Activists and media figures who call themselves “New Right” have been trying to disassociate themselves with the white supremacist alt-right ever since an alt-right protester murdered a liberal counter-protester in Charlottesville earlier this year. But these New Right figures—people like Mike Cernovich and Gateway Pundit’s Lucian Wintrich—have become increasingly reckless with the social media networks they’ve created, using their platforms to elevate without critique people who espouse the extremists views they claim to disavow.
In a video released today, Cernovich appeared on Milo Yiannopoulos’ podcast “The MILO Show” to discuss his acquisition of the “Shitty Men in Media” list that has been circulating among female journalists at major publishing outlets. Cernovich’s appearance, unsurprisingly, featured no mention of the recent Buzzfeed exposé that revealed direct ties between Yiannopoulos and explicit white nationalists, which led former White House strategist and current Breitbart leader Steve Bannon to declare Yiannopoulous to be “dead to me.”
Yiannopoulos and Cernovich made clear that they had no intention of criticizing each other; instead, the two talked up their similarities in an effort to differentiate themselves from white nationalist activists like Tim Gionet, a.k.a. “Baked Alaska.” Yiannopolous told Cernovich that while Gionet’s “young” and “easily led” followers want a “line in the sand,” “You and I are weathervanes, we change direction, sometimes for strategic reasons and sometimes because our opinions shift on receipt of new evidence.”
The interview also featured talk of the New Right’s recently debuted super PAC and other efforts to move their online supporters into real-world organizations.
Last week, Gateway Pundit White House reporter Lucian Wintrich interviewed a Nazi-flag-waving internet troll who had attended the white nationalist Unite the Right rally, praising his sense of humor and identifying more on similarities than differences. Over the weekend, Andrew Meyer, host of Cernovich’s latest media venture, “CernoNews,” interviewed Jared Taylor of the white nationalist hate group American Renaissance, attempting to highlight their differences but in the end suggesting that Taylor could be “more effective” with his message by using “different language” that wasn’t so explicitly race-driven.
These New Right stars seem to be attempting to project a sense of contrast between themselves and the alt-right—identifying a clear “us” versus “them.” But the campy exchanges they have had with alt-right leaders have only worked to highlight the overlap between both movements and generate crossover audiences, all in the name of trolling liberals.