Tag: kanye west
Arizona Republicans Feature  '#TeamYe' Conspiracy Theorist On Covid-19 Panel

Arizona Republicans Feature '#TeamYe' Conspiracy Theorist On Covid-19 Panel

Arizona Republican lawmakers at the state and federal level have created a committee that will bring in alleged experts to talk about COVID-19. One of their scheduled panelists is an Alex Jones follower who has said that “9/11 was an inside job” and wrote that she’s on “#TeamYe” after the rapper’s notorious appearance on Jones’ program.

Arizona Republicans set up the Novel Coronavirus Southwestern Intergovernmental Committee, which they claim will “examine federal, state and local efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.” The committee features Arizona state legislators and U.S. members of Congress.

One of the committee's “expert panelistsnext week is Kristen Meghan, who is described as an industrial hygienist. Meghan is also a podcast host and guest on various streaming programs.

She has also described herself as “a former contributor” to Alex Jones’ show. She has appeared on the show to criticize vaccine mandates -- alongside scheduled committee panelist Tammy Clark -- and talk about chemtrails, the conspiracy theory “that governments or shadowy forces are routinely spraying the planet with chemicals.” (Meghan has written that “chemtrails is a term used to disparage the truth about it.”) She told Jones during one appearance that his film Terrorstorm -- which purports to document how 9/11 was an inside job -- “woke me up.”

Meghan has frequently promoted 9/11 conspiracy theories. She has tweeted:

  • “9/11 was an inside job for sure!” [link]
  • “Does anyone even believe it wasn't an inside job? Hell, most of my fellow veterans definitely don't believe the official story.” [link]
  • “Brace yourself for the amount of 9/11 truth tweets I will be posting all day.” [link]
  • “tower 7 pancaked into itself, which was demo.” [link]
  • “#afterseptember11 I joined the military, only to later learn it was a false flag sold to us with lies and flawed logic.” [link]

She has also tweeted that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing “was an inside job.”

On December 1, Ye (the rapper formerly known as Kanye West) appeared on Alex Jones’ show and “repeatedly referred to antisemitic stereotypes, made antisemitic jokes and praised Hitler.” Following his appearance, Meghan wrote “#TeamYe” and “I don't agree with everything Ye or Alex does, but I agree with a lot and support free speech that is suppressed.” She then added in response to a Twitter user: “I said this because the video of Ye talking about Hitler and Nazis is the only thing some may stick to when they see my tweet and I don't need the ‘oh you live Nazis’ replies. And, Ron Paul is pretty close to my mental twin.”

The Arizona committee will also feature COVID-19 conspiracy theorists Peter McCullough and Pierre Kory, among others.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Survey Shows Steep Rise In 'Classical Fascist' Anti-Semitic Opinion Among Americans

Survey Shows Steep Rise In 'Classical Fascist' Anti-Semitic Opinion Among Americans

You may have gotten the uneasy sense in recent months that not only are we awash in a rising tide of antisemitism—from Kanye West’s diatribes to Donald Trump’s dinner date with both West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes to the return of neofascist hatemongers to Twitter—but that the tide is being amplified by a broader normalization of antisemitic tropes, judging from the gleeful hatefulness of the once-banned bigots who have come flooding back to Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership.

You’re not mistaken. A new survey by the Anti-Defamation League has found that Americans’ beliefs in antisemitic tropes has increased dramatically since 2019, with 85 percent of the respondents saying they believe at least one anti-Jewish stereotype, compared with only 61 percent three years ago. They believe in more of them, too: Some 20 percent of Americans believe in at least six of the most common tropes, a sharp increase from 2019, when only 11 percent did.

Matt Williams, vice president of the ADL’s year-old Center for Antisemitism Research, told The Washington Postthat the survey shows “antisemitism in its classical fascist form is emerging again in American society, where Jews are too secretive and powerful, working against interests of others, not sharing values, exploiting — the classic conspiratorial tropes.”

He added: “One of the findings of this report is that antisemitism in that classic, conspiratorial sense is far more widespread than anti-Israel sentiment.”

Titled “Antisemitic Attitudes in America: Topline Findings,” the survey found that, while there are still substantial rates of Israel-focused antisemitism, anti-Jewish sentiment revolving around longstanding bigoted stereotypes has notably surged. In particular, anti-Israel sentiments have apparently taken root among young people—who are nonetheless prone to embracing tropes. The two kinds of antisemitism “overlap significantly,” the study finds:

There is a nearly 40 percent correlation between belief in anti-Jewish tropes and anti-Israel belief, meaning that a substantial number of people who believe anti-Jewish tropes also have negative attitudes toward Israel.

It found that “young adults have more anti-Israel sentiment than older generations, and only marginally less belief in anti-Jewish tropes”:

While young adults (between the ages of 18 and 30) show less belief in anti-Jewish tropes (18 percent believe six or more tropes) than older adults (20 percent believe six or more tropes), the difference is substantially less than measured in previous studies. Additionally, young adults hold significantly more anti-Israel sentiment than older adults, with 21 percent and 11 percent agreeing with five or more anti-Israel statements, respectively.

The survey tested 4,000 respondents on whether they agreed with a list of sentiments that represent common antisemitic tropes:

  • Jews stick together more than other Americans.
  • Jews are not as honest as other businesspeople.
  • Jews are not warm and friendly.
  • Jews have a lot of irritating faults.
  • Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.
  • Jews have too much power in the United States today.
  • Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind.
  • Jews have too much control and influence on Wall Street.
  • Jews in business are so shrewd that others do not have a fair chance at competition.
  • Jews have too much power in the business world.
  • Jews do not share my values.
  • Jews always like to be at the head of things.
  • Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America.
  • Jews in business go out of their way to hire other Jews.

The ADL has conducted this survey periodically since 1964. The sharp increase in the number of people who believe at least six of these tropes between 2019 and 2022 (from 11 percent to 20 percent) puts those numbers at the highest they have been since 1992. As recently as 2014, that number was at nine percent.

“It used to be that older Americans harbored more antisemitic views. The hypothesis was that antisemitism declined in the 1990s, the 2000s, because there was this new generation of more tolerant people. It shows younger people are much closer now to what older people think. My hypothesis is there is a cultural shift, fed maybe by technology and social media. The gap is disappearing,” Tulane professor Ilana Horwitz, one of the survey’s reviewers, told The Washington Post.

“I like to tell my students: Kanye has more followers on Instagram than there are Jewish people in the world. So the extent to which Americans seem to believe these conspiratorial views about Jews is alarming,” she said. While Ye has more than 18 million followers on Instagram, he was recently booted from Twitter by Musk after tweeting blatantly antisemitic memes.

In spite of that singular act, Twitter nonetheless has been deluged with hateful content since Musk’s takeover—particularly as Musk has restored the accounts of notorious neofascist hatemongers like Andrew Anglin. At the same time, Musk has continued to wink and nudge in the direction of the QAnon conspiracism cult, which is riddled with antisemitic beliefs.

Social media, however, are not the only source of this antisemitic tide. These attitudes have been embraced by mainstream Republican politicians and pundits—often in the process of promoting COVID denialism—including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who has made a habit out of promoting white-nationalist propaganda under the guise of criticizing liberals, ranging from “replacement theory” to far-right “masculinity” cults.

Earlier data from 2021 collected by the Anti-Defamation League demonstrates that recorded antisemitic incidents reached a 40-year peak in 2021—and the uptick primarily began in 2015, with Trump’s arrival on the political scene.

“Historians have called the period between World War I and World War II the ‘high tide’ of American antisemitism. I think we may have to rename that: I think we are at the moment living in the high tide of American antisemitism,” Pamela Nadell, the director of the Jewish studies program at American University, told Zack Beauchamp at Vox.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Musk's Sudden Ban Of Kanye For Anti-Semitism Enrages Right-Wing Pundits

Musk's Sudden Ban Of Kanye For Anti-Semitism Enrages Right-Wing Pundits

Rapper Ye’s December 2 ban from Twitter has become almost an act of martyrdom for some right-wing figures who have openly stated that antisemitic rants should be allowed on Musk’s free speech platform.

In the lead-up to his acquisition of Twitter, Musk declared himself a “free speech absolutist,” and soon began offering a “general amnesty” to previously banned accounts once he became the Chief Twit. The move was celebrated by right-wing figures who saw his takeover as a chance to reclaim a presence on the platform.

Despite Musk’s promises to ensure Twitter doesn’t become a “free-for-all hellscape,” harassment, hate speech, and conspiracy theories have flourished on the platform since he took charge. Accounts of a number of previously banned far-right and fringe actors have been restored, while some progressive and anti-fascist users have been hit with seemingly random and unsubstantiated bans.

Prior to Musk’s acquisition, Ye’s account had been temporarily restricted after an antisemitic tweet. His profile and tweets remained visible, but he was unable to create new posts. The post has since been deleted and Ye started tweeting again on November 20. (Musk claimed that Twitter made the decision to restore Ye’s account prior to his takeover.)

Ye’s return to Twitter commenced with his now-infamous “Shalom” tweet, and it was quickly followed by his two separate interviews packed with antisemitic tirades, including professing his admiration for Adolf Hitler. It was not until Ye tweeted a picture of a swastika interlaced with a Star of David that Musk banned his account on the grounds that the post promoted violence.

After Ye’s ban, many right-wing outlets were quick to cry foul on Musk for supposedly walking back his promises for a free speech platform. Some even took their criticism a step further and excused Ye’s post, incorrectly suggesting that his First Amendment right to free speech prevents Musk from banning him — as the new Twitter CEO has vocally opposed “censorship that goes far beyond the law” — or saying that the comments did not rise to the level of inciting violence. Fringe social media users similarly berated Musk’s decision, with some posts echoing the same antisemitism that got Ye banned. Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist who has been working closely with Ye, lambasted Musk for bowing to “high pressure activist groups (Jewish)” and making Twitter a “controlled platform.”

While many of those critical of Ye’s ban have been quick to note that antisemitism and other forms of hate are protected free speech, countless experts and analysts have pointed to the very real and harmful effects of unchecked hate speech. High-profile instances of antisemitic speech like Ye’s have been accompanied by banner drops, instances of vandalism, and other acts that serve only to further hatred against Jewish people.

  • On the December 2 edition of The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show, Ben Shapiro sharply denounced Ye’s antisemitism, but still asked: “Is what Ye is doing tantamount to incitement? I don’t think so because I have a very strict legal standard for incitement. So do I think Ye actually should be banned from Twitter? I think the answer is no. I don’t think that Ye should be banned from Twitter. … I actually don’t think that Musk should have done it.”
  • Infowars published an article bemoaning that “Musk said last week he was going to launch a ‘general amnesty’ this week and start unbanning people en masse if they hadn’t ‘broken the law or engaged in egregious spam’ but instead he has banned Ye over complete bulls**t.”
  • A December 2 article on Breitbart asserted that Ye’s suspension from Twitter demonstrates that Musk’s calls for “free speech absolutism” on the platform is “a fantasy.”
  • Tayler Hansen, an independent conservative journalist known for covering the January 6 Capitol insurrection, pushed back against Musk’s decision on Twitter, saying, “As a free speech absolutist this permanent ban doesn’t feel right— even if you vehemently disagree with what @kanyewest was saying today, he did not break the law. What is the official reason for Ye’s perma-ban?”
  • Conservative media pundit and virulent racist Ann Coulter also lambasted Musk for suspending Ye, arguing, “You believe in free speech or you don't, @elonmusk. Even the ACLU defended a Nazi parade on free speech grounds. This isn't even a parade. It's just WORDS.”
  • Newsmax producer Justine Brooke Murray defended Ye’s right to post anything on Twitter: “You can’t pick and choose when to support free speech. Let antisemites like Kanye publicly humiliate themselves. Remember Skokie, Illinois?”
  • Timcast Editor-in-Chief Cassandra McDonald tweeted, “Instead of saying I support free speech I’m just going to start saying I support the freedom to offend. It shouldn’t need to be said, but it does.”
  • Discussing Ye’s suspension on Fox News’ The Five, co-host Jeanine Pirro claimed, “America was founded on the concept of free speech. Hate speech is protected. … You’re free to say whatever you want.”
  • Actor Kevin Sorbo tweeted, “I may not agree with what Ye said yesterday. But he has the right to say it. That’s how free speech works.”
  • Podcast host Joe Walsh tweeted, “As an American, I will defend any American’s right to be an anti-Semite, or a bigot, or a racist. Because I will always defend free speech. But as a human, I will fight against all anti-Semitism, bigotry, and racism. Because I will always fight against evil.”
  • On Newsmax, conservative contributor Erin Elmore said, “The speech we should protect is the speech that offends us the most, and we do live in the United States of America and as conservatives, we’ve often said, ‘We're being censored, we're being silenced.’ Nobody should be censored or silenced.” Daily Caller reporter Brianna Lyman added, “It's very concerning for me to hear this, but nonetheless, Kanye has the right to say this. Now with Twitter specifically though, the biggest question is what is the official reason that Musk banned him. If it's because of what he said on Infowars, then Musk does not believe in free speech like he claims he does.”
  • Cartoonist Scott Adams tweeted, “If the limit to free speech is ‘inciting violence,’ free speech is an illusion. If Elon Musk gets to decide how much you incited violence with your free speech, are you free? Not even close. It doesn't matter who decides. It isn't a practical standard in a woke world.”

  • Conservative social media influencers Hodgetwins wrote, “Kanye said some crazy shit. Nobody agrees with him saying he supports Hitler and Nazi’s, but he shouldn’t of been banned. No laws broken, he didn’t incite violence. We can disagree with what people say but that doesn’t mean they should be permanently banned.”
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.
Uh-Oh: Carlson Hid Ye's Anti-Semitism -- And Now He's Exposed As A Nazi

Uh-Oh: Carlson Hid Ye's Anti-Semitism -- And Now He's Exposed As A Nazi

Ye, the rapper previously known as Kanye West, has spent the last several weeks ranting about Jewish people on social media and in a series of interviews. On Thursday, he took his antisemitic campaign to arch-conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ program, where he repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler and decried the purported Jewish control of media and government.

Fox News could have had the story of Ye’s recent full dive into antisemitism as a huge scoop – but the network preferred to mint him as a right-wing hero. It should be a major embarrassment for what is purportedly a news outlet, but because the network is actually a propaganda channel, no one there appears to care.

Ye made virulently antisemitic comments during an interview that aired in October with Fox star Tucker Carlson. He told the Fox host at one point, “I prefer my kids knew Hanukkah than Kwanzaa. At least it will come with some financial engineering.” Ye himself appeared to recognize he had gone too far after telling Carlson, “Think about us judging each other on how white we could talk would be like, you know, a Jewish person judging another Jewish person on how good they danced or something.”

But Carlson and his bosses apparently had no interest in exposing Ye as an antisemite. The story they wanted to tell was that Ye was being persecuted for supporting former President Donald Trump. So Ye’s explicitly anti-Jewish comments were excised when Fox aired the interview, as Motherboard subsequently revealed. And when he aired the interview on October 6 and 7, Carlson praised his guest for being willing to “speak so honestly and so movingly about what he believes” and said he is “not crazy at all” (Ye has extensively discussed his long struggle with mental health).

Carlson’s seal of approval helped fold Ye into the right-wing coalition. Fox hosts followed their colleague's lead and spent days lauding the rapper’s bravery and honesty. And some Republican politicians, who frequently take their messaging cues from the network, joined in. All the while, Carlson and everyone else at the network with knowledge of the full interview stayed silent about Ye’s antisemitism — it didn’t fit the narrative.

But that weekend, Ye accused the rapper Diddy of being controlled by Jews in an Instagram post. After that service suspended him, he tweeted that he planned to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” who he claimed “have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” And that’s what he’s done over the following weeks, as he careened from interview to interview preaching anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, with a sidetrip to dine with Trump and a virulent white supremacist.

Meanwhile, after initially ignoring Ye’s antisemitic descent and continuing to tout him, Carlson has gone silent on the man he once praised as a “big thinker.”

Fox could have broken the story, if only it were interested in the news.

Does Carlson care? Does Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott? How about the Murdochs?

Apparently not. That isn’t what Fox is for.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.