Laura Ingraham and other Fox News commentators have no problem promoting racism and sexism on their shows, but Ingraham did her audience one better on Thursday night, providing a list of “prominent voices censored on social media” that includes one open white supremacist and several conspiracy theorists.
During a segment in which Ingraham defended Facebook for keeping up a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on its website (Fox Business Network cut together a similar video arguing that Pelosi was having problems speaking), Ingraham claimed that Democrats were using threats of Russian hackers to scare people and silence conservatives ahead of the next presidential election.
Ingraham then brought out former right-wing youth group Turning Point USA spokeswoman and Hitler explainer-er Candace Owens to discuss the left’s criticism of conservatives, during which Ingraham and Owens alleged that the videos of Pelosi were humor and parody, and not an actual attempt to make the speaker look demented.
The Fox News host then went on to project a collage of “prominent” conservatives who were “censored” on social media, including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Owens, Michelle Malkin, Dan Scavino, James Woods, and Paul Nehlen.
“These are some of the people they’ve shunned,” Ingraham said “...It’s people who believe in border enforcement, people who believe in national sovereignty.”
Naturally, Ingraham didn’t mention that these people—such as Jones, Yiannopoulos, and Loomer—are right-wing conspiracy theorists who have spewed Islamophobic hate and false information about mass shootings, and targeted families of victims with harassment. Ingraham also conveniently left out that Nehlen is anti-Semitic and openly calls himself a white supremacist. As Mediaite pointed out, Nehlen, during a recent podcast appearance, called for a race war in which “some group of chimped-out niggers” attack a group of senior citizens, wiping out all Jewish and black people.
This, again, isn’t surprising from Ingraham and Fox News, but this omission of the biographies of the people on her list is alarming nonetheless, contributing to the myth that conservatives are being silenced for their opinions rather than being booted from a social media platform for sharing hateful rhetoric that dehumanizes—and endangers—marginalized people. We’ve reached out to Fox News for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
Update, 5/31/19, 2:21 p.m. ET: A Fox News spokesperson sent Splinter the following statement:
“It is obscene to suggest that Laura Ingraham was defending Paul Nehlen’s despicable actions, especially when some of the names on the graphic were pulled from an Associated Press report on best known political extremists banned from Facebook. Anyone who watches Laura’s show knows that she is a fierce protector of freedom of speech and the intent of the segment was to highlight the growing trend of unilateral censorship in America.”