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Can The Media Stop Giving That White Supremacist Nobody A Megaphone?

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Can The Media Stop Giving That White Supremacist Nobody A Megaphone?

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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

After more than a year of glossy profiles and sexy photo spreads, the media is once again falling in love with a certain white supremacist dork who’s managed to bilk the press for more free PR than a Kardashian cousin.

We won’t mention his name or show his picture, because we don’t want to contribute to the very problem we’re criticizing, but for god’s sake, please stop giving free press to this man.

CNN dedicated an entire segment to the nazi dork in April. TNT, in its ill-advised discussion on race by Charles Barkley, did so in May. Since the white supremacist attack in Charlottesville two weeks ago, this same idiot has been given coverage in The HillIsraeli televisionABC NewsNPR, and the New York Times which, in a now deleted tweet insisted we “read about an NYT reporter’s conversation with [the white supremacist dork] in this week’s Race/Related newsletter.”

All seemingly in an effort to get their “side” of the story, as if the issue of people’s baseline humanity is a breezy policy difference worthy of debate.

ABC’s Nightline sat a random antifa “representative” down across from the white supremacist dork at a picnic table to hash out their differences. Again, the presumption is that a pro-eugenics, pro-genocide position is somehow on the same moral plane as those who oppose eugenics and genocide, or that there’s something to be gained by talking things out.

This comes after a torrent of Teen Beat-like profiles in the leadup to the 2016 election in Mother Jones, the Washington Post, and the L.A. Times.

What’s the point of all of this? What goes through an editor’s or producer’s head when, in the wake of a neo-Nazi terrorist attack, they reach out to a neo-Nazi for comment? The pathological “both sides”-ism that infects our journalist class is uniquely unsuited for these times. Much like NPR’s institutional refusal to call Trump’s most egregious lies lies or the New York Times‘ desire to contrive goodin Trump’s first 100 days, the desire to seek out white supremacist voices on the subject of white supremacist violence is at best, morally negligent, and at worst, fascist propaganda.

The “debate” ought to be, “What’s the best way to combat these forces?” not “Hmm, what makes neo-Nazis tick?”

A similar phenomenon occurred in the build-up to the war against ISIS, where the media mindlessly replayed ISIS snuff videos on loop for over two years, serving as a primary distributor of its propaganda. In a rush to rack up sensationalist clicks, no one in these media organizations stopped to ask what part they played in ISIS recruiting efforts. The following of radical imam Anjem Choudary doubled in less than four months after he was featured nonstop on print and cable media.

Just the same, the white supremacist dork’s follower count on Twitter has gone from under 6,000 to 73,000 in the year and a half since the mainstream media decided to make him the poster child for sexy, bad boy hatemongering.

This isn’t to say white supremacists should be ignored. It’s important the media highlight their scope and growth and the danger they pose. What isn’t needed, however, are glossy, sympathetic profiles of their self-appointed leader or to treat them as simply one side of an ongoing debate in urgent need of media parity.

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5 Comments

  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 28, 2017

    America has always been confused on the matter of “Free Speech”. And the Founding Fathers demonstrated this confusion when they failed to account for dereliction of responsibility to restrain one’s personal tendencies to cross the lines of decency.

    But they can’t be held solely responsible, because even the Religious institutions of the time— which were status quo by then—lost sight of what is appropriate behavior.

    Islam, as a successor to Christianity, according to Baha’u’llah having brought to our attention a universal pattern called “Progressive Revelation”, had centuries ago brought to bear the sentiment that honesty and mild speech were preferable to execration, spreading falsehoods, and having a basis for claims made publicly. Otherwise, Muhammad called for specific penalties for transgressing the lines of accusation/assertions. Jesus had not the time, owing to His martyrdom so early into His Ministry, to elaborate on moral responsibilities of the individual in society—maybe an inscrutable Wisdom dictated Jesus not have that specific mandate.

    Well, Baha’u’llah, continuing this Progression of Revelation, does have the mandate.

    “…He must never seek to exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vain‐glory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering
    fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the
    body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The
    force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter
    endureth a century.”

    (Bahaʹuʹllah, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahaʹuʹllah, p. 264)

    Based on the above, Trump, the Alt-Right, White Nationalists here and abroad, and others are, and have been, in direct violation of this admonition. So, until this “standard” of how to express one’s views is adopted, the concept of Free Speech” is just an open invitation to be as abusive and disgusting in one’s views as he/she feels. That dysfunctional sort of standard is why the Media and our government and Founding Fathers were, and are, uncertain about what Free Speech means and the responsibilities that have to be observed to exercise such. Otherwise, everyone can make up their own “standard” as to what is appropriate and what isn’t. A sure recipe for further confusion and incendiary unbridled speech.

    Reply
  2. idamag August 28, 2017

    I saw part of the interview. I couldn’t watch it long. That piece of malignancy make me ill. I saw where he said Trump was not a racist as he allowed his daughter to marry a Jew. This man, and his followers are dangerous people. We cannot ignore them. The media should be exposing them and maybe that was what they were trying to do.

    Reply
  3. FireBaron August 29, 2017

    And I would be more than willing to bet that a thorough examination of his personal life and behavior would show his complete hypocrisy. Just like Mullah Omar with his protestations against Western Life had a complete audio and video library of just about every movie and music recording considered “popular”. Just like Jim Baker and his breaking just about every commandment all while preaching to the sheep he was fleecing.

    Reply
  4. yabbed August 29, 2017

    The media does the same thing with the lesser right wing freaks. The worst is Chris Cuomo on CNN with his include-every-stupid-opinion-know-to-man-as-valid-and-worthy-of-airing. Equivalency is not rational when talking about antiAmerican nazi racist freaks.

    Reply
  5. vamrse August 29, 2017

    DORK!!!! funny how the media has (yes)!!!! fallen in love w/Trump..it was going to happen, it always does..

    Reply

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