Tag: gab
Why Don't Republicans Act Against Their Party's Neo-Nazi Infestation?

Why Don't Republicans Act Against Their Party's Neo-Nazi Infestation?

As the Republican Party gives off an increasingly strong stench of fascism — with the anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic attitudes inherent in that ideology — the party establishment looks more and more like the "Junker" conservatives of Germany in the 1930s. While those monarchists and militarists felt distaste for Hitler and his Nazi thugs, many of them nevertheless abetted his rise to power.

A disturbingly similar scenario is now visible in what was once the party of Lincoln, where the spineless Rep. Kevin McCarthy, conniving Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and sundry other "leaders" say little or nothing as fascists openly conspire to take over. Rather than confront the repeated provocations by their Nazi-adjacent colleagues over the past year, those timid figures are instead allowing the authoritarian cancer to grow out of control. Both McCarthy and McConnell know what's happening in the GOP, but their weak character will likely prevent them from acting with any resolve until it is far too late, if ever.

Instead, the scandalous connections continue to metastasize between far-right Republican officials and a motley assortment of neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and fascist thugs.

In Pennsylvania, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, an election-denying insurrectionist and Christian nationalist, won the party's gubernatorial primary last spring. Mastriano, a state senator, then proceeded to bring a vocal and aggressive anti-Semite named Andrew Torba into his campaign, along with Torba's followers. Torba operates Gab, the tiny social media site that serves as a headquarters for unsavory rightists — notably including the maniac who murdered 11 people at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue just after posting a diatribe on the website.

To save face, Torba denounced that massacre and insisted he opposes violence. But he isn't shy about expressing his desire for a nation free of Jews, which he frames in furious terms. He promotes violently anti-Semitic material, and recently opined that Jews can no longer be accepted as conservatives.

In this appalling saga's latest development, Mastriano declared that he opposes anti-Semitism and that Torba "doesn't speak for me or my campaign." But a few weeks ago, Mastriano, who rarely speaks to mainstream outlets, sat down for an interview with Torba and gushed: "Thank God for what you've done."

Reacting to the erupting controversy, Torba denied being a Mastriano consultant and — in a revealing remark — explained that the Republican was merely buying advertising on Gab. "The campaign paid Gab as a business for advertising during the primary," he wrote. "The campaign posts on Gab, as do 50-plus other campaigns from around the country."

So more than 50 Republican candidates are buying ads to entice the troglodytic Nazi subscribers on Gab — and providing many thousands of dollars in revenue to its obnoxious proprietor.

The official Republican response to this filthy tableau has been feeble indeed. The Republican Jewish Coalition, such as it is, tweeted its pathetic "hope" that Mastriano would reject Gab. Of all Mastriano's GOP colleagues in the state legislature, exactly one has spoken up to condemn Torba and demand his "total rejection" by Mastriano, which isn't happening. The Republican Governors Association, the Republican National Committee, the GOP congressional leaders, and the entire party apparatus evidently see no cause for alarm.

Sadly, it would be foolish to expect anything better from the Republican Party, because its Dear Leader Donald Trump has created a permission structure for fascism and even anti-Semitism, despite the fact that his oldest daughter and a couple of his grandchildren are Jews. Trump's own anti-Semitic emissions long ago became notorious, along with his coddling of neo-Nazis.

Why? Principally because those scum constantly praise his bigotry and bullying, so he sees nothing wrong with them. It's always and only about him — and the Nazi sympathizers are his most faithful fans, dating back to Richard Spencer's "Heil Trump" salute during the 2016 Republican convention.

But the white nationalist disease within the GOP now extends far beyond Trump and will surely outlast him. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) talks about Jewish space lasers and repeats anti-Semitic slurs about George Soros, as do so many of her colleagues. She and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) both spoke before the neo-Nazi America First Political Action Committee, an outfit run by Holocaust denier Nicholas Fuentes. So did Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, another raving Republican anti-Semite who called Fuentes "the most persecuted man in America."

The list of anti-Jewish and racist offenders in the GOP could take up many more pages, ad nauseam. There are less blatant but equally dangerous figures closer to the party's power centers, such as billionaire Peter Thiel, the would-be kingmaker who has courted a white nationalist leader and revealed his disdain for democracy — and is now financing U.S. Senate candidates in Arizona and Ohio.

The question remains whether decent Republicans, of whom there must still be many, intend to save their once-great party from slime and shame. So far, they've only demonstrated blindness and cowardice. And they seem fated to end like the Junkers, who waited until 1944 to act against Hitler — and ended up on the gallows.

They can't say nobody warned them.

Joe Conason is editor-in-chief of The National Memo and editor-at-large of Type Investigations. To find out more about him and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Republican Candidates Are Advertising On White Nationalist Platform Gab

Republican Candidates Are Advertising On White Nationalist Platform Gab

As if the radicalization of the Republican Party weren’t already clearly enough established, a number of GOP candidates—notably, ex-football star Herschel Walker, the nominee in the race against incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat—have begun advertising on the white-nationalist-friendly platform Gab.

The list also includes some less surprising names, such as Republicans’ go-to white nationalist in the House, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and the QAnon-loving keynote speaker for the white-nationalist “America First” conference earlier this year, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

As Alex Kaplan reports at Media Matters, Gab last August introduced a new feature enabling people to advertise on the site. Founder Andrew Torba called it “a huge step forward for our vision of a parallel economy” comprising clients who have been removed from other platforms for terms-of-use violations.

Walker has been among the more prolific advertisers. One ad, saying “we need your support today,” depicts Warnock as “celebrity funded” and “celebrity approved,” while another shows a lineup of liberal celebrities who have donated to Warnock’s campaign and asking, “Georgia Values? Or Hollywood Values?,” adding: “I need your help to WIN.”

Other “Team Walker” ads on Gab claim “the race is in a dead heat,” claim that “the Liberal Media is out to get me,” and “the road to defeating the Biden Agenda runs right through Georgia.”

As The Informant’s Nick Martin notes, it’s not clear whether Walker himself has an account at Gab. One unverified page with 7,000 followers uses his name and photo, but it has only posted there once—three days after the Jan. 6 insurrection, when its owner wrote: "Hey everyone. Coming on over to Gab after the sad news about Parler."

Among the other Republican candidates advertising on Gab has been Jerrod Sussler of Washington state’s 4th Congressional District, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Congressman Dan Newhouse, who was targeted for primary defeat by Donald Trump after he voted for Trump’s impeachment in January 2021.

Gosar, who also delivered a taped speech at the white-nationalist America First convention in February, asked “every America First Patriot” to chip in to defend his reelection bid. He has previously praised Gab as comprising “people who respect real diversity, diversity of opinion, thoughts, and views.”

Greene’s ads on Gab have featured her aiming a .50-caliber sniper rifle (“Enter to win MTG’s gun!”) and posing with former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka with an “Impeach Biden” sign. “Joe Biden must be impeached,” the text reads. “Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next year. NOW … before it is too late!”

Gab established itself in 2016 as a friendly environment for right-wing extremists. “When a group of people are being systematically dehumanized and labeled as the alphabet soup of phobias,” Torba wrote, “they will look for a place that will allow them to speak freely without censorship and devoid of Social Justice bullying.”

The reality is that the site has been a free-for-all of bigotry, conspiracism, and violent rhetoric. Posts with headlines like “Satanic PizzaGate Is Going Viral Worldwide (Elites Are Terrified)” are standard fare. Antisemitism flourishes in the comments, where a mere downvote can get users accused of being a “#Jew.”

Pittsburgh mass shooter Robert Bowers was a regular Gab user, and posted his final threat (“Screw your optics. I’m going in”) to the site before embarking on his 2018 rampage inside a synagogue that left 11 people dead. Gab was largely deplatformed in the aftermath of that incident, but eventually found a hosting service with the Northwest-based Epik, which also hosts Alex Jones’ Infowars operation.

Torba’s own anti-Semitism is well established. Speaking at the February America First gathering, he told the audience he “rebukes the Synagogue of Satan.” He also called for “a parallel Christian society,” because “we are fed up with the Judeo-Bolshevik one.”

When criticized, Torba responded: “Sadly many Christians today are so afraid of being called a silly meaningless name by the world (bigot, antisemite, homophobe) that they refuse to even remotely share or discuss the Gospel in their daily lives, let alone live it,” adding: “You reveal your anti-Christian hatred when you refer to Biblical Truth as ‘antisemitism.’”

After its post-Pittsburgh downturn, Gab has worked to reestablish itself among far-right activists; in 2019, it was able to return to financial stability thanks to an online crowdfunding strategy. After the Jan. 6 insurrection—particularly the demise of Parler, which had become an effective competitor for the same audience—it once again became a popular place for extremists to gather and share their violent seditionist worldviews.

Media Matters noted that Gab also introduced targeted advertising recently. That means that there may be other Republican candidates buying ads on the platform whose activity is not immediately visible.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

How Gab Is Becoming A Platform For Neo-Nazi Propaganda

How Gab Is Becoming A Platform For Neo-Nazi Propaganda

The CEO of Gab -- a social media platform known as a haven for white nationalists and extremism that is now attracting Republican political figures including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) -- has increasingly affiliated himself with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist with ties to the January 6 insurrection as part of efforts to create a “parallel economy” for far-right forces banned from other platforms.

Gab CEO Andrew Torba -- whose account all Gab users follow by default -- has increasingly praised white nationalist Nick Fuentes and his “America First” movement, announcing that the platform would be collaborating with Fuentes to sponsor his upcoming far-right conference, repeatedly promoting Fuentes and his group, and even sending America First content directly to Gab users. Torba has also defended him from backlash after some Gab users criticized the platform’s support for Fuentes, who has repeatedly attacked them.

The platform’s growing relationship with Fuentes and his organization highlights Torba’s own escalating extremism, which includes lauding the Capitol insurrection as it was happening and urging the insurrectionists to storm the U.S. Senate; endorsing a call for then-President Donald Trump to declare martial law and overturn the 2020 election; and endorsing the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory. Torba has also used Gab to undermine vaccination efforts and actively courted far-right figures to join the platform, including supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Fuentes is a Holocaust-denying white nationalist organizer and host of America First who has previously been banned by both YouTube and Twitter. In late 2019, Fuentes came to prominence leading a campaign to have followers of America First harass more mainstream conservative figures, which he called the “Groyper War” (his followers call themselves “Groypers”). He also attended the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and encouraged the 2021 Capitol insurrection. Last month, he was subpoenaed by the House January 6 committee over “his ‘America First’ group’s involvement in the run-up to the event.”

Torba announced in January that Gab would be sponsoring Fuentes’ upcoming America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), calling the event “a group of grassroots young Christian thinkers who, like it or not, are the future of right wing politics in this country.” Fuentes thanked Torba for the sponsorship, claiming the “parallel economy and Gab alternative tech ecosystem are the future.” America First has since announced that Torba will also be a featured speaker at AFPAC.

Torba’s announcement fits with a larger pattern of the Gab CEO praising or promoting Fuentes and his group. A Media Matters review of Torba’s Gab posts since 2019 found that he has mentioned Fuentes or “America First” over 140 times. Torba’s references to Fuentes picked up significantly since the beginning of 2021, having made more than 120 references to Fuentes or “America First” -- over six times as many as in all of 2019 and 2020 combined.

Media Matters’ review also found that Torba has used Gab’s email list to promote content from Fuentes to users at least a dozen times since 2021, including: “Nick Fuentes unmasks gatekeeping Zionists who control the American political conversation”; “Nick Fuentes discusses the enshrinement of anti-white HATRED in public policy”; and a video of Fuentes claiming “the System HATES White People.”

Gab Fuentes video email6

Citation From an email from Gab in August 2021

Torba’s embrace of Fuentes also fits his pattern of pushing antisemitism alongside his own brand of “Christian Nationalism.” In April 2021, Torba shared a video of Fuentes criticizing the American Jewish Congress for being critical of Gab and wrote that Fuentes “is waking Conservatives up and shifting the Overton Window in the right direction. It's long overdue.”

In July, he wrote that Fuentes “and the millions of young Christian men and women like him are the future. … America First Christian Nationalism is inevitable.”

And that same month Torba took his praise even further, calling Fuentes the “civil rights hero of our time” and writing a blog post claiming that “in an age where young, straight, White, Christian men who hold Biblical values are being treated as second class citizens for their political and religious beliefs, Nick Fuentes is a voice of reason.”

Torba Fuentes civil rights hero post

Torba also criticized those in conservative media who were critical of Fuentes, claiming that “they are not on our side” and that they were criticizing Fuentes “because what he says is TRUE.” Torba also defended Fuentes in response to criticism from The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro and promoted a quote from Fuentes that “denying Christ is far worse than denying the Holocaust, and Ben Shapiro and all the jews can take that to [the] bank.”

Torba Fuentes Holocaust post

In addition to praising and defending Fuentes on Gab, Torba has also repeatedly shared clips of Fuentes and America First. Media Matters found that Torba shared Fuentes and America First clips more than 20 times within just a four-month period alone in 2021, including a video titled “WAKE UP! ‘Holocaust RELIGION’ Is ANTITHETICAL To America First,” and a video of Fuentes saying the U.S. is a Christian nation and telling American Jews to move to Israel if they don’t like antisemitism, to which Torba wrote, “There are tens of millions of us who feel this way and we aren’t going away.

Torba Fuentes Holocaust video

In the days leading up to and right around Torba’s sponsorship announcement of AFPAC, he also created a Gab account on Fuentes’ streaming platform, where he began doing livestreams and openly expressed hope for a “partnership” between both platforms.

Torba also used Fuentes’ streaming platform to defend the AFPAC announcement against criticism from Gab users, saying it was “unbecoming” and “leftist-type behavior” and that Fuentes’ attacks on Gab users were simply cases of him being a “provocateur” like Torba. He said that the conference was “the best possible thing for Gab to sponsor” because it would “give glory to Christ” and feature “a bunch of young people who are the future.”

Gab’s Twitter account has also praised Fuentes, writing that he and Gab “embody the true and relentless spirit of American excellence, ingenuity, grit, and defiance in the face of tyranny.”

Fuentes has reciprocated Torba’s praise, calling the Gab CEO a “21st century Founding Father” and adding, “It was people like him that created this country.”

On an episode of Fuentes’ show in January, the host said that Torba was a “total rock star and Gab is blowing up,” pointing to the growing number of Republican political figures joining the platform as evidence. He later said that Torba’s involvement is “absolutely critical,” adding, “He’s going to be a very important figure. He is already, but his importance will grow because Gab is very important.” And on the day that Torba announced Gab’s sponsorship of AFPAC, Fuentes wrote: “I trust Gab because Gab is run by a faithful Christian. And not some Judeo-Christian either, a Christian.”

Fuentes has also repeatedly and directly lauded Gab, which he joined in the days after the Capitol insurrection, writing that it is the “one true free speech platform in the entire world” and “an amazing platform” because “without it there would be nowhere else on the entire internet for us to go.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Greene Paid For Marketing On 'Gab' Site Favored By Racists And Anti-Semites

Greene Paid For Marketing On 'Gab' Site Favored By Racists And Anti-Semites

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has paid $36,741 in marketing costs to Gab, a social media site that’s been a haven for white nationalists, anti-Semites, and pro-violence extremists.

Gab was founded in 2016 as a supposed “free speech” alternative to other social media sites. The site has been filled with violent rhetoric and is popular with white nationalists and anti-Semites, including the person who allegedly committed the 2018 deadly mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gab CEO Andrew Torba has a history of pushing anti-Semitism and supporting anti-Semites. He also praised and encouraged the January 6 insurrectionists.

Greene, who was recently banned from Twitter, is a frequent Gab user. She is a fit for Gab’s user base: She has a history of making violent, racist, and anti-Semitic remarks. Greene is still on Facebook, where a significant amount of her toxic rhetoric was posted (she was briefly suspended from the platform last month).

Greene’s congressional campaign committee paid Gab (also known as GAB AI Inc.) on September 13, September 20, September 22, October 1, and October 6, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. The disbursements state that the payments were for “digital marketing” and “digital marketing for fundraising.”

Greene’s spending on Gab in September coincided with ads she placed on the platform at the time:

Greene has also been paying Neighborhood Research and Media, which is owned by Republican consultant Rick Shaftan. He has a history of making anti-Black remarks, including calling majority-Black cities “shitholes”; telling people to not open businesses in Black neighborhoods; and claiming that the NAACP is “the Black KKK, only more violent and dangerous.”

Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-AZ) has also apparently given money to Gab; her profile page lists her as a “donor.” Rogers has a history of embracing violent and white nationalist rhetoric.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters