Saturday, June 2, 2018

Mainstream Media Is Giving the Far-Right Exactly What They Want

nazi fascism mainstream media politics hate racism xenophobia anti-semitism islamophobia

In the United States, since Donald Trump’s election, we saw the birth of a new trend in news outlets—the glorification of the new face of the far-right.

Profiles of alt-right leaders that marvel at their style, articulation, and impeccable hair suddenly became en vogue, like the Mother Jones profile on Richard Spencer that begins with the white supremacist in a hotel lounge “deftly plucking” togarashi-crusted ahi with chopsticks as he explains that being of a different race is the equivalent to being of a different species.

The intention of these profiles was perhaps not to glorify, but all the same, that is exactly what they do. They legitimize and give a platform to groups with racist agendas that they are actively trying to enact.

To varying degrees, many prominent news outlets have fallen into the trap of legitimizing far-right groups through their coverage. Here in Quebec we’ve seen it after far-right protests in Quebec City in August and November 2017. It may not be intentional, but through a search for sensationalism, a thirst for a good story, misrepresentation of the issues and simply lazy reporting, mainstream media has successfully given these groups validity in public discourse.

And here’s the danger to that: if far-right groups are to be taken seriously, they know that they have to be palatable to the public. That is how they recruit new members—by giving their ideology a way to be identified with.  (more...)

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