Texas State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) has hired 22-year-old self-described “Christian nationalist” Jake Neidert as his office’s legislative director.
In June, Neidert wrote on Twitter, “You want to force kids to see drag shows, I want to ‘drag’ you to the town square to be publicly executed for grooming kids. We are not the same.” The tweet caused his account to be suspended.
He has not yet returned to the platform even though the site’s transphobic billionaire owner Elon Musk has reinstated other far-right accounts banned for similar speech.
Neidert used to manage communications for the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter at Baylor University, one of the state’s largest Christian universities.
On March 7, The Baylor YCT Twitter account published a tweet that said, “Does the ‘G’ in LGBT stand for ‘Grooms kids’?”
Another tweet from the account said, “Are you an ally to Child-Rapists or Serial Killers? Do we not condemn these actions? So if you believe homosexuality is biblically sinful, why would we not condemn this sin?”
Neidert defended the tweet, stating, “I’m a southern Baptist and it is within very many congregations and denominations of Christianity still believe that homosexuality is a sin. I would not say [the tweet] is a stretch.”
Neidert’s claim that gay people want to “groom” children for sexual abuse is decades old and often used to justify violence against LGBTQ people. It’s also telling that he hasn’t spoken out against the countless cases of child sex abuse that regularly occur in Baptist and other Christian churches.
Neidert has publicly denounced the June arrests of members of the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front who intended to commit violence at an Idaho Pride event. He also publicly mocked the murder of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd by Minneapolis police, stating, “George Floyd is two years sober today” on the second anniversary of his killing.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion in June, Neidert said that people like him will successfully turn the U.S. into a Christian theocracy. Christian theocrats and nationalists have long espoused white supremacist views.
State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D), a member of the House LGBTQ Caucus, told The Texas Tribune, “It is a frustrating thing to both be appalled and not surprised [about Neidert’s hiring],” noting the Texas legislature’s recent spate of transphobic bills targeting sports participation, child attendance at drag shows, and gender-affirming healthcare.
“While it’s sure alarming to know that there’s someone working in my building who has called for my execution, it feels just par for the course,” Zwiener added.
Neidert’s twin sister Kelly Neidert founded Protect Texas, a transphobic that has falsely accused doctors of transitioning “small children,” The Advocate reported. In the past, she wrote via social media, “Let’s start rounding up people who participate in pride events.”
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Steven Bannon and Other Conservatives Lie the Most on Their Podcasts, Study Finds
The “War Room” podcast of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon spreads the most disinformation among conservative podcasts hosted by Apple, a recent study from the Brookings Institute found.
The study — which transcribed 36,603 podcast episodes from 79 political talk shows released before Jan. 22, 2022 — checked each episode’s transcript for keywords associated with common falsehoods debunked by fact checkers, The New York Times explained.
Researchers found that nearly 20 percent of Bannon’s episodes contained falsehoods, misleading statements, or unsubstantiated claims. The study also found that Conservative podcasters contained these things 11 times more often than liberal podcasters.
The other conservative podcasters found to contain the highest percentage of false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims included Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani, Charlie Kirk, Steven Crowder, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Daniel Horowitz, and co-hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton.
Bannon called the report’s findings a “badge of honor,” stating, “What they call disinformation or misinformation we consider the truth. And time is proving us out.”
The study also highlights the role that Big Tech companies like Apple, Google, Spotify, and others play in disseminating such disinformation and using algorithms that recommend these podcasts to audiences of millions. These companies’ policies banning misinformation and hate speech are “vague and poorly enforced, allowing false content to spread,” the Times reported.
Bannon co-founded the right-wing news site Breitbart and served as chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president from January 2017 until August 18, 2017 when Trump fired him.
In January 2018, Bannon was quoted in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House as calling Trump “a crooked business guy” and a “scumbag.”
Afterward, Trump released a public statement, saying, “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” adding, “Steve had very little to do with our historic victory.” Trump later referred to Bannon as “Sloppy Steve” on Twitter and claimed that he “cried when he got fired and begged for his job.”
In August 2020, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering connected to the We Build the Wall campaign, a $25 million GoFundMe crowdfunding that claimed to be raising funds to help Trump construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Trump had originally said that the Mexican government would entirely pay for such a wall.
JP Morgan Aided Jeffrey Epstein’s Child Sex-Trafficking Operation, Lawsuit Says
The U.S. Virgin Islands’ attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the investment banking company JP Morgan, alleging that it “turned a blind eye” to money and clients brought in by millionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation.
Epstein — who was arrested on child sex trafficking charges in July 2019 and then died in prison under questionable circumstances one month later — owned the Little St. James island in the U.S. Virgin Islands territory. There, his accusers say, he trafficked and raped girls as young as age 14 alongside a wealthy group of friends and associates.
In the lawsuit, U.S. Virgin Islands’ Attorney General Denise George said that JP Morgan “knowingly facilitated, sustained, and concealed the human trafficking network operated by Jeffrey Epstein” and “financially benefitted from this participation,” Insider reported.
The lawsuit alleges that one of Epstein’s accounts with the company, named Southern Trust, was “a conduit for payment to foreign women, credit cards, airplanes, and other instrumentalities.” The company failed to comply with “red flag” laws that would’ve required its employees to investigate questionable payments, the lawsuit alleges. JP Morgan’s senior-level employees “advocated and approved” of this oversight, the lawsuit claims.
Epstein — who had connections to former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton as well as British Royal Prince Andrew — was found hanging and dead in his prison cell on August 9, 2019. Though his death was ruled a suicide, the two cameras in front of his cell reportedly malfunctioned on the night of his death, according to Reuters, raising suspicions that he may have been murdered.
“President Joe Biden signed into law Tuesday (the bipartisan Prison Camera Reform Act) a bill requiring the federal Bureau of Prisons to overhaul outdated security systems and fix broken surveillance cameras after rampant staff sexual abuse, inmate escapes and high-profile deaths,” the Associated Press reported.
The bill requires the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to evaluate its security cameras, radios, and public address systems at 122 facilities and to repair them within three years.
In related “Broken prison camera systems are enabling corruption, misconduct and abuse,” said the legislation’s sponsor, Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga. “That’s why I brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass my Prison Camera Reform Act, which is now law.”
Far-Right Blasts Fox News’ Sean Hannity for Saying He Never Believed Trump’s Big Lie
Far-right figures have turned against Fox News host Sean Hannity after he admitted in legal testimony that he never believed that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from former President Donald Trump.
When giving a deposition in Dominion Voting Systems’s defamation case against Fox News, Hannity said, “I did not believe it for one second,” referring to Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that an unprecedented nationwide conspiracy of voter fraud “stole” the election from him.
Dominion lawyer Stephen Shackelford told The New York Times that Hannity’s fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson also didn’t believe Trump’s claims. But far-right figures have decided to blast Hannity for his comment.
Former Trump lawyer Lin Wood, who repeated Trump’s fraud claims, told The Daily Beast that he is “very disappointed” and “unhappy” with Hannity, especially after Hannity allegedly told him in a text exchange that he believed Democrats had stolen the election.
MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell told the publication, “[Hannity is] a terrible journalist…. He doesn’t seem to have any concern over any election problems in the country, and it’s disgusting.”
Stew Peters, a far-right broadcaster who regularly hosts anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theorists, called Hannity a “clown” for his disbelief in election fraud, stating, “He regularly washes and dries [former Republican National Committee Chair] Reince Priebus and [former Trump White House Press Secretary] Sean Spicer’s jock straps.”
Other Trump advisers badmouthed Hannity to the Beast. But it’s unlikely that their criticisms will do anything to remove Hannity from his perch at the right-wing Fox News network.
Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation case against Fox News in 2021, alleging that the media outlet repeated Trump’s baseless claims about their machines helping Democrats steal the election. The negative press cost the voting machine manufacturer millions in lost business, Dominion’s lawsuit states.
- News3 days ago
‘Vulgar and Lewd’: Trump Judge Cites Extremist Group to Allow Drag Show Ban
- News3 days ago
Gaetz Praises GOP Congressman Who Echoes His Call for Change ‘Through Force’
- News2 days ago
‘Scared to Death’: Trump’s Prison Panic Admission Means He Knows He’s Doomed Says Legal Expert
- News1 day ago
Pete Buttigieg Nails Trump for His Ugly Comments About Wounded Vets
- News4 hours ago
‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General
- News6 hours ago
‘It Won’t Fare Well’: Legal Expert Trashes Trump’s Hopes for ‘Hail Mary’ Appeal This Week
- News3 hours ago
‘Height of Irresponsibility’: Top LGBTQ Civil Rights Group Slams House Republicans Over Shutdown and ‘Politics of Hate’
- News43 mins ago
‘Poof’: White House Mocks Stunned Fox News Host as GOP’s Impeachment Case Evaporates on Live Air