'You Don't Air That Shit in First Place'
Jason Kessler is a leader of the "alt-right," and one of the organizers of last year's deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville (photo above). Despite his protestations, he is at least a white nationalist. And he has been called a "white supremacist." And worse.
Kessler successfully managed to organize a second Unite the Right rally, which will be held in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
For reasons unknown National Public Radio, NPR, decided to interview Kessler, and aired that interview Friday morning, just 24 hours before the start of Unite the Right 2. That rally is expected to attract countless white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-gay activists and homophobes, anti-immigrant activists, anti-Muslim activists, Holocaust deniers, misogynists, conspiracy theorists, and many other members of the right and far right, including, possibly, neo-Nazis.
On his National Park Service application, which was approved, and issued Thursday, Kessler notes that former KKK grand wizard and noted white supremacist David Duke will be among the speakers.
NCRM will not link to the NPR interview, nor will we amplify most of what Kessler said. He deserves as little coverage as possible. But NPR's decision to normalize a key figure in the white nationalist and white supremacist movement is indefensible, and deserves to be criticized.
NPR interviewed Kessler one-on-one. There was no anti-extremism expert involved, no one to counter his claims. And by conducting the interview as if Kessler's views are just as valid and acceptable as any other, NPR has contributed to normalizing his unacceptable extremism.
One comment Kessler made that we will publish: his defense as to why he claims to not be a white supremacist or white nationalist: “I consider myself a civil and human rights advocate focusing on the underrepresented Caucasian demographic.”
Poison by any other name is still poison.
NPR also allowed him to "literally rank the races," as Splinter reported.
Understandably, many on social media are furious that NPR would hand its platform, one that is highly-respected by most, to a white nationalist.
Jason Kessler being given an interview on NPR as if white supremacy is a legitimate policy position is a reminder that many of the (white) people making decisions in the media don’t feel impacted by any of this — it’s either entertainment or “news” until it hits their doorstep.
— deray (@deray) August 10, 2018
STOP ASKING RACISTS WHAT THEY THINK. WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT THEY THINK. https://t.co/xqwP8k6TW1
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) August 10, 2018
Hey @NPR putting Jason Kessler on the air as a “counterpoint” to Black Lives Matter is uniquely shitty. When one side of an argument is “stop killing us in the streets like animals,” you don’t need to have a guy on to say “well, you are animals.”
— K. Thor Jensen (@kthorjensen) August 10, 2018
NPR interviews Nazi - someone who celebrated Heather Heyer’s murder - like they’re asking for his opinion on the Maryland governor’s race. This is a new low. https://t.co/W0lcc1V06q
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) August 10, 2018
I finally listened to that NPR interview with Jason Kessler and Jesus Fucking Christ the legacy media doesn't understand how to cover bad faith actors.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) August 10, 2018
You do not invite someone on the radio to "let them respond" to the leader of a hate group who just on-air called them biologically inferior. You don't air that shit in first place. @NPR
— Erica Sackin (@ericajanes) August 10, 2018
Ick, @NPR. You'll never get the truth from a white nationalist, especially not Kessler. If you want the truth, ask a Former. Don't give hate a platform. Report on it, but don't enable.
— Christian Picciolini (@cpicciolini) August 10, 2018
Media outlets should think long & hard before granting white supremacists a platform that can reach millions. This piece was not a general story quoting Kessler for a few seconds, among others--it was a one-on-one interview. No experts, no debunking or exposure of mistruths. 🙁 https://t.co/14UdrDAvdJ
— Mark Pitcavage (@egavactip) August 10, 2018
Sadly, many in the mainstream media still view black people asking for equality and freedom from police brutality as radical or extreme.
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) August 10, 2018
White people are not being silenced. We are not having the cops called on us for walking into our own dorm, selling lemonade, BBQing in a public park, swimming in pools, etc.
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 10, 2018
@MorningEdition also seems to not understand the inherent racism in only having Black Lives Matter leaders on to RESPOND to white supremacists. I listen every morning. Groups like BLM are not given the platform Kessler got this morning.
— deepnhearttx (@deepnhearttx) August 10, 2018
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