(Washington, D.C., January 16, 2020)
Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel organization committed to challenging misrepresentation, is voicing its deep concern with the decision by a number of national media outlets in recent months to provide a platform and voice to a fringe hate group led by Nick Fuentes.
While we appreciate that every American has a First Amendment right to free speech, the national media also has a responsibility to fairly and accurately convey the origins and motivations behind hate speech, and not mislead the American people.
The consequences of giving a national platform to hate are more serious than ever given the recent outburst of anti-Semitic violence in the United States.
Yet, as former Emergency Committee for Israel Executive Director Noah Pollak wrote in the Washington Times recently, "National media outlets tend to be quick to ideologically categorize people into one camp or another to fit stories into familiar political narratives and to tarnish opponents with the misdeeds of extremists."
In a misguided effort to attempt to shine a light on purported divisions within a major political party, the national media has given attention to Fuentes and his followers, who call themselves "Groypers."
The result is that far too often, Fuentes is not described as an anti-Semite that relentlessly singles out American Jews for attack and conspiracy-theorizing, and promotes the old trope that American Jews trick the United States to fight wars for Israel.
The Washington Post, for example, called Fuentes "a 21-year-old YouTube flamethrower" who has "illuminated tensions within the conservative political movement." Fuentes, the Post declared, is a "far-right agitator." NBC News recently characterized Fuentes' activism as creating a fight between "middle-of-the-road conservatives" and those further right, as if the spectrum of support in a major political party runs from moderate to Holocaust deniers – because on multiple occasions, Fuentes has done just that. A few examples:
- Fuentes Has Likened The Holocaust To Cookies In The Oven. "Malkin's ouster from [Young America's Foundation, a conservative youth organization] comes after she celebrated Fuentes — most famous for denying the Holocaust by equating victims to cookies in an oven — as 'one of the New Right leaders.' She also smeared Ben Shapiro for disavowing Fuentes and his ilk. (That Shapiro did this should not be shocking, considering that he's an Orthodox Jew and an actually decent human being.)" (Tiana Lowe, "Michelle Malkin Is Betting That Nick Fuentes And His Racism Are The Right's Future," Washington Examiner, 11/18/19)
- Fuentes: "If I Take One Hour To Cook A Batch Of Cookies And Cookie Monster Has Fifteen Ovens, Working Twenty Four Hours A Day For Five Years, How Long Does It Take Cookie Monster To Make Six Million Batches Of Cookies? I Don't Know, That's A Good Questions." (Video 10)
- Fuentes Said "In This Hypothetical" Smokestacks Were "Not Visible," Although You Would "Need To See Certain Smokestacks." "And in addition, in this hypothetical I imagine that if you took aerial photographs over the kitchens you would need to see certain smokestacks to release the smoke from baking the cookies. And the smokestacks would project certain shadows, but I guess they're not visible in the aerial photographs taken over the kitchens." (Video 10)
"Just as we would like to point out that the anti-Semitic comments of Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib do not represent the true beliefs of the preponderance of members of the Democratic party; nor do the anti-Semitic comments of Nick Fuentes and his so called "Groypers" represent those of the preponderance of members of the Republican party," said Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET. "The vast majority of Americans of both parties are infinitely better than that. Journalists have a professional responsibility not to exaggerate or engage in fear mongering. At a time of heightened partisan polarization, this sort of journalism is antithetical to what our country needs at this point."
About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET's mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.