FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Breitbart, the Alt-Right and Charlottesville

Donald Trump took two days to condemn the white supremacists who instigated violence and spewed hatred during the tragic Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA. He even walked back on those statements and claimed there are still many instances of violence on “many sides.” Initially, many conservative congressmen and media outlets have called out the president for his failure to act quickly by condemning white supremacists. Meanwhile, Breitbart has continued its disgusting defense of the alt-right, a bigoted movement built on the ideas of white-nationalism, or a “rebranding” of white supremacy. The far-right site has been apologetic and has continued to push a theme that it’s continuously targeted by the mainstream media. The defense of the “alt-right”, even following the events in Charlottesville by Breitbart, needs to be noticed.

Breitbart has tried to paint itself in a constant battle against mainstream media. Just a quick read over its comments sections will show how far-right the site has become. Commenters will try to say that Breitbart is constantly being attacked and that the left are the ones who are bigoted. During the election, former head of Breitbart Stephen Bannon, boasted the side had become the major “platform of the alt-right.” Even though this statement is true to a limited extent, the views of the alt-right and other white supremacists have not fully been legitimized by the site. Instead, small undertones within its reporting seem to be legitimized. When the controversial Milo Yiannopoulos contributed as head of Breitbart Tech, he claimed many on the left didn’t understand its nuances and even went as far to argue that only a small minority of the movement holds white supremacist beliefs. With the tragic and violent events in Charlottesville, the site still tries to paint itself as being attacked by the mainstream media. Within a recent article the site ran, they feature several alt-right members who “condemn the violence” and disagree with the mainstream media’s account of the rally. Writers Ian Mason and Amanda House interview members who even try to argue that there were no Neo-Nazi members at the rally. The site seems keen on calling out Black Lives Matter for violence and defended Trump’s early comments calling out violence on both sides without even mentioning white supremacy. The failure to even recognize the Neo-Nazi groups at the event are telling of Breitbart’s disregard for fair and balanced reporting. The Detroit Red Wings even released a statement condemning the event because a white supremacist group used a modified version of the team’s logo by replacing the spokes of the tire with lightning bolts resembling Hitler’s SS force. By running these preposterous headlines and misleading information, Breitbart is slowly legitimizing and giving a voice this movement. This is very problematic, and conservatives and progressives need to work together in order to tamp down on this vile element and convince those susceptible to its views to leave.

A stark difference is seen in the reporting by the National Review. Along with many other established conservative voices, the National Review condemned the white supremacists who used violence and numbers to intimidate. The editors also ran a plea to President Trump specifically calling on him to use the words “white supremacists.” As a leading conservative publication, the National Review needs to take charge and make sure this type of thought is not accepted or tolerated within conservatism or American political discourse. All Americans need to stand united against the alt-right. If Breitbart wants to be considered respectable, then it too needs to stop defending the alt-right and let go of any staff who holds or even remotely defends similar beliefs. Racial superiority is a repugnant idea, and Breitbart cannot continue to give excuses to alt-right members.

Ryan Summers is a student at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA.

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail