously reported by HuffPost.
In April, Medford interviewed Finchem, another election denier who attended the January 6 riot to overturn the 2020 election. That conversation also included casual references to Nazi policies.
Finchem described the efforts of a group of activists to get him removed from the ballot for his participation in January 6 as “basically … what the Nazi Party did in the 1930s.”
“They want to use the court system as a political hammer,” he continued.
Finchem also praised the book The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, written by anti-abortion extremist Matthew Trewhella. Trewhella, too, recently invoked a Nazi reference to describe his political opponents, comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust.
In the 1990s, Trewhella was a signatory to a public statement that argued the “use of lethal force was justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children.” In the anti-abortion movement, the statement has become known as “one of the definitive lists of those who have seen murder of abortion doctors as ‘justifiable homicide,’" according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.