On Monday, August 14, the Daily Caller very quietly removed white nationalist Jason Kessler’s contributions to the publication after the violence and chaos in Charlottesville. The white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally was organized by Kessler.
But the white nationalist problem at Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, a conservative political outlet launched in 2010 as a “response” to the Huffington Post, is bigger than just Kessler. Throughout the 2016 election and since, the Daily Caller has not only published the work of white nationalists, but some of its writers have routinely whitewashed the Alt-Right, while one editor there is an associate of key Alt-Right figures. Two Daily Caller contributors, including a senior investigative reporter, were recently announced as speakers at the upcoming white nationalist H.L. Mencken Clubconference organized by Paul Gottfried, a godfather of the Alt-Right.
As for recent Daily Caller contributors, take Peter Brimelow; the English white nationalist is the founder of the website VDARE, named after Virginia Dare, the supposed first white child born in the new world. VDARE is a major hub for white nationalists and anti-Semites. Brimelow is a leading figure on the Alt-Right and has been published three times in the Daily Caller in recent months, with his firstpiece coming in March defending Rep. Steve King, a hero to white nationalists, who recently tweeted, “Geert Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
A few years ago, the Daily Caller publishing the work of an established white nationalist would be unthinkable. Take the response from Washington, D.C., senior contributor Matt K. Lewis following the firing of white nationalist John Derbyshire from National Review in 2012 for writing a racist screed regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting titled, “The Talk: Nonblack Version.” The article, presented as conversation between a white parent and their child included lines like, “A small cohort of blacks — in my experience, around five percent — is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us.” It also included tips like, “If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date.” Lewis’ response in the Daily Caller to Derbyshire’s 2012 firing was, “Some people aren’t worth the [sic] fighting for. Some things are indefensible. This is one of those cases.”
Following his firing, Derbyshire joined VDARE as a regular contributor, and now his boss, Brimelow, is contributing articles to the Daily Caller.
But Brimelow is only a contributor. Despite his attempts to hide it, Daily Caller deputy editor Scott Greer has questionable ties to many younger members of the white nationalist movement. The activist website OverthrowDotCom published multiple photographs of Greer in late 2016 documenting his extensive relationships with other white nationalists. In the expose, mostly taken from Facebook, Greer is photographed with hardcore white nationalists such as Devin Saucier, a man who works as an assistant to Jared Taylor of American Renaissance. One of the most prominent white nationalists of the past quarter century, Taylor once wrote, "Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears."
Saucier is a regular attendee at white nationalist gatherings, including Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute (NPI) conferences. Greer is also pictured with another white nationalist, Marcus Epstein, another friend of Spencer’s who pled guilty in 2009 to drunkenly assaulting an African American woman in Washington, D.C., which occurred two years prior.
In these photos, Greer is seen wearing a Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) t-shirt. YWC is a now defunct white nationalist student group founded by Epstein and another white nationalist, Kevin DeAnna. DeAnna has been involved with the neo-volkisch collective called the Wolves of Vinland, and Greer has been photographed at a Wolves gathering with Saucier and others.
An active member of the Wolves is Maurice Michaely, a man who was sent to prison for burning down the black historical Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Haymarket, Virginia. According to the “Fools of Vinland” blog, Greer liked a picture of Michaely that was posted on Facebook in 2014, showing him in prison with the letters 666 scrawled onto his hand.
While Greer has scrubbed his Facebook page, his Twitter account still shows that he “follows” a number of white nationalists, including Tim Dionisopoulos of YWC who Greer is sometimes photographed with, as well as Richard Spencer and Steve Sailer of VDARE.
Greer’s writings also indicate his white nationalist views, though calibrated for a more mainstream conservative audience. He recently published a book, "No Campus for White Men" — an attack piece focused on the evergreen right-wing grievance of “political correctness” on college campuses — which received glowing reviews from white nationalist websites including VDARE, American Renaissance and Counter Currents. Greer, originally from Tennessee, published a staunch defense of the Confederate battle flag for the Daily Caller in July of 2016, writing that a National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples leader’s call to remove Confederate soldiers from a carving on Stone Mountain in Georgia was “remarkably similar to the tactics of jihadis like ISIS and the Taliban.” Other stories written by Greer for the Daily Caller include tropes that are often peddled by white nationalists including black-on-white crime, and that immigrants are bringing disease to the country.
In a 2014 piece, Greer dismissed an article in Time magazine on the threat right wing anti-government groups and individuals pose to law enforcement. “A thorough search of Time’s archive produced no stories about the threat that communists, black nationalists or prison gangs pose to police,” he claimed. In a May 2015 opinion piece, Greer heaped praise on St. Louis County district attorney Bob McCulloch for his handling of the Michael Brown case, despite McCulloch’s history of bias and the widespread criticism he received for his actions during the aftermath of the shooting.
One of Greer’s fixations is on downplaying the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. In a July 2015 opinion piece, Greer defended then-candidate Donald Trump who called Mexicans “criminals and rapists,” writing, ”Except that it’s still Hispanic men who are raping these women, and the countries where illegal immigrants primarily come from countries [sic] have sexual assault rates that dwarf the phony numbers for American universities. The eight-in-ten figure for migrant women proves that there is a very real rape culture among illegal immigrants, contrary to what some fact checkers might want you to believe.”
In a June 2015 piece, Greer again whitewashed sexual assault on campuses, writing, “[I]t’s the perverse fantasy that thousands of women will be raped at some point during their college years,” before making a statement that is often heard from Alt-Right misogynists. “On top of that,” Greer opines, “more innocent men will find themselves accused of these crimes and see their lives ruined by a culture that nurses and refuses to punish false rape accusations.”
The day after the 2016 election, Greer tweeted, “Now as a white man, I can finally feel safe in America.” Richard Spencer is clearly a fan of Greer’s, retweeting him a number of times.
Unite the Right’s Jason Kessler is another white nationalist who contributed to the Daily Caller in 2017. His three pieces just happen to span some of the recent causes common to both white nationalists and some mainstream conservatives: The preservation of Confederate monuments, the hyping of grisly crimes committed by the M-13 gang as a frame to attack immigration, and the manufacturing of campus free speech martyrs, in this case Ann Coulter.
Kessler is a fresh face on the scene, coming to prominence in late 2016 when he launched a vendetta campaign against Charlottesville, Virginia, Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy, following Bellamy’s call for the removal of a statute of Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. Kessler started a petition to oust Bellamy and also founded an anti-immigrant/white nationalist organization, Unity and Security for America, and used it to vocally support Corey Stewart, pro-Confederate Virginia gubernatorial candidate. Kessler was arrested in January for punching a man while he was gathering signatures for his anti-Bellamy petition. After video evidence showed Kessler punching the man unprovoked, he pled guilty to misdemeanor assault and was later sentenced to 50 hours of community service.
His petition campaign failed in March of 2017, but Kessler continued attacking Bellamy, sharing a number of racist articles on social media, including one that referred to Bellamy as a “pavement ape” and “Councilman Dindu,” a reference to a racist meme. At the same time he was writing for Daily Caller, Kessler also wrote for VDARE.
On May 14, the dispute over the Confederate statues galvanized white nationalists who convened in Charlottesville to protest, with Richard Spencer leading a torch-lit march. Kessler was arrested for a second time in four months for not obeying an officer’s orders.
Nevertheless, the next day Kessler published a glowing account of the protest on the Daily Caller, complete with photos from his own Twitter account (#SaveLeeandJackson). He noted that though not all of the speakers were Southerners, they, “sympathized with the fight to preserve a history which they say is increasingly under attack by Left-wing ideologues who want to tear down statues, change the names of buildings and rewrite history books to place white people in an unsympathetic and even hostile light.”
ProPublica pointed out glaring omissions from Kessler’s report, writing, “It didn’t disclose that its author, Jason Kessler, is supportive of white supremacist groups, and on the day of the march had himself made a speech to the protesters in which he praised fascist and racist organizations, thanked a prominent Holocaust denier, and declared the beginnings of a cultural “civil war.” The Daily Caller ended its freelance relationship with Kessler only after ProPublica contacted the organization for comment. Kessler’s LinkedIn page still lists him as a Daily Caller contributor.
White nationalist Paul Gottfried, who many credit with coining the phrase “Alternative Right” alongside Richard Spencer, recently announced the lineup for his annual H.L. Mencken Club conference, a white nationalist event that takes place in Baltimore each November and was co-founded by Spencer. One Daily Caller contributor Ilana Mercer and senior investigative reporter Richard Pollock are slated as speakers for this year’s event. Mercer and Pollok will be joined by Peter Brimelow. Mercer has written over 30 articles for the Daily Caller in the past year.
Mercer’s pieces contain racially charged rhetoric commonly found on white nationalist websites. Mercer’s own website contains praise from white nationalist John Derbyshire, who in 2007 called her, “ravishing, brilliant, and eloquent.” Writing for the Daily Caller just after the first Charlottesville rally, Mercer penned a piece titled, “Sanctuary City Mayor Trashes American Hero Robert E. Lee,” where she called Lee a “great American.” In another piece decrying black-on-white crime in her native South Africa, Mercer wrote, “Let not the swirl of statistics conceal the flesh-and-blood casualties of this black-on-white offensive. South Africa’s farmers, undeniably, are the focus of ethnocide. Contrary to the Syrians and Somalis streaming into the United States, they would make fabulous refugees, President Trump.” The article was reposted on Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance website the same day it appeared in the Daily Caller, and no wonder. Decrying and embellishing black on white crime is a key white nationalist trope, as is claiming to there is a systematic “white genocide” taking place in South Africa.
In one of her many anti-Muslim screeds written on the Daily Caller, Mercer wrote in May, “Policy makers and power brokers in the West have invited Muslim immigrants to live among us in the idiotic belief that, underneath the nose-bags (the burqa, the abaya and full-body swaddle), they were just like us.” Mercer, whose personal website carries the banner “Verbal Swordplay For Civilization,” is especially proud of the “nose-bag” line, using it in multiple columns and her book "The Trump Revolution."
In March of 2017, Mercer wrote another racist piece for the Daily Caller fit for the pages of American Renaissance. Her concluding paragraph of an article titled, “Africa: Before and After Colonialism,” Mercer wrote, “When all is said and done, the West is what it is due to human capital — people of superior ideas and abilities, capable of innovation, exploration, science, philosophy. Human action is the ultimate adjudicator of a human being’s worth; the aggregate action of many human beings acting in concert makes or breaks a society. Overall, American society is superior to assorted African and Arab societies because America is still inhabited by the kind of individuals who make possible a thriving civil society.”
There is a long history of white nationalists contributing to mainstream conservative publications, such as the National Review. But the Daily Caller’s embrace of white nationalists reflects the resurgence of the nationalist right, ethno and otherwise, represented by President Trump. Trump’s campaign and Electoral College victory electrified the radical right and pulled the Overton Window further in their direction. Stephen K. Bannon’s elevation into the West Wing after running what he described as “the platform for the Alt-Right” in Breitbart was part of the jackpot shared by a rogue’s gallery of extremist political operators. This is also apparent in the administration’s immigration policy, which is almost perfectly aligned with the white nationalist movement, and was originally drafted in part by Ann Coulter. There’s no other way to understand why Daily Caller would hire Peter Brimelow as a contributor if not for Trump’s victory.
In his founding editor’s note Carlson wrote:
We see our core job as straightforward: Find out what’s happening and tell you about it. We plan to be accurate, both in the facts we assert and in the conclusions we imply. If we’re not, tell us
We’re telling you, Tucker. Your flagship website has a white nationalist problem.
An email to the Daily Caller's executive editor Paul Conner seeking comment went unanswered.