10 Most Despicable Stories Breitbart Published Under Bannon
Before Donald Trump announced his run for president, Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, was little more than a Boogie Man in the liberal imagination. He had taken over the conservative website after founder Andrew Breitbart unexpectedly dropped dead of a heart attack in June 2012, continuing his predecessor’s mission of spewing conspiracy theories across the internet: he and his crew kept fueling the Birther movement, claimed to “out” Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King as caucasian (Snopes’ investigation into that controversy tells the whole story) and desperately tried to stir up controversy over Hillary Clinton’s email server, despite the fact that she was cleared (twice!) of all wrong-doing.
Every dark impulse lurking in the mind of the angry white man can be found on Breitbart. The Alt-Right – the preferred term for the white nationalist movement – website supported Trump’s bid for the presidency from the beginning. Then in August, Bannon was named CEO of Trump’s campaign. When they managed to beat Hillary Clinton in the November election, he was handsomely rewarded for his loyalty: Trump named Bannon chief White House strategist, a position that will give him unimpeded access to and influence over the new president.
To say that Bannon delights in demeaning and mocking marginalized groups, from women to Muslims, hardly does his brand of toxic hatred justice. To understand the full scope of the site’s deeply disturbing discrimination – barely hiding under a thin veil of pseudo-journalism – here are 10 of the most alarming stories Breitbart News ever published under Bannon’s watch.
Muslim immigrants are to blame for crime in Europe…
In this January, 2016 story, former far-right Congressman Tom Tancredo wrote that sex crime rates in Europe could be traced back to a recent influx of Muslim immigrants, and blamed the mainstream press for not reporting this because they were too interested in being politically correct. "The good news is that across Europe today, there is widespread rebellion against political correctness when it comes to massive Muslim migration," he writes, referring to a rise in anti-immigrant movements in Europe. Yet his claim that Europe is facing a rape epidemic because of Muslim refugees is baseless; research has repeatedly failed to show any direct correlation between immigration and violent crime rates. The German government even released an official report stating that an the growing number of immigrants to their country has not resulted in an increase in crime rates, and that sex crimes in particular made up less one percent of crimes committed by migrants.
… As Are Mexican Immigrants in America
Breitbart news runs on a disturbing cocktail of a fear of people of color and immigrants. This article, written by homepage editor Katie McHugh, attempts to rationalize Trump's claims that Mexican immigrants are flooding the border to rape your daughter. She cites Anne Coulter's extremely bizarre assertion that "deep and loving regard for women and our femininity is a purely Anglo-Saxon concept," and goes on to speculate that "the most terrible aspect of Third World cultures, like in many deep cultural pockets of Mexico, is the swift sexualization of young girls." Yet America is just as guilty of the "sexualization of young girls" as any other country – from Britney Spears' "Baby Hit Me One More Time" video, to the breasts on a Barbie doll, a staple of American girlhood.
LGBT people should start pretending to be hetero again
Written by Milo Yiannopoulos, notorious for using his sexuality as an excuse for his misogyny and racism, this article makes the semi-coherent point that gay men have historically greatly contributed to the arts and sciences, therefore they should go back to pretending to be straight in order to procreate at a better rate. "An entire generation's worth of artists, playwrights, scientists, and fashion-forward gay BFFs are being mopped up by horrified housekeepers instead of being born," he writes, implying that being gay is like having green eyes, a recessive trait that can be passed through genes – before claiming that same-sex couples are destructive as parents. "Self-hating" doesn't even begin to explain this guy.
It’s the ‘Washington Post’ spinning the news, not Breitbart
Way back in August 2015, long before James Comey became a household name and "lock her up" became a go-to chant, Breitbart was already expertly tricking readers into thinking reputable news outlets – in this case the Washington Post – were the ones doing the spinning. Their grievance, apparently, was that the Post wrote that the FBI was "looking into" rather than "investigating" Clinton's email server. They spend more than 10 paragraphs weaving their narrative of a devious Clinton hiding … what exactly? Her inability to use a fax machine? Even 18 months ago, they were straining themselves to create a controversy where there was none. Unfortunately, it worked.
They’re not Birthers, but Obama might have been born in Kenya
This article starts off with a note from the senior editors stating that Andrew Breitbart, the site's late founder, along with the rest of the editorial staff, are not Birthers and accept that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. "It is evidence," the senior editors write, "not of the President's foreign origin, but that Barack Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times." These intentions seem deeply disingenuous when you look at the rest of the story – or more importantly, the picture they used of a 1991 bio from Obama's publisher that erroneously states he was born in Kenya. Even after the publisher announced that this was simply a fact-checking error, this post was used as fuel for the extremists behind Birtherism – something that can't be easily disposed of with an editor's note.
White people pretend to be black because that’s an “advantage”
After a long campaign to "out" Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King as white, King was ultimately forced to publicly defend his racial identity. In response, Breitbart published this essay, in which writer Ben Shapiro reflects on "one undeniable fact": that "being black in America in 2015 is perceived as a status symbol and an advantage." In truth, the only undeniable fact is that being black in America puts you at a disadvantage financially, as well as at higher risk for being jailed or shot, even by the people tasked to protect you.
“#BlackLivesMatter Stokes Global Chaos”
Aside from the incendiary headline, this is what Breitbart news might call a straightforward news article, albeit one that twists the goals of activists around the world speaking out against the killing of minorities from the UK to Israel, to accusing them of taking "their signature brand of troublemaking global." This type of spin attempts to discredit legal protesters dismissing the people of color who have come together to air grievances against their government – which is just what Breitbart News likes to do. It's stories like this that make it clear the site only cares about dissent when it comes from white people.
Flying Confederate flag isn’t racist
In a stunning piece of revisionist history, writer Gerald Warner defends the Confederate flag. "Barack," he writes, "you might just want to remind us again which state of the Union, north or south, your ancestors resided in during the traumatic years 1861 [and] 1865? Or did Kenya not have a dog in that fight?" This is from the site that claims not to have anything to do with Birthers, but they go on to argue that there's nothing inherently racist about about flying the flag of the South's failed rebellion. "The Confederacy was not a callous conspiracy to enforce slavery, but a patriotic and idealistic cause for which 490,000 men were killed, wounded or taken captive. The Civil War was not fought over slavery, but in defense of states' rights." Sure, specifically their right to own slaves.
Birth control makes women unattractive, says Alt-Right gay icon Milo
In this article by Milo "I delight in offending people" Yiannopoulous, he breaks down the negative effects of birth control on women: It makes women's voices "unsexy;" those who take the pill "don't look right or talk right;" it makes women fat, slutty and "jiggle wrong." He tries to blame the pill for "cottage cheese thighs" since, he claims, they only became prevalent after the 1970s – though admits that may have had something to do with the rise of fast food – as well as for the increase in the divorce rate. Though Milo might be the biggest troll on the Internet, even from him, this is pretty offensive.
Transgender bathrooms are a liberal plot to promote the sexual revolution
In this defense of North Carolina's discriminatory bathroom laws, Breitbart writer Neil Munro – famous for heckling Obama during a speech in the Rose Garden – argues that progressives want to "legally destroy and stigmatize the civic support for two equal, distinct and different sexes." He points out that the law states that people must go to the bathroom that appears on their birth certificate, and that after gender reassignment surgery, transgender people can legally change that – but he leaves out the scores of people that can't afford those procedures. He calls this a liberal plan to "promote the sexually revolutionary idea of fluid 'gender identity,'" rather than merely a way to allow everyone to pee where they feel comfortable.