The right-wing digital media outlet CRTV has booked three of its hosts on the conspiracy outlet Infowars in the last two weeks, serving as the latest indication that the network is pivoting to appeal to the fringes of the far-right.
CRTV is a subscription-based video streaming network that streams through services like Roku and Apple TV. It was launched in 2016 by Conservative Review, the online outlet founded and edited by conservative political commentator Mark Levin, and was initially headlined by Levin and Michelle Malkin.
The network’s initial hires were voices who were already well known in conservative media, such as Steve Deace and Steven Crowder. But CRTV has recently hired a few right-wing YouTube personalities who have established cult followings in the far-right. Recent hires have included McInnes, a far-right media personality who leads a bizarre fraternity called “Proud Boys” that initiates its members by beating them until they name five breakfast cereal brands (really). The Southern Poverty Law Center recently named the Proud Boys a hate group thanks in part to McInnes’ track record of using racist, misogynistic and xenophobic rhetoric on his CRTV show. Laura Tam—known online by her username “Roaming Millennial”—has also been hired by the network and has been producing videos for CRTV aimed at mocking concepts like structural racism.
McInnes has made numerous appearances on Infowars over the past few years and appeared on the network as recently as March 14. But in recent weeks, more CRTV hosts have appeared on the conspiracy outlet—the latest indication of CRTV’s apparent efforts to appeal to the fringes of the Right.
CRTV did not respond to request for comment.
Earlier this month, after CRTV host Steven Crowder was temporarily suspended from Twitter after he posted a video containing an anti-gay slur, he appeared on Infowars with Alex Jones. Crowder urged conservative YouTube personalities who believe they are being censored on the platform to begin taking legal action against YouTube to “hit them where it hurts legally and sting them.”
During his Infowars appearance, Jones praised Crowder’s popularity with younger viewers, which Jones claimed “scares the globalists.” Jones also used Crowder’s appearance to repeat his bizarre claims that LGBTQ activists want to protect people who want to have sex with your car and declared gender nonconformity was “total mental illness.”
Crowder, who hosts a late night show for CRTV that often features distasteful jokes about LGBTQ people and racial minorities, also used his appearance to complain that his critics have falsely labeled him a neo-Nazi.
Jones sympathized with Crowder, saying, “That’s what they do to me. They say that I say there’s Martian bases. They say I say firefighters blew up the World Trade Center. No, I said there was a stand-down. It’s come out in the news. That’s how they get us all. They misrepresent what I say. They misrepresent what you say. Then they attack when you go on my show or I go on yours.”
Jones made an appearance on “Louder with Crowder” in December 2016, shortly after Crowder announced that his show had been picked up by CRTV. Crowder had also appeared on Infowars once in 2016, before he was employed with CRTV.
Yesterday, Tam joined Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson while he complained that conservative institutions like Fox News haven’t sufficiently embraced right-wing internet stars popular with younger audiences. Tam said that liberals have turned TV networks popular with young people, like MTV, “into propaganda mills” that are “dang effective” and that conservative leaders aren’t putting the same amount of effort into connecting with young people.
The duo went on to discuss one of Tam’s more recent YouTube videos, in which she claimed that so-called “social justice warriors” and members of the racist alt-right movement are “a mirror image of each other when it comes to race, segregation [and] views on society.” Watson said the alt-right movement only exists so members of the press can use it as a tool to attack “ordinary conservatives,” going on to cite our report last year about alt-right activists on YouTube and the figures like Tam who have helped to legitimize them to more mainstream audiences. Tam lied about the contents of our report and claimed she was labeled an alt-right figure (she wasn’t) before saying that the alt-right is “exactly like Black Lives Matter, but for white people.”
In the hours prior to Tam’s appearance, Alex Jones had been comparing the teenage leaders of the March for Our Lives rallies to Hitler Youth, going so far as to dub over footage from Florida shooting survivor David Hogg’s speech at the D.C. rally with audio from an Adolf Hitler speech.
Infowars is the nation’s most notorious conspiracy theory factory, where viewers are indoctrinated every day with conspiracy theories including the idea that a top-level Trump administration official is posting cryptic riddles on 8Chan about a secret operation to destroy a satanic pedophile ring, that humanity is on the verge of a world war that will kill nearly everyone, and that global elites ordered last month’s school shooting in Florida to distract from Rep. Devin Nunes’ nothingburger FISA memo. The outlet has also stood behind claims that Michelle Obama is secretly a transgender woman, that global elites are using liberals to commit genocide, and that the FBI may execute Jones.
Jones routinely declares that mass shootings are “false flag” attacks orchestrated by liberal global elites, spouts bizarre and inflammatory claims about LGBTQ people, and warns listeners about a secret satanic pedophile cult supposedly controlling mainstream media.
And believe us when we say that barely scratches the surface.