- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 13, 2018

The publisher of The Daily Stormer, a crude website rife with white nationalist and neo-Nazi commentary, shouldn’t be held responsible for an anti-Semitic “troll storm” waged by his readers against a Jewish real estate agent because he believes the Holocaust was a “hoax,” his attorney has claimed in a new court filing.

The argument appeared in a motion to dismiss filed in Montana federal court Friday on behalf of The Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin, in response to a lawsuit brought last April by the Southern Poverty Law Center watchdog group.

Mr. Anglin published several articles beginning in December 2016 targeting Tanya Gersh, a Jewish realtor from Whitefish, Montana, after she raised concerns about a local property owned by Sherry Spencer, the mother of white nationalist and “alt-right” figurehead Richard Spencer. Mr. Anglin alleged in the articles that that realtor had been “extorting” Ms. Spencer in hopes of having her sell the property, and he subsequently encouraged readers to contact the Gersh family to “[t]ell them you are sickened by their Jew agenda.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Mr. Anglin on the realtor’s behalf, and its attorneys alleged that the publisher directed readers to wage a “campaign of terror” against Ms. Gersh and her family, the likes of which resulted in them receiving hundreds of hateful and threatening anti-Semitic phone calls, voicemails, text messages, emails, letters and social media comments, according to the lawsuit.

“You should have died in the Holocaust with the rest of your people,” one of the callers said, according to the lawsuit.

“Hickory dickory dock, the [expletive] ran up the clock,” someone wrote in a tweet directed to Ms. Gersh, using a epithet for Jews. “The clock struck three and Internet Nazis trolls gassed the rest of them.”

Marc Randazza, Mr. Anglin’s attorney, wrote in Friday’s motion that there’s a reason his client isn’t liable for his reader’s comments evoking the Holocaust.

“It is necessary to consider the context in which the so-called threats were made: Defendant deems the Holocaust a ‘hoax,’” wrote Mr. Randazza, citing a Daily Stormer article from last January where Mr. Anglin argued as much.

“If Defendant is to be deemed responsible for the speech of third parties, that speech must be viewed through Defendant’s mindset. In that mindset, there are no gas chambers; there are no ovens; there are no mass killings of Jews. To the speaker, these are fictional metaphors, a ‘threat’ as true as a Star Wars fanatic sending Death Star-blowing-up- Vulcan imagery to a Star Trek fan. It may be hateful, but it is no true threat,” Mr. Randazza wrote.

The Southern Poverty Law Center did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Mr. Anglin, 32, launched The Daily Stormer in 2013. More recently he made headlines last August after publishing an article mocking Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal who was killed while protesting white nationalists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Internet companies including GoDaddy and Google booted the website after the article went viral, forcing it to hop from registrar to registrar in order to stay online.

Mr. Anglin has previously referred to The Daily Stormer as a “piece of performance art.”

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