In a ludicrous effort to provide “balance” to its readers, The Hill has published a column by informal Donald Trump adviser, conspiracy theorist, and racist Roger Stone allowing him to promote the baseless allegation that the presidential election will be “rigged” in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
In addition to giving a conspiracy theorist a platform to sow seeds of doubt about the outcome of the election, The Hill -- which identifies Stone as a “contributor” -- has also associated their brand with a man who regularly promotes conspiracy theories and has an extensive history of making racist, sexist, and bigoted comments.
Asked why they would choose to publish Stone’s piece given his record, a spokesperson for The Hill explained that they provide “a platform for contributors, encompassing politics and policy, from all points of the political compass, including those with provocative voices about the candidates and the electoral process.” The spokesperson claimed that Stone’s allegation that the election will be rigged by Clinton shows how the paper “is always providing and seeking balance among the points of view that we present,” noting that “last week we published a column pressing the argument that in the nation’s history ‘systemic election fraud’ is non-existent.”
The response appears to confirm that The Hill’s willingness to promote “points of view” is limited by neither their extremeness nor their factual accuracy.
Indeed, Stone bases much of his column on the claim that “A recent study by Stanford University proved that Hillary Clinton’s campaign rigged the system to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders.” The document in question is not a Stanford University “study.” It is a research paper written by two graduate students at Stanford University and Tilburg University.
The fact-checking site Snopes reports that the authors of the paper “acknowledged their claims and research methodology had not been subject to any form of peer review or academic scrutiny.” For much of its argument claiming that exit polling indicates that the Democratic primary was rigged, the paper relies on a figure named Richard Charnin who Snopes points out “appears to expend much of his focus on conspiracy theories related to the JFK assassination.” Stone refers to Charnin as a “mathematician and voting statistic expert” in his column and describes his work as “compelling.”
Using such an absurd document as a basis for his vote-rigging thesis is in line with Stone’s predilection for promoting and creating conspiracy theories. The former Republican Party operative with a long history of dirty tricks has published a book in which he alleges that the Bush family “tried to kill” President Ronald Reagan, while another of his books is entitled The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ.
Stone also believes that the Clintons are “plausibly responsible” for the deaths of roughly 40 people and that John F. Kennedy Jr. was “murdered by the Clintons because he was in the way.” He recently alleged that the Clintons had four (more) people murdered.
He called then-CNN commentator Roland Martin a “stupid negro and a “fat negro,” called Herman Cain “mandingo” and described former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) as an “arrogant know-it-all negro.” He also said Al Sharpton was a “professional negro” who likes fried chicken and asked if Ben Carson was an “Uncle Tom.”
Stone said CNN political commentator Ana Navarro and Martin were “quota hires” because they are “so dumb and unqualified that one can reach no other conclusion." He also said of Navarro, “black beans and rice didn’t miss her.”
He said New York Times columnist Gail Collins was an “elitist c*nt” and referred to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow as “Rachel the muff-diver.”
Stone has also called for violence against several figures. He said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is a “Soviet Agent” who “should be arrested for treason and shot.” He also said he would “kick in” money to see Hillary Clinton kill herself.
As Trump has encountered trouble in his presidential campaign leading to lower ratings in opinion polls, Stone and his partner, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, have been peddling the notion that the election will be rigged in favor of Clinton. They have now enlisted The Hill in their campaign.
Previously reporters for The Hill said publishing their material alongside serial liar and conservative “laughingstock” Dick Morris affected the publication’s brand. Roger Stone is worse. Much worse.
The full statement from The Hill spokesperson to Media Matters’ Joe Strupp follows:
The Hill has a platform for contributors, encompassing politics and policy, from all points of the political compass, including those with provocative voices about the candidates and the electoral process. Roger Stone is certainly among those. We have of course run many columns, as well, by opponents of Trump.
Stone has been a vocal backer and consultant to the campaign of Donald Trump, and we have run several columns by him as a way of understanding the points of views of Trump backers.
In addition, today’s column about election fraud follows a line of attack by Trump himself on what he sees as the likelihood that the election will be “rigged.”
And to show how The Hill is always providing and seeking balance among the points of view that we present, last week we published a column pressing the argument that in the nation’s history “systemic election fraud” is non-existent.
The Hill welcomes all points of view in its coverage of politics and policy and will continue to do so.