Far-right columnist Michelle Malkin said she regretted ever supporting Sen. Ted Cruz after the Texas senator called members of the Proud Boys far-right group “bigoted idiots.” Malkin says that rather than condemnations from Republicans, Proud Boys members “deserve medals for trying to save this country when it was still salvageable.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group, citing its members’ use of violence and bigoted rhetoric. Proud Boys members and group founder Canadian media host Gavin McInnes have repeatedly encouraged and engaged in violent acts and affiliated with white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The qualification for obtaining the highest rank of Proud Boy—known as the “Fourth Degree”—necessitates entering a physical conflict for their cause. (McInnes sought to clarify the Fourth Degree in a 2017 blog post, writing that obtaining the rank is “a consolation prize for being thrust into a shitty situation and surviving” rather than a reward for instigating violence.)
During a live stream broadcast on Periscope Tuesday, Malkin took issue with a July 22 Denver Post op-ed by Andrew Struttmann that stated it was “morally unconscionable” that Malkin has a platform in Colorado conservative circles and was tapped to speak at a pro-police rally in the state earlier this month. Struttmann wrote of Malkin:
Malkin was once within mainstream conservatism. She formed early conservative blogs and was a regular speaker for groups like Young America’s Foundation and Conservative Political Action Conference, drawing crowds with spunk and provocative rhetoric.
Until recently, she called herself an immigration restrictionist; someone who believes in limiting legal immigration as well as ending its illegal form. She has since moved on to the fever swamps of the Alt Right.
The Alt Right is a far-right, white identity movement of civic nationalists, border-hawk libertarians, and unseemly elements like white nationalists, right-wing street gangs, and white supremacists.
“When he specifically talks about right-wing street brawlers, you know who he’s talking about? A lot of the young patriotic, brave, strong, proud men—Proud Boys—that I’ve been honored to meet all across this country,” Malkin said.
She added, “They were right. They saw what we see now coming before anybody else did. Gavin McInnes has been de-platformed everywhere. The Proud Boys, the members, the chapter leaders all across this country, many of them have had their jobs threatened, their lives threatened. These people know nothing about these young men and their love of their families, the love of their neighborhoods, the love of their countries.”
Malkin went on to play a clip of the “Verdict with Ted Cruz” podcast in which Cruz referred to the Proud Boys as “bigoted idiots” and condemned the group. Malkin accused Cruz of belonging to a portion of the conservative movement that feels a need to “virtue signal before leftists and intellectuals” and is willing to “throw their own people under the bus.” She told viewers she regretted ever supporting Cruz, whom she rooted for in 2014 when he supported the Tea Party movement and in 2015 when he ran for president.
“Shame on you,” Malkin said of Cruz. “You’re a bigoted moron, Ted Cruz. Screw you! These brave men put their bodies on the line while Ted Cruz and all of the Conservative Inc. punditocracy urge people to get out there and fight for America and stand up for your rights. What have you done?”
Malkin said that the Proud Boys “deserve medals for trying to save this country when it was still salvageable.”
Although Malkin’s far-right beliefs have been evident for much of her career in conservative media, in the last year she has openly embraced the right-wing extremist elements. The conservative group Young America’s Foundation severed its 17-year relationship with Malkin last year after she came to the defense of white nationalist and anti-Semitic podcaster Nick Fuentes and his fans, who call themselves “groypers.” Malkin appeared as a guest last year on a white nationalist podcast for a 42-minute interview, and coinciding with this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference she headlined a gathering put on by members of a white nationalist youth coalition. She recently collaborated with far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos on a reading list for young activists that included several anti-Semitic and racist works of literature.
Newsmax TV recently hired Malkin to host a program on its network. Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, said in an article about the hire, “Michelle is a true conservative, a respected media personality and a powerful voice for of millions Americans that the big media ignore.”