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  • Major neo-Nazi website sees NRA’s recent hard-line messaging as its best hope to kill all Jewish people

    The Daily Stormer: “It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and join up with the country’s single effective pro-white organization intent on fully SMASHING THE JEW”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The Daily Stormer -- a major online hub for racists and anti-Semites that has followers who have committed mass murder -- has been telling its readers to join the National Rifle Association, as the neo-Nazis who run the website see a successful NRA as their best possible hope to see Jewish people subjected to another Holocaust.

    The Daily Stormer has been very pleased with the NRA’s hard-line messaging in the Trump era: As the neo-Nazi website itself notes, the NRA frequently singles out Jews as its political enemies and refuses to condemn anti-Semitic actions taken by members of its leadership. A February 2017 Daily Stormer article explained, “There is basically zero chance that [NRA leader Wayne] LaPierre and others in the top ranks of the NRA aren’t aware of the Jewish issue, especially as it relates to the second amendment. They’ve remained silent on this topic until now, scared of the media power that the Jews possess. But things are changing.”

    The Daily Stormer has frequently promoted NRA membership drives, including repeatedly linking to an NRA recruitment website and claiming,“The number 1 source of new recruits for the NRA has always been the Daily Stormer.”

    In articles posted on the website, Daily Stormer writers implore readers to join the NRA:

    According to The Daily Stormer, “The NRA is the country’s premiere pro-white and anti-Semitic organization. In fact, it is the only right-wing group of any kind in this country to have any success at all in the last 50 years.”

    The Daily Stormer clearly sees the NRA as a tool it can use to instigate wide-scale attacks against Jewish people. Here are a few pro-NRA threatening messages the site has posted:

    The Daily Stormer also posted a meme featuring NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch to threaten, “Our patience has its limits,” writing, “And guess what kikes? Your outrage machine is broken.”

    Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, The Daily Stormer backed the NRA’s calls for arming teachers, writing:

    The Daily Stormer is endorsing a plan to take it a step further, and arm the students as well.

    Say you’re in class, the teacher is writing something on the board, and a Jew pulls out a gun. The teacher has his back to the class and doesn’t see the Jew make his move – but you’re sitting behind him, and you’ve got a clean shot – why shouldn’t you be allowed to take it?

    The Daily Stormer is particularly enamored of five high-profile NRA employees: Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, President Oliver North, national spokesperson Dana Loesch, NRATV host Chuck Holton, and NRA board member Ted Nugent.

    The Daily Stormer has labeled LaPierre “/ourlad/” and “Reichsmarschall,” the highest military rank in Nazi Germany, and favorably called the NRA leader an “anti-Semitic white nationalist.” In particular, the site likes LaPierre because of a speech he gave after the Parkland school shooting in which he called opponents of the NRA “European-style socialists,” which, as The Daily Stormer explained, “everyone acknowledges, means ‘Jews’” or “the gun-grabbing kikes.” The Daily Stormer has favorably mentioned that LaPierre “gave a speech calling out the Jews as gun grabbers,” noted that LaPierre “purposefully pushed for an open war with the Jews,” and written that “he literally put out a Jew list, showing that everyone who disagrees with gun rights is a Jew. And he has to know, too. There is no way you list off a dozen Jews – and not a single goy – without noticing that pattern.” Indeed, LaPierre has frequently targeted Jews during his public remarks.

    In May, The Daily Stormer heaped praise on North after he became president of the NRA. An article on the neo-Nazi website argued, “The NRA just made a great pick for their new head. Great, great pick.” The website described North’s involvement in the Iran-Contra arms trafficking scandal as a positive, writing, “This is one guy who definitely does not give a single fuck about having a license to buy and sell weapons. For those who don’t know – the Iran-Contra ‘scandal’ was a program of selling weapons to Iran and using the money from that to fund communist-killing death squads in Latin America.” The article speculated that as president of the NRA, North could help arm Iran with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that the country could then use against Israel.

    The Daily Stormer also has a lot of praise for NRA national spokesperson Loesch, whom it calls “Princess Dana.” The site praised the gun group for not firing Loesch for her recently resurfaced 2010 tweet that said, “I bet Rick Sanchez was fired by a Jew.” (Sanchez was fired from CNN after he made anti-Semitic remarks about comedian Jon Stewart.) Loesch said that her tweet was meant to be an appeal to poetic justice. The Daily Stormer wrote that instead of firing her, the NRA “doubled-down by giving her a show about how she is going to destroy the Jews,” referencing promotional material for her NRATV show Relentless in which Loesch has threatened members of the media that their “time is running out.”

    The Daily Stormer has also praised Chuck Holton, a correspondent for the NRA’s media operation NRATV. During a July 2017 appearance on NRATV, Holton suggested that Black people were poised to commit mass rape and murder against white people while referencing “what’s happening in South Africa.” In response, The Daily Stormer wrote, “Holy shit! The NRA cited the White Genocide in South Africa as a warning to America!” Holton has a lengthy history of promoting white nationalism and making racist comments, and he has repeatedly pushed the conspiracy theory that Jewish philanthropist George Soros is behind the migrant caravan traveling through Central America and Mexico -- a remarkably similar theory to the one that inspired a gunman to carry out an anti-Semitic massacre at a Pittsburgh, PA, synagogue in October. The site is aware of NRATV and has disturbingly noted, “A NRA tv channel calling out ‘socialist corruption’ 24/7 would be the best thing ever, especially considering that all of these ‘European-style socialists’ are actually Jews.” (Three months after that Daily Stormer article was published and a day after an ISIS terror attack in Manchester, U.K., Holton argued on NRATV that “this wave of violence that we’re seeing across Europe is a symptom of the broader problem of multiculturalism and socialism.”)

    The Daily Stormer also lauded NRA board member Ted Nugent for sharing an anti-Semitic meme on Facebook without repercussions from the NRA, writing, “I’ve gotta give it to Ted. I expected an apology within hours. Instead he is just straight trolling these Jews. It’s fantastic.” In February, a Daily Stormer article defending the NRA as a friendly home for anti-Semites brought up the incident: “Remember another NRA spokesperson, Ted Nugent, posted that one meme a couple years ago… So, the NRA knows and the Jews know the NRA knows, and both sides want to escalate that.”

    The NRA’s recent adoption of more extreme messaging tactics is not lost on The Daily Stormer. As the neo-Nazis who run the website cheered in a March article, “The NRA is done with euphemisms.”

  • Anti-LGBTQ forces warn that Colorado's first openly gay governor is a threat to Christians

    As Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis makes history, an anti-LGBTQ group and right-wing media outlet have dubiously attempted to pit religion against the LGBTQ community

    Blog ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Anti-LGBTQ groups and right-wing media outlet The Daily Wire have used the successful campaign of Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis, the first openly gay man to be elected governor, to push a false narrative pitting religion against the LGBTQ community. Specifically, they have leveraged the story of anti-gay Colorado baker Jack Phillips -- who went all the way to the Supreme Court in a case involving his refusal to bake a cake for a gay couple -- to say that the state is persecuting Christians and that Polis’ election would result in religious people losing their rights.

    Extreme and influential anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom represented Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. The Supreme Court narrowly ruled in Phillips’ favor based on the particulars of the case, citing “inappropriate and dismissive comments” from one of the Colorado civil rights commissioners as “hostility” toward Phillips’ religion. Polis called the Supreme Court’s decision “disappointing, but thankfully narrow in scope,” adding that Congress should pass the Equality Act, a bipartisan federal bill that would amend civil rights protections in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, and other areas of life to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

    After Polis’ historic win, The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois published an article headlined “Colorado Elects First Openly Gay Governor In U.S. History As The State Persecutes Christians.” Bois highlighted Polis’ “commitment to LGBTQ principles” and wrote, “The ascension of Polis in Colorado comes at a time when the state has increasingly positioned itself as an enemy of religious liberty, most notably in its persecution of baker Jack Phillips.”

    Before Election Day, anti-LGBTQ group Family Policy Alliance also featured Phillips in a campaign ad against Polis. According to LGBTQ news outlet INTO, the ad said, “Assaults on Jack’s faith – and yours – could get even worse if Boulder’s own Jared Polis becomes governor,” and a statement released alongside the ad asserted that “the decision Colorado voters make will impact Jack Phillips and other people of faith in Colorado—and beyond—for years to come.” Family Policy Alliance sent an email promoting the ad on October 24, which claimed that Polis’ election “means that things could get even worse for Jack and other people of faith in Colorado.”

    The group deleted the ad within days and scrubbed references to the video from its website. A Family Policy Alliance spokesperson told Baptist Press on November 2 that the group “was no longer featuring Phillips in its ad online but was ‘pivoting to the next phase in our strategy with an ad that focuses on candidate Jared Polis and the threat to religious freedom he poses for people of faith in our state.’" That second ad, titled “Jared Polis vs. Freedom,” asserted that if elected, Polis would threaten “the freedom of people of faith throughout Colorado.” (During the 2018 election, Family Policy Alliance and its member group Massachusetts Family Institute worked extensively to undo a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination law in Massachusetts. The repeal effort failed.)

    The Family Policy Alliance ads and The Daily Wire’s story rest on the false premise that the LGBTQ community and people of faith are at odds, or that equal rights for LGBTQ people somehow result in the loss of rights for people of faith. Anti-LGBTQ figures often set up this “God vs. Gay” dichotomy to gin up sympathy for individuals and groups who wish to discriminate against LGBTQ people by citing their faith. But these figures, often right-wing evangelical Christians, do not represent all people of faith or even speak for all of Christians. The majority of Americans believe that homosexuality should be accepted -- including majorities of most religious groups. Almost 1,300 faith leaders filed an amicus brief defending the gay couple at the center of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and condemning the use of “religious freedom” arguments to discriminate against LGBTQ people. According to the brief’s press release, the faith leaders represented 500,000 congregants “from approximately 50 unique faith traditions across the U.S.” And though the Supreme Court ruled against the couple, the decision did not indicate how similar court cases should play out. But Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the baker in the case, is litigating several other cases that may determine whether businesses serving the public have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of “religious exemptions.”

    Additional research by Brianna January.

  • Fox’s Varney pushes smear that Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is anti-Israel

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Fox Business host Stuart Varney helped the chairman of the Florida Republican Party push a smear against Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections.

    Right-wing outlets have been trying to fabricate an "anti-Israel" narrative around Gillum based on some very tenuous arguments. The Washington Free Beacon published an article attacking Gillum for his “ties to radical anti-Israel groups” that have "promoted the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS," and The Daily Caller attacked him for speaking at an event hosted by a group primarily focused on engaging Muslim voters. Days later, the flimsy claims made their way onto Fox Business when Varney brought on Florida GOP Chairman Blaise Ingoglia to claim that Gillum has ties to groups that support terrorist organizations.

    But the claims that Gillum has “ties” to anti-Semitic groups are exaggerated and disingenuous. According to fact-checking site PolitiFact, Gillum has supported Dream Defenders, one of the groups conservative media are pointing to; but, according to his spokesperson, Gillum has opposed the group's stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Gillum signed a Dream Defenders pledge that “calls on those who sign it to pledge not to take a penny from the NRA or the Geo Group, a private prison operator," but which makes no mention of Israel. Gillum has stated that he does not support the BDS movement. And, even though Varney's guest tried to link Gillum to opposition for funding security for Jewish day schools, The Associated Press has reported on Gillum's support for that funding.

    From the November 5 edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co.:

    STUART VARNEY (HOST): Gillum does have a slight lead in the polls, but his campaign has been linked to a radical, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel group. Joining us now is Blaise Ingoglia, Florida GOP chair. Blaise, are those linked -- those links to anti-Israel organizations, is that resonating at all with Florida voters?

    BLAISE INGOGLIA (FLORIDA GOP CHAIRMAN): Well, it's definitely resonating with our Jewish community here in Florida. You know, after the attacks on the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, Andrew Gillum, still to this day, has yet to condemn those attacks. And he spoke before a group that opposes security for Jewish day schools here in the state of Florida. And that same group has just been unapologetic for their support of some terrorist groups and even defended them in court.

    And it's not just those groups, it's other groups like the Dream Defenders, which are anti-police. Andrew Gillum, unfortunately, and his campaign is surrounding themselves with some people who are just bad for Florida and bad, quite frankly, for the United States of America.

  • 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:

  • NRATV’s Grant Stinchfield: “Most Jews fully realize the importance of firearms considering their past”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Grant Stinchfield, a host for the National Rifle Association’s NRATV, claimed that “most Jews fully realize the importance of firearms, considering their past and what is going on in their homeland of Israel,” while arguing that the NRA is not anti-Semitic.

    The comment came during the October 30 broadcast of NRATV’s current events show Stinchfield. The segment was responding to a HuffPost article explaining that the NRA has singled out billionaires George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Michael Bloomberg -- all of whom are Jewish -- as left-wing boogeymen on the issue of gun regulation. The article also drew attention to a weeklong 2016 anti-Semitic rant by high-profile NRA board member Ted Nugent, who claimed gun regulation efforts are a Jewish plot and that Jews who support gun safety laws are “Nazis in disguise.” The NRA declined to condemn Nugent’s claims.

    Stinchfield’s comment also came in the aftermath of a massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, that left 11 people dead and six others injured. The gunman who carried out that shooting had promoted the conspiracy theory that Jews are behind a caravan of migrants traveling from Central America toward the U.S. southern border. NRATV had repeatedly pushed a remarkably similar conspiracy theory that Soros is behind the caravan in the weeks before the attack. Both the gunman and NRATV broadcasts also both frequently termed the caravan an “invasion.”

    The NRA frequently presents an ahistorical version of history to promote gun ownership or oppose new gun safety laws, often using the Holocaust as a reference point. Then-Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman explained in 2013 why these claims are wrong after an NRA board member attacked a New Jersey mayor for supporting a gun safety survey despite having grandparents who survived the Holocaust. In a statement on behalf of the ADL, Foxman, a Holocaust survivor himself, wrote that "there is absolutely no comparison of the issue of gun control in the U.S. to the genocidal actions of the Nazi regime" and added that the claim "trivializes the historical truth of the Holocaust."

  • After Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and mail bomb spree, right-wing media figures defend attacks on George Soros

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Right-wing media figures are continuing to attack philanthropist and liberal political donor George Soros and defending previous attacks against him barely one week after a man sent pipe bombs to Soros and other liberal figures, and another killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. While the two suspects specifically identified Soros as a perceived boogeyman in their social media posts prior to carrying out their terroristic attacks, irresponsible and careless right-wing pundits continue to attack the business mogul and push conspiracy theories about him. 

  • America is plagued by right-wing violence. Pundits need to stop calling it a "both sides" issue.

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Following a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, where a gunman inspired by an anti-Semitic right-wing conspiracy theory opened fire on parishioners with an assault weapon, expect to hear claims that “both sides” of the political aisle bear responsibility for the tragedy.

    The same thing happened last week. During an attempted bombing spree that targeted prominent liberals, including former President Barack Obama, mainstream conservative press pushed the line that both the right and the left are at fault for the current detestable political environment and should equally share the blame and engage in self-reflection.

    These arguments have no basis in reality; instead, they are conservatives' self-serving attempts to hide the rot in their own movement, which foments violence even at its highest levels.

    The fact is violence is a feature, not a bug, of the conservative movement in the United States today. In terms of frequency and deadliness, terrorism inspired by right-wing political beliefs far outpaces left-wing violence. So, when conservatives argue that both sides should be blamed for a bombing spree targeting liberals, responsible journalists shouldn’t act as stenographers for those false or deceptive claims. (And the same goes for the widespread conservative messaging effort to baselessly claim that mobs of Democrats stand ready to kill conservatives before the midterm elections.) Instead, when reporting on political violence, journalists should present the full context: Right-wing violence is a documentable pattern incomparable to violence from the left.

    Here are some examples of how conservative media figures engaged in the “both sides-ing” of the pipe bomb spree before the suspect was arrested:

    • Conservative pundit Erick Erickson wrote, “Both sides have unstable elements among their ranks and some of those unstable elements are becoming increasingly radicalized and violent. Perhaps both sides should turn down the heat on their rhetoric a bit.”
    • Fox News host Charles Payne drew an equivalence between the attempted bombings and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) being yelled at by protesters while he was eating dinner at a restaurant.
    • Fox News host Greg Gutfeld claimed on The Five, “If you want to blame rhetoric, if you want to blame violence on rhetoric, everybody is guilty, OK?”
    • Referencing comments made by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade said, “You can't have civility, so I think it all plays into this.”
    • According to Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway, “We've heard a lot of calls for incivility. We've seen a lot of mob violence. We've seen a lot of leftist groups taking over the police functions of cities -- of major American cities. So, everyone needs to calm down.”
    • Fox News host Harris Faulkner said, “I wonder if re-litigating how we got here on both sides of the political aisle is something that we need to do right now so that we don't make the same mistakes going forward.”
    • National Review’s David French:

    (While some conservatives pushed the “both sides” talking points, many others went further, terming the bombing spree a “false flag” attack presumably carried out by liberals. Disturbingly, this claim was found not only in the fever swamps of outlets like Infowars, but also on Fox News.)

    The “both sides” rhetoric even crept into nonideological coverage. Introducing a segment on the pipe bomb spree on CNN on October 25, the network’s chief national correspondent, John King, said, “It’s a plain fact: The president has moved the boundaries of that discourse by calling critics evil, the media an enemy of the state. But it is not right or fair to chastise the president, as I believe we should, without making note of the more aggressive language from the left.”

    Blame for violent incidents should not be apportioned equally when there is a wide gulf between right-wing and left-wing violence. The “both sides” argument may be safe and easy political punditry, but it is at odds with documented incidents of violence.

    As Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow for the Anti-Defamation League, told NPR in 2017, “The far left is very active in the United States, but it hasn't been particularly violent for some time.” He noted that “in the past 10 years when you look at murders committed by domestic extremists in the United States of all types, right-wing extremists are responsible for about 74 percent of those murders.” Two percent of murders in that period were carried out by left-wing extremists. According to a writer at the libertarian Cato Institute, “Terrorists inspired by Nationalist and Right Wing ideology have killed about 10 times as many people as Left Wing terrorists since 1992.”

    Indeed, according to a 2017 report from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, “there was a sharp decline in the proportion of terrorist attacks carried out by left-wing, environmentalist extremists during the first seven years of the 2010s (from 64% to 12%). At the same time, there was a sharp increase in the proportion of attacks carried out by right-wing extremists (from 6% to 35%) and religious extremists (from 9% to 53%) in the United States.”

    Right-wing attacks have also caused many more fatalities in recent years, according to the report:

    David Neiwert, an expert on right-wing extremism, laid out the disparities between ideologically motivated violence in a lengthy thread on Twitter:

    Noting that there have been two prominent attacks in recent years motivated by left-wing ideology -- the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and others in 2017, and a 2012 shooting in the lobby of the conservative Family Research Council that injured a security guard -- Neiwert listed a number of high-profile right-wing attacks, including, but not limited to:

    Organized violence on the right has also been deadlier. While right-wing media frequently shout about antifa -- whose members have caused property damage and engaged in brawls, mostly during fights with far-right extremists -- there is no comparison to the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, that ended with a neo-Nazi driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer and wounding others.

    There are, of course, some instances of people carrying out violence motivated by a left-wing ideology. But to say “both sides” are to blame for political violence broadly is absurd and ahistorical and ignores the way far-right members of the conservative movement have used violence as a tool dating back to the right-wing militia movement of the 1990s.

    The arrest of a suspect in the bombing spree has made it clear that the “both sides” argument is vacuous. The suspect owns a van festooned with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat material, and his social media accounts indicate that he was active in the far-right meme community. And then within days, a man who promoted the conspiracy theory that Jews were behind the migrant caravan on right-wing social media platform Gab killed 11 people in a synagogue. How could Democrats share equal blame for possibly motivating these actions?