Extremely Extreme Extremists, Part One
Latest hit piece from Huff Post is a classic in the "far-right is scary" genre.
Huff Post is the latest national outfit to write about the supposed far-right extremism of Idaho's Republican Party. The article, “Living with the Far-Right Insurgency in Idaho,” claims that Idaho’s GOP has a “radical faction, in open alliance with extremists” that is bent on “seizing power” by targeting opponents “with cruelty.” The article is propaganda from start to finish.
The author of “Living with the Far-Right,” Christopher Mathias, has a template for such hit pieces. Mathias’s journalism shows that any conservative is “far-right,” the threat of the far-right is really the threat of fascism or white nationalism or Nazism or whatever, and the threat is always looming.
The Pennsylvania Primary? Mathias was on the beat with “Doug Mastriano, Far-Right Election Denier, Wins Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Primary.” Fox News’s Tucker Carlson went to Hungary? Mathias had the scoop. “The Perfect Anti-Semitism of Tucker Carlson’s Latest Trip to Hungary.” Did you notice all of the white supremacist violence in the country? Mathias did. You can read all about it in “Inside the Patriot Front: The Masked White Supremacists on a Nationwide Hate Crime Spree.”
Mathias’s story about Idaho is a classic in his own genre. He has a list and he checks all of the right boxes.
Mathias finds a “white nationalist” who brags about taking over an area or the country as a whole. Mathias pretends to believe his claims. While the white nationalists that Mathias interviewed are, he knows, expert at self-promotion and exaggeration, this time they are serious. They are about to take over! Check.
Mathias then loudly equates “white nationalists” with “the state’s growing MAGA faction” or MAGA radicals or the Idaho Freedom Foundation. The White Nationalist/far-right Republican alliance is starting to use tactics that target “their opponents with frightening cruelty and harassment, embracing a strategy called ‘confrontational politics.’” Conservatives take to the streets and protest. They burn masks. They send nasty emails. The far-right are Nazis using Nazi methods. Check.
Mathias finds progressive activists who profess to be scared about the impending take-over of the white nationalists—and Mathias takes everything they say at face value. None of these people, Mathias claims, are “prone to alarmism.” They have lived here for fifty years but it has never been this bad. His sources heard someone talk about hearing someone who used the N-word. Perfectly admissible. Or they found a shotgun shell on the hood of their car. Leftists are never hoaxers and they never lie for political advantage! They have pure motives! These witnesses testify to the fact that the Nazis have Nazi goals and are using Nazi methods. Check.
Mathias finds some people who call themselves Republicans to profess shock at what is happening under the MAGA-White Nationalist or Anti-Semite (or whatever) wing. They actually try to win elections! Mathias finds Jennifer Ellis, organizer of Take Back Idaho, Greg Chaney (defeated Idaho State Senate candidate) and another lifelong Republican to fit the bill. They too are scared for their lives. They too have been loyal conservatives, but they did not sign up for this far-right extremism. Former conservatives worried about the Nazi takeover. Check.
Mathias finds some real world examples of the supposed white nationalist victory. Oh the Humanity! In this case, a leftist doctor, Ted Epperly, a lockdown advocate, mask advocate, and vaccine advocate did not have his contract renewed for Ada County’s Central District Health. That firing is called a purge, of course. Hitler, you see, did not always trust his public health officials either—and the first purge led to many more purges. Then the Holocaust. Other examples are found. The Nazi methods are working! Check.
The country may be running short of baby formula, but Mathias has a formula. It is just not as nutritious.
Mathias is peddling The Narrative. There are never any enemies to the Left. Leftist tactics get no scrutiny. No Leftist would ever just invent a story or hoax for political advantage. Every person to the right of the Left is a fascist, Anti-Semite, white nationalist, etc. Every conservative position is put in the worst possible light, while every leftist position is put in the best possible light.
Mathias did not invent this genre. It has been a Leftist trope since FDR's 1944 State of the Union, where he defended new government entitlements. If such a New Deal is not passed, he said, "it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home." Since then, the press and Democratic politicians have made a fetish of equating conservatives with Nazis or whatever.
Ears should no longer hear such preposterous propaganda.
Tomorrow we will explore what such an article has to say about the public policy positions of the Idaho's establishment.