6 Media Pillars of the ‘Alt-Right’
The “alt-right” has taken the media by storm this summer. From the rise — and downfall — of Milo Yiannapoulos to Trump tweeting anti-Semitic graphics to the hiring of Steve Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News, to run the Trump campaign, the neo-white supremacist movement has never been more visible.
The movement and its racist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and homophobic ideologies is supported by a network of online publications. Here is a short primer on this corner of the internet.
The conservative news site Breitbart has quickly become recognized as the leading publication in the push to take the views of the “alt-right” into the mainstream. Andrew Breitbart, one of the founding editors of the Huffington Post, created the site in 2007. Its latest chairman, Steve Bannon, was just hired to be the manager of the Trump campaign.
Breitbart has deemed the “alt-right” the “hipster right,” and helped tie the American movement to its European ultranationalist counterpart, Generation Identity. Breitbart is also a vehicle for Milo Yiannapoulos, the ultra-conservative commentator, to attack mainstream Republicans, such as Paul Ryan. in his capacity as “technology editor.”
Breitbart made its biggest, most lasting splash when it published “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right” in June. The article, written by Milo Yiannapoulos and Allum Bokhari, was an apologia for the intellectual and cultural leaders of the “alt-right.” It praised the human biodiversity phenomenon, calling the pseudoscientific racist movement “group of bloggers and researchers who strode eagerly into the minefield of scientific race differences.”
The Yiannapoulos/Bokhari article also completely sidestepped the question of the movement’s viciously racist and anti-Semitic cartoon culture, writing that, for the cartoonists, it was “simply a means to fluster their grandparents.”
2. American Renaissance
Jared Taylor founded AR in 1990 as part of his New Century Foundation, an early center of pseudoscientific ideas about race. It has been both a print magazine and an online publication. It claims to promote a free flow of ideas about segregation, education and immigration, but “regardless of its calm tone and academic look and feel, the magazine openly peddles white nationalism,” according to the watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center.
AR hosts conferences that bring in many white supremacist speakers, many of whom hide behind euphemistic terms like “racialism,” “white advocacy” and the “alt-right.”
AR is unique among the movement’s publications in that it has demurred on the subject of Jewish inclusion. In a 2006 op-ed, Taylor wrote defended his decision to publish articles by Jewish writers as a way to broaden the movement.
“AR has taken an implicit position on Jews by publishing Jewish authors and inviting Jewish speakers to AR conferences,” he wrote. “It should be clear to anyone that Jews have, from the outset, been welcome and equal participants in our efforts.”
3. Radix Journal
Richard Spencer, the leading voice of the “alt-right,” founded Radix Journal in 2012. It is a publication of the National Policy Institute, the Washington think tank that is the center of the movement’s push into mainstream politics. Spencer is the chairman of NPI, and contributes regularly to Radix.
Biannually in print and in several posts a day online, Radix posts long format, personal essay-style pieces promoting white racial heritage, decrying the tragedy of multiculturalism and attacking mainstream conservatives as “cuckservatives” — a Republican who makes a concession of any kind to the Democrats.
4. Daily Stormer
Billing itself as “The World’s Most Visited Alt-Right Site,” the Daily Stormer is the most openly neo-Nazi media outlet of the “alt-right.” Andrew Anglin, an avowed neo-Nazi, started the site in 2013 after shuttering his year-old site, TotalFascism.com. Total Fascism published long-format articles promoting white supremacy, while Daily Stormer’s articles look a lot like classic Buzzfeed articles in style: lots of GIFs, snarky comments and embedded Tweets and Youtube videos.
The switch was a highly calculated move by a media savvy neo-Nazi, according to Keegan Hankes, a data intelligence analyst at the SPLC.
“It was more effective as propaganda to generate ‘content’ and not long format essays,” said Hankes.
Named for the first white person born in North America (Virginia Dare), VDARE is a white supremacist website that the SPLC has described as “an anti-immigration hate website.” Both Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer have contributed to VDARE.
Peter Brimelow, a self-described “paleoconservative,” founded VDARE in 1999. Brimelow believes that immigration is to blame for the September 11 attacks.
At the RNC in July, a tweet from VDARE’s Twitter account was shown on the main TV over the stage.
— Virginia Dare (@vdare) July 20, 2016
6. The Right Stuff
The Right Stuff is an anti-Semitic blog run by Mike Enoch, who has been a speaker at National Policy Institute events. A virulent anti-Semite, Enoch has said that the movement is one based around “ethno-nationalism, meaning that nations should be as ethnically and racially homogeneous as possible.”
The Right Stuff also runs the podcast The Daily Shoah, which created the parentheses, or (((echoes))) meme, in a 2014 podcast. The meme was created because “all Jewish surnames echo throughout history,” an allusion to the age-old conspiracy that Jews run the world through a secret network of power.
After the (((echoes))) meme came to widespread media attention in May the Anti-Defamation League added it to their list of recognized hate symbols.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, has said, “The echo symbol is the online equivalent of tagging a building with anti-Semitic graffiti or taunting someone verbally.”