The arrogance of the legacy media doesn’t begin and end with biased coverage of existing events; it also involves stories meant to convince Americans of something about themselves and their neighbors which is ugly and untrue.
Their latest? A remarkable piece of agitprop, in the form of a profile of a neo-Nazi who helped organize the white supremacist contingent of the Nazi and antifa Charlottesville Confederate statue demonstrations.
Most readers, understandably, were shocked at what they saw as a strangely sympathetic profile of a Nazi, dwelling on the banal aspects of his life. And they were right to be appalled at what they were reading, but they were wrong about what the The New York Times’ agenda really was.
The Times’ agenda wasn’t to generate sympathy for the Nazi, it was to inject into the public discourse the notion that the average American was, and could actually be, a literal Nazi. Without you knowing. It was a story meant to change, in the most horrific of ways, how Americans think about their neighbors. It was meant to sow paranoia and division.
“Tony and Maria Hovater were married this fall. They registered at Target. On their list was a muffin pan, a four-drawer dresser and a pineapple slicer,” is how this profile opened. “Ms. Hovater, 25, was worried about Antifa bashing up the ceremony. Weddings are hard enough to plan for when your fiance is not an avowed white nationalist.”
Why would The New York Times seek to portray a racist, fascist Nazi (but I repeat myself) as a normal, everyday guy?
Because that was their point. For years, people who do not pay allegiance to the liberal narrative have been condemned as Nazis. President Trump and his supporters are accused regularly. This favorite accusation of the left is meant to shut down debate and isolate the nonconformist, the challenger of orthodoxy.
The Times’ effort to reframe reality as a Nazi America backfired. And big time.
Fielding a firestorm of outrage, The Times issued a statement of regret, and pushed back on the accusations they were being soft on a Nazi. No, no, they insisted, they were doing a good thing: “The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.”
The Times National Editor Marc Lacey wrote the pseudo-apology. He doubled down, making sure everyone knew their intentions were pure. “Shane Bauer, a senior reporter at Mother Jones and a winner of the National Magazine Award, tweeted: ‘People mad about this article want to believe that Nazis are monsters we cannot relate to. White supremacists are normal ass white people and it’s been that way in America since 1776. We will continue to be in trouble till we understand that.’ “
So now The New York Times is reduced to having someone from Mother Jones explain on Twitter what The New York Times really meant.
You see, The Times knows how awful it is to agitate for more division, as they work to convince their readers that Americans are awful, disgusting racists masquerading as your next-door neighbor. Perhaps this is why they whined, “Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article.” But they did it anyway, because they really do want Americans to be punished for rejecting the liberal status quo, which has been ruining peoples’ lives for generations.
As their reporter “agonized” over the piece, here are some facts of the matter that also would have shed some light on the state of Nazis in America, found right in The New York Times itself.
In a story from 2011, the “newspaper of record” reported on the “decaying” condition of the Nazi movement in America as they followed around the leader of “the largest supremacist group, with about 400 members in 32 states, though much of its prominence followed the decay of Aryan Nation and other neo-Nazi groups.”
The Charlottesville, Virginia, rally catastrophe of Nazis, the Klan and antifa that cost three people their lives, was, and is, universally condemned. After the horror, the Daily Beast wondered “How Many Nazis Are There In America, Really?” A good question, which The New York Times would have been well-served asking.
In their story, the Daily Beast remarked on how a few hundred Nazis and Klansmen were present and noted, “But hundreds of protesters do not a country make. Their universal condemnation should further the point that no matter how soft-pedaled, how rebranded, how memed, this juvenile garbage has a diminishing foothold in American culture. … Only hundreds showed up to the biggest “alt-right’ meeting in the country. A single New York City subway car can hold around 200 people.”
Having even one Nazi around is disgusting. Getting a crowd of racist malcontents and losers in one place intent on violence is also unacceptable. The good news is, America has rejected however few there are.
Yet, we now have The New York Times, admittedly, trying to convince people that “hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think,” when the opposite is true. Our becoming a better country has ruined many political agendas, but it’s dangerous when some attempt to artificially recreate what we have worked so hard to banish.
• Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.