NBC News has found another important story in the recently released emails between now-White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and the right-wing site Breitbart, sent in 2015 and 2016, in which Miller advanced a variety of white nationalist political narratives.
NBC reports that Miller had “more editorial influence over” Breitbart “during the 2016 presidential campaign than previously known” and that Miller, at the time an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), sought to plant stories in Breitbart that would attack Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), then a presidential candidate, on the issue of immigration. Miller called Rubio “pathological” and “an extremist who wants unlimited immigration,” writing, “The American people are moderate and want to hit pause after the deluge.”
Miller’s influence at Breitbart is demonstrated in October 2015 emails in which Miller pitched a chart titled “For Every 1 New American Added to the Population, Immigration Will Add 7 More,” and Breitbart political editor Matthew Boyle replied by asking whether it should run under Sessions’ byline or as a “Breitbart News” story. According to NBC, “Miller responded that the chart and the accompanying article should be run under a Breitbart News byline. This decision served to conceal it as a “news” item, rather than as a polemic meant to affect political debate within Republican discourse.
As others have also pointed out, these Miller emails ought to draw more scrutiny to Facebook’s decision to include Breitbart in its recently announced Facebook News section, a move that confers reputability upon an alt-right media outlet known for trafficking in content from neo-Nazis and other white supremacists — despite Facebook’s own stated policies against hate speech.
Indeed, just recently Facebook had to take down a Breitbart article purporting to name the whistleblower in the Trump-Ukraine scandal, contrary to Facebook’s own policy.
Facebook executive Carolyn Everson, speaking Monday at the Code Media conference, said that she wouldn't call Breitbart “trusted news, because it’s all going to be dependent on how they follow our policies. And if they don’t they’re going to be kicked out.”
This is not how Facebook described the outlets in its news section just months ago.