As someone who’s written and published some rather controversial material over the years, I’m disappointed that Rachel Maddow continues to associate me with things that I have nothing to do with.
Surely, a simple Google search would reveal plenty of pieces—pieces that I’ve actually authored—that would offend Rachel’s sensibilities? So what gives?
In a segment from last night’s Rachel Maddow Show ("Fresh Powder"), which meandered from the irrelevant to the illogical to the absurd, more than once, Rachel displayed a screenshot of “Alternative Right” and a provocatively titled essay written by Colin Liddell.1
What was shown was not my website, and I did not write, edit, or publish that essay. (Also, the essay doesn’t argue what Rachel intimates it argues; but I’ll let the author defend himself.)
For the record, let me retell the background story.
I founded AlternativeRight.com in March of 2010; this was before I joined The National Policy Institute.
I had previously worked at The American Conservative and had edited Taki’s Magazine for two years. I wanted to strike out on my own and create something that did not exist at the time—a right-wing webzine that was not burdened by the “American Conservative movement” and that was inspired by European currents, particularly the European New Right.
I considered the new website an experiment, and not really an institution.
In my tenure, I took great care in editing AltRight. I commissioned and published Jason Richwine’s article on Hispanic crime; I would defend every word of it.
In the spring of 2012, I was hard at work with NPI and Washington Summit Publishers, and I simply felt burned out with AltRight. I walked away from it, and published a farewell. Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki wanted to continue posting, though without my editorial input. I let them.
The problem with this arrangement was that my name—and even NPI’s—were indelibly linked to AltRight. In other words, NPI and I were being blamed and praised for things that were out of our control.
My resolution to this problem certainly caused some hurt feelings, but I concluded it was the only way to move forward: AlternativeRight.com was brought to an end; if Colin and Andy wanted to continue, they would have to do so without using the Web infrastructure I had created. As it turns out, the pair have continued: They appropriated the title (I never owned it) and have a new URL and hosting service. I have had no control over AltRight since the spring of 2012. I say this objectively, not critically. This is simply a matter of authorship and ownership.
Anyway, one principle of journalism is to try to present as many perspectives on a subject or event as possible. Rachel Maddow has now dedicated some 30-45 minutes of her news programming to The Richard Spencer Question. Yet at no point have I been contacted for comment or input.
So let’s make a deal, Rachel. The next time you want to do a story on me . . . and I imagine there will be a next time . . . have your staff contact me: I’ll send over some articles, which I’ve authored or published and which include lots of outlandish opinions that will send you and your audience into fits of righteous indignation. I’m talking real juicy stuff. And best of all, your reports will actually be accurate. Think of it!
- Rachel also linked me to the “Aryan Nations.” That I have nothing to do with this group is clear enough, so I’ll focus on the less obvious mischaracterization. ↩