October 7, 2017

Protip for media: There is no discernable difference between the so-called "mainstream" Republican party, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Don't believe me? Have a look at what Steve King or Louie Gohmert says on any given day. It's no different than what Steve Bannon or Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, CTO of white supremacist site Daily Stormer.

Buzzfeed dropped an amazing article yesterday linking Bannon, the Mercers, Milo Yiannopoulis, and "Weev" together in a tightly-knit Republican circle of co-dependency and mutual interest. I repeat: There is no daylight -- ZERO -- between the Republican party, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

As Buzzfeed reports, Milo positioned himself as a reactionary white gay dude, which Bannon leveraged to build the bridge between extremist funders, the mainstream Republican party, and more.

Yiannopoulos had to take back “alt-right,” to redefine for Breitbart’s audience a poorly understood, leaderless movement, parts of which had already started to resist the term itself.

So he reached out to key constituents, who included a neo-Nazi and a white nationalist.

Oh, and Peter Thiel is also in the mix, though Milo in particular seems to have some resentment about his position inside the GOP:

And Yiannopoulos vented privately after Thiel spoke at the RNC — an opportunity the younger man had craved. “No gays rule doesn’t apply to Thiel apparently,” he wrote to a prominent Republican operative in July 2016.

This did not stop Milo from courting Thiel, and vice versa.

After turning down an appearance on Yiannopoulos’s podcast in May 2016 (Thiel: “Let’s just get coffee and take things from there”), Thiel invited the Breitbart tech editor for dinner at his Hollywood Hills home in June, a dinner Yiannopoulos boasted of the same night to Bannon: “You two should meet. … An obvious candidate for movie financing if we got external. … He has fucked [Gawker Media founder Nick] Denton & Gawker so many ways it brought a tear to my eye.” They made plans to meet during the July Republican National Convention. But much of Yiannopoulos’s knowledge of Thiel seemed to come secondhand from other right-wing activists, as well as Curtis Yarvin, the blogger who advocates the return of feudalism. In an email exchange shortly after the election, Yarvin told Yiannopoulos that he had been “coaching Thiel.”

Those are just a few snippets. I highly recommend that you read the whole article, because it quite clearly makes the case from an actual trove of emails that Republicans plan to tear down democracy and turn us back to a feudal society. Republicans as a whole, as a party. The Koch Republicans, the DeVos Republicans, all of them. Not just a subset. And Steve Bannon, the guy who just spent eight months at Trump's side, is leading that charge.

Which brings me to Fox News. Media Matters has put together an excellent video compilation of how they too have facilitated the merge of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, white nationalists, and the Republican Party.

Being the good team players that they are, Fox News has dutifully taken radical, abhorrent ideas and converted them to mainstream thought.

Everyone is well aware that Trump has been continually signaling his support to white supremacists since the 2016 presidential campaign. He retweets them, refuses to immediately disavow them, and even defendsthem. And Fox News is right there to validate him at every turn.

Fox News personalities repeat his talking points without question (and he repeats theirs). They claim that Trump has done everything he can to condemn these groups and everyone should accept it. They tell viewers to be more understanding of where neo-Nazis are coming from, but don't extend the same empathy to NFL athletes who have been peacefully protesting racial injustice by taking the knee during the pre-game national anthem. They praise Trump for not jumping to any conclusions. They make ridiculous comparisons that falsely equate white supremacists with minority groups fighting for equal rights. Fox host Tucker Carlson has even promoted a social media app that’s been called “a haven for white nationalists.”

SPLC's Heidi Beirich calls Fox News “the biggest mainstreamer of extremist ideas."

“The horror of this is that people turn on their TV they go to cable, [they] assume this has got to be mainstream," but “what you find is radical right ideas being pushed on Fox.”

Since white supremacists and neo-Nazis “are deeply involved in politics, [and] are a constituency that is being pandered to at the highest level of political office,” and because Fox News is elevating their movement, Beirich urges mainstream outlets to “talk about their ideas, … to talk about the domestic terrorism that’s inspired by white supremacy, and … about hate crimes.”

Tucker Carlson is one of the worst offenders. He slid straight into Bill O'Reilly's slot as the racist-in-chief at the network. While claiming to defend the principles of free speech, Carlson daily demonizes people of color while promoting ideas that are inspired by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

This is what Republicans are now. It's what they've been for decades. And Fox News is pushing those ideas into the forefront of American thought.

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