Race & Ethnicity

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  • Conservative Media Attempt To Sanitize Stephen Bannon’s Ties To White Nationalism And Anti-Semitism

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Conservative media are defending Stephen Bannon, who was recently appointed as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist, amid growing backlash over his ties to anti-Semitism and white nationalists. While Bannon’s appointment has been hailed as a victory by white nationalists, the push to normalize Bannon was aided by major newspapers that downplayed and ignored his extreme ties.

  • The White House Press Briefing Room Might Become A Hostile Place For Hispanic Journalists

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    President-elect Donald Trump is considering Laura Ingraham, a Fox News contributor and conservative radio talk show host, as a possible choice for White House press secretary. If he picks her, it would be Ingraham’s job to brief the White House press corps on behalf of the Trump administration, and the attacks she’s launched against Hispanic journalists and Spanish-language media would make the White House briefing room a very hostile place for Hispanic journalists.

    On November 13, The Hill reported that Ingraham was “under serious consideration” to be the press secretary of Trump’s White House, an indication that the contempt Trump showed for the press during his campaign will percolate into his administration, since Ingraham has her own history of railing against journalists whose reporting she doesn’t agree with.

    During her crusade against “biased,” “post-American” journalism, Ingraham has singled out Hispanic media specifically, taking offense that Telemundo and Univision are “Hispanic-centric” networks which “revile the American experience” and have a “toxic” impact. The networks are extremely valuable for many Spanish-speakers who rely on them to better “navigate America,” but Ingraham has accused them of “teaching illegals how to avoid deportation” and of preventing people from learning English.

    Ingraham has also taken issue with Hispanic journalists merely for speaking Spanish, once criticizing Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart for translating for a Spanish-speaking guest and mocking his accent by saying it was “so herky-jerky.” Ingraham has been critical of multilingualism in the United States, extending her mockery on Twitter to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) for his command of Spanish and criticizing retail workers who speak English with an accent, saying, “You can’t understand them. Sometimes you think you’re in a foreign country.” Any member of the press corp who sounds similar could be subjected to the same level of mockery and disdain from a press secretary Ingraham.

    Covering the Trump campaign was especially challenging for Hispanic media, since the president-elect showed particular animosity toward the main Spanish-language networks and consistently ignored requests from Spanish-language print outlets seeking access -- an approach in line with his “English-only” strategy of seeking electoral victory by courting primarily white voters. Picking Ingraham as press secretary would demonstrate that Trump has little interest in diverging from this campaign strategy while governing.

  • Major Outlets Downplay The Fact That Trump’s New Chief Strategist Ran An Anti-Semitic White Nationalist Website

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Major newspapers are ignoring or burying Steve Bannon’s ties to white nationalism and anti-Semitism when reporting on his appointment as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor. By burying or dismissing the information, media are failing to provide their audiences with essential background on one of Trump’s most influential advisers.

    On November 13, Trump released a statement announcing that Bannon, who previously ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart News, would serve as his chief strategist and senior counselor. The same statement noted that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus would become Trump’s chief of staff. While White House chief of staff is typically the most senior position in the White House, the press release named Bannon first and described the two as “equal partners” in the Trump administration.

    Major newspapers either downplayed or entirely ignored Bannon’s connections to white nationalism and his anti-Semitic rhetoric. Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today made no mention of Bannon’s racist history in articles on his new position. Other outlets, including The Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, noted his ties to white nationalism and the “alt-right,” but not for several paragraphs. Rather than describe his connections to anti-Semitism and explain that he ran a white nationalist website, the articles refer to him as a “right-wing media provocateur,” a “rabble-rousing conservative media figure,” and a “flame-throwing media mogul.” All of these descriptors whitewash Bannon’s extremism.

    In addition, none of the headlines for the aforementioned pieces included any indication of Bannon’s extremist views or ties. As The Washington Post noted, studies found that “roughly six in 10 people acknowledge that they have done nothing more than read news headlines in the past week.” By omitting Bannon’s white nationalist and anti-Semitic ties from headlines, newspapers are blinding the majority of Americans to the troubling background of one of Trump's most influential advisers.

    Politico: 

    The Wall Street Journal

    USA Today:

    The Associated Press

    Reuters

    The New York Times

    The Washington Post: 

    Bannon, who served as the CEO of Trump’s campaign, previously ran the unabashedly white nationalist and anti-Semitic website Breitbart News. During the 2016 Republican National Convention, Bannon bragged that Breitbart News had become home to the “alt-right” -- which is merely a racist code word for white nationalists. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News has featured racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBT rhetoric. The site recently made a “noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas -- all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right,’” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before he died, Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart himself reportedly called Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of the tea party movement,” referring to the Nazi filmmaker.

    Bannon has his own history of alleged anti-Semitism. As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted on Twitter, Bannon’s ex-wife swore in court that “he said he doesn’t like Jews” and didn’t want his children to go to school with Jews. Esquire politics contributor Charles Pierce wrote that hiring Bannon “is exactly the same as hiring David Duke,” a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

    By ignoring or downplaying Bannon’s extremist history, major newspapers are not giving their readers the essential background information they deserve on a man who is soon to be one of the most influential people in politics.

  • White Nationalists Love Trump’s Steve Bannon Hiring: “With Trump, Every Day Is Christmas”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    White nationalists are thrilled about President-elect Donald Trump’s White House appointment of Steve Bannon, who ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart News. Racist and anti-Semitic writers are hailing Bannon’s appointment as “pure awesomeness” and “Christmas” and are praising Bannon for holding similar views to their own.

    Breitbart News has repeatedly pushed anti-Semitism and racism under Bannon’s leadership. CNN’s Jake Tapper noted that “Bannon's ex-wife swore in court in 2007 that he ‘didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews...He said he doesn’t like Jews...’”

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a statement saying that it “strongly opposes” Bannon’s appointment as chief strategist and senior counselor, noting that Bannon presided over the “premier website of the 'alt-right' — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists.”

    Bannon and Trump’s allies within the white nationalist community -- which includes neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and proud white supremacists -- are hailing Bannon’s appointment:

    Neo-Nazi Website Infostormer: “Pure Awesomeness.” Infostormer is a neo-Nazi website that idolizes Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. It is virulently anti-Semitic and features the prominent tag line, “Destroying Jewish Tyranny.” Writer “Marcus Cicero” celebrated Bannon’s hiring by writing that it’s “Pure awesomeness” and Bannon “is far closer to our views than the average Republican you will see on the tubes.”

    Neo-Nazi Website Daily Stormer: Trump Has Surrounded Himself With “The Right People.” The Daily Stormer is a neo-Nazi website that idolizes Hitler and Donald Trump. The website leads online attacks and troll campaigns against Jewish journalists. Editor Andrew Anglin praised Trump’s hiring of Bannon and said Trump has “surrounded himself with the right people this entire election, so there’s no reason to believe he’ll stop doing that now.” Anglin also attacked the “kike media” for “portraying Trump as a cuck who is going back on everything.”

    White Nationalist Leader Richard Spencer: "’Strategist’ Is The Best Possible Position For Steve Bannon.” Richard Spencer is a white nationalist who leads the “think tank” National Policy Institute. The Associated Press reported that Spencer has “matter-of-factly called for removing African-Americans, Hispanics and Jews from the United States.” Spencer praised Trump’s Bannon appointment on his Twitter account:

    White Nationalist Writer Hunter Wallace Reacts To Appointment: Trump "Doesn't Give A Shit" What The ADL Thinks. Hunter Wallace (real name Brad Griffin) is an anti-Semitic writer who is also a board member for the white supremacist hate group Council of Conservative Citizens. He responded to Bannon’s hiring with elation, writing that Bannon’s vision for the country “is our dream too” and it shows that Trump “doesn’t give a shit what the [Southern Poverty Law Center] and ADL thinks”:

    Sounds good to me:

    “PARIS—Never mind that the French cable television report on Stephen Bannon made him look like one of the winos living on grates in Paris, or that it compared Bannon, Donald Trump’s grizzled éminence grise and newly-named White House chief strategist, to Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief Josef Goebbels.

    And never mind the program’s citations of rampant sexism on Bannon’s pseudo-news service, Breitbart. All he had to do in that clip was say he’d like to expand Breitbart’s operations to France and allude to Marion Maréchal-Le Pen as “the new rising star” on the French version of the alt-right and she started gushing on Twitter in English:…

    Breitbart, which currently runs an office in London, certainly has plans to expand in France and Germany with new bureaus to cultivate and promote the populist-nationalist lines there.

    “He has long wanted to work with all of those parties, but that was only in promoting them with Breitbart,” a source close to Bannon told The Daily Beast. “Now he has the power of the White House to do it.” …”

    This is our dream too … spreading the national populist revolution to Europe, overthrowing the liberal world order, turning Trump’s America into our equivalent of the Soviet Union. It’s a stunning turn events. I still can’t believe it is happening.

    […]

    I can’t believe this is happening either. President Trump doesn’t give a shit what the SPLC and ADL thinks. I’m feeling whiplash in a good way.

    White Nationalist Radio Host James Edwards: “With Trump, Every Day Is Christmas.” James Edwards is the host of the “pro-white” radio show The Political Cesspool. He interviewed several Trump surrogates during the campaign, including Donald Trump Jr., and received press credentials to a Trump rally. He celebrated the Bannon news on Twitter:

    Anti-Immigrant Site VDare Celebrates Bannon Hiring. VDare is a white nationalist site that attacks immigrants. The site responded to the Bannon hiring by writing pro-Bannon tweets:

    UPDATE: David Duke praised Bannon’s hiring on his radio show, stating that “Bannon has really been right on about a lot of issues facing European-Americans.” CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie also​ talked to leading white nationalists and found that “they view Bannon as an advocate in the White House for policies they favor.”

  • A White Nationalist Who Hates Jews Will Be Trump's Right-Hand Man In The White House

    Stephen Bannon, Head Of White Nationalist “Alt-Right” Website Breitbart News, Becomes Trump’s Senior Counselor

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    President-elect Donald Trump’s first White House hire tells you everything you need to know about his commitment to his campaign’s bigoted message. Stephen Bannon, an anti-Semite who ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart News before taking a leave of absence to become the Trump campaign CEO, will be Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor.

    On November 13, Trump released a statement announcing Bannon’s hiring. The same statement noted that Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus would become Trump’s chief of staff. While White House chief of staff is typically the most senior position in the White House, the press release named Bannon first and described the two as “equal partners” in the Trump administration.

    Bannon has been a key figure in leveraging this bigotry to aid Trump’s rise to power. Bannon bragged during the Republican Convention to nominate Trump that Breitbart News had become home to the “alt-right” -- which is just a racist code word for white nationalists. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News has featured racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and anti-LGBT rhetoric. The site recently made a “noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas -- all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right’” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before he died, Andrew Breitbart himself reportedly called Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of the tea party movement.”

    Bannon’s Breitbart News especially has come under fire for its rampant anti-Semitism. In May, contributor David Horowitz wrote a piece calling The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.” In September, Breitbart News writer Matthew Tyrmand called Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum a “political revisionist” who was “on the warpath against the rising populist forces doing electoral damage to her establishment friends and allies across the world,” adding, “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.” In August, former Breitbart News writer Ben Shapiro accused the website of embracing “a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism.” Bannon’s anti-Semitism goes deeper than just Breitbart. As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted on Twitter after today’s announcement, Bannon’s ex-wife swore in court that “he said he doesn’t like Jews” and didn’t want his children to go to school with Jews. Indeed, Esquire politics contributor Charles Pierce even compared Bannon with David Duke

    Republican strategist John Weaver agreed, adding:

    There are also significant issues with how Bannon ran Breitbart News. Breitbart News staffers alleged that Trump -- with the cooperation of Bannon and other top management -- paid the website for favorable news coverage and to turn it into “his own fan website.” Former spokesman Kurt Bardella told Media Matters that Bannon is a ““pathological liar who has a temperament that governs by bullying and intimidation and functions very much like a dictator at Breitbart.”

    Recently, Bannon has characterized the rise of Trump as part of a global nationalist movement, telling the radio show Breitbart News Daily on November 2, that “people want more control of their country. … They want sovereignty. It’s not just a thing that’s happening in any one geographic space.” His website has promoted Trump-style far-right political parties across Europe. In the past week, Bannon has reached out to France’s right-wing Nationalist Front movement, and according to The Daily Beast, he is “right now the direct line between the European far-right and Donald J. Trump.”

    The hires of Bannon and Priebus together signal that Trump’s White House will combine the traditional Republicanism of Priebus with Bannon’s brand of ethno-nationalism. Prominent Republican figures like Speaker Paul Ryan are signaling that they will allow the normalization of such a figure, openly praising Priebus’ hiring while ignoring Bannon rather than speaking out against him. Just today on CNN, Paul Ryan said he had never met Bannon, had no comment on him serving in Trump’s White House, but declared that he “trusted” Trump. Ryan’s agnosticism about Bannon beggars belief: Breitbart News under Bannon had led a multi-year campaign against Ryan, including declaring Ryan a Clinton supporter who shares her “globalist worldview” just weeks ago.

    Less than a week after Trump’s electoral victory, many reporters still seem confused about just what will come from a Trump administration. If they want to know what Trump truly has in mind for the country, they need to look at Bannon and his bigoted website.