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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

News of Jeffrey Epstein’s death by apparent suicide on Saturday sparked a wave of conspiracy theories — including one amplified by President Donald Trump that attempted to link Epstein’s death to former President Bill Clinton (without evidence, of course).

But while the conspiracy theories are just those, legal experts — from former federal prosecutors to law scholars — are likewise “dumbfounded” by Epstein’s death, particularly after it was revealed Epstein was not on suicide watch during his apparent suicide.

Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst who served as the assistant attorney general for the South District of New York, said he “can’t recall any suicides” at the [Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York]” during his time as a prosecutor.

Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor for the SDNY, couldn’t “recall one either.”

Harvard legal scholar Laurence Tribe said it’s “inexcusable that [Epstein] was taken off suicide watch.” He also demanded Attorney General Bill Barr recuse himself from the investigation into why Epstein was removed from suicide watch.

“We have to ask who stood to gain from his permanent silence?” Tribe added. “Whom could he have incriminated in an effort to win favorable treatment from the Trump Justice Department?”

Lawyer Harry Litman, in an article for the Washington Post, called Epstein’s suicide “unfathomable.”

 

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.