The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and other extremists like the KKK, skinheads and anti-government militias. So what are they doing investigating Breitbart News?
Or, as some might say, what took them so long?
In a story published this week in its “Hatewatch” section, they lay out all the reasons why Breitbart News has grown to be increasingly racist.
“…The outlet has undergone a noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Race-baiting ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-Immigrant ideas –– all key tenants making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.'”
The piece cites Breitbart News‘s own defense of Alt-Right, specifically it’s coverage of white nationalists Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor. But it’s not just news stories, it’s conferences, op-eds and “racist diatribes.”
“Breitbart has always given a platform to parts of the radical right, most notably elements of the organized anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant movements. Breitbart has also organized conferences featuring nativist speakers and published op-eds and interviews with movement leaders. But since 2015, Breitbart began publishing more overtly racist diatribes about Muslims and immigrants.”
There are other examples:
- A story defending Pamela Geller, who hosted a “Draw Mohammed Cartoon” contest in Texas. Police killed two men linked to ISIS who “stormed” the event. Breitbart then compared the event to Selma, Ala. and Geller to Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Breitbart published an article “resembling white national screed.” It was an op-ed by former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). The ex-lawmaker discussed an epidemic of rape across Europe, specifically “Muslim rape.”
Weirdly, the author, the regrettably-named Stephen Piggott — seriously, who wants a name with the word “pig” in it? — stretches his argument into areas that don’t make sense. He threw the Michelle Fields-Corey Lewandowksi debacle into the mix, claiming that Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign has “helped to mobilize racist tenants” and caused some employees to quit their jobs.
The employees, which included publicist Kurt Bardella, did not resign for racial reasons. Nor does Piggott back up that claim with any proof.
“I didn’t sign up to work for Trump’s de facto super PAC,” Bardella told CNN. “Those close to me know that for weeks, I have been considering ending my relationship with Breitbart because of how uncomfortable its support of Trump’s presidential campaign made me. The second reason was the treatment of its now former reporter Michelle Fields, who resigned after she accused Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of manhandling her after a news conference. …What doesn’t sit well with me is the fact that the organization for which she worked hasn’t had her back.”
Piggott singles out Breitbart‘s Katie McHugh (full disclosure: she was previously an assistant editor at The Daily Caller) and claims she supports the “core tenants of the racist Alt-Right.” He says her Twitter page is filled with “racist rants” that includ banning Muslim immigration. He nails her for following certain Twitter feeds that he calls “white nationalists” that include a “swastika-tatooed neo-Nazi hacker.”
The Mirror sought comment from McHugh as well as Breitbart News‘s President and CEO Larry Solov and Executive Chairman Steve Bannon.
To be fair, a lot of journalists follow a lot of f–ked up Twitter feeds and it doesn’t mean they support them.
I follow race-baiting WaPo reporter Wesley Lowery, a dog named Rudy Walsh, Swami O, a philosopher of occult studies, Bobby Schmuck (just because I liked his name), a feed called “WTF” and Anthony Weiner, who tweeted a picture of his pecker to the world, and Bill Cosby. It doesn’t mean I morally applaud any of them.
Piggott also bizarrely includes the resignation letter of Jordan Schactel, which doesn’t allude to any racist mindset by Breitbart News. It reads: “The company no longer resembles the ideals that inspired me to start writing for them three years ago.”