At Right Wing Watch, we do a lot of wonky research on right-wing movements and their leaders, and we’re proud of that work. But we also keep tabs on the big personalities of the right, and it was their foibles that yielded our most clicked-on posts.
Listed in order of popularity, here are our 10 top-trafficking posts of the year. As we bid a maybe not-so-fond farewell to 2018, we’re gearing up for an eventful 2019, which promises to be a real doozy, what with the Mueller investigation climbing toward a crescendo, and the beginning of the presidential campaign. See you then. Happy New Year!
Felix Kjellberg, better known to YouTube enthusiasts as PewDiePie, has more than 75 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, making his channel the most popular on the gargantuan video platform. When PewDiePie gave a shout-out to the YouTube channel called “E;R,” progressives in the YouTube-watching community sounded an alarm, and RWW took notice.
Michael Moates, a right-wing writer with more than 200,000 followers online who occasionally turns up in the White House press room, was accused, in a story exclusive to RWW, to have hit on teenagers or texted inappropriate comments to at least one young woman (“Maybe if I get you drinking I can get that date.”) Our story caused Moates to say he was stepping back for a while, but he made the mistake of picking a fight with Trump-nemesis Stormy Daniels, who tweeted out our story, which continues to get clicks—especially since Moates was smacked down by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the congresswoman-elect from New York, for referring to her as a “bitch” on Twitter (a tweet he subsequently deleted).
While the right remains a danger to democracy, some of its players are just downright ridiculous. Meet Burkman and Wohl, and carefully examine the photograph featured at the top of the story.
When Huffington Post reporter Luke O’Brien identified the owner of a Twitter account that was spewing profoundly offensive anti-Muslim content, right-wing trolls commenced a harassment campaign against the journalist and his family.
Rebel Media is Canada’s big right-wing portal. One of its biggest stars responded to a tweet about housing in Detroit—presumed to have been written by an African-American—by referring to the Detroiter by a racial slur. (She deleted it, but we have the goods.)
Although reporting by Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt ultimately resulted in the Infowars conspiracy theorist and violence-inciter losing access to platforms ranging from Spotify to YouTube, our top-trafficking post regarding Alex Jones was not about that.
It’s not easy to classify Crokin amid her right-wing colleagues, except to say that she’s convinced she’s important enough to draw the dark spiritual powers of some Very Important People.
The ominous predictions of Wiles, a broadcaster convinced we’re living in the End Times, would be laughable, were they not designed to incite violence. And, by the way, this particular prediction made it onto our year-end list of failed prophesies and predictions, compiled by RWW’s Kyle Mantyla. (More bad juju here.)
One of the Religious Right’s founding patriarchs was feeling pretty smug when he ordered Hurricane Florence away from the Virginia Beach properties of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University (both of which he founded). When several days later Robertson praised God for sparing his compound while Florence wreaked havoc on the lives of people in neighboring states, he was roundly denounced.
After she turned up on a neo-Nazi podcast in August 2017, Faith Goldy, then Rebel Media’s It Girl found herself suddenly without a job. But her firing seems to have freed Goldy, who this year ran a quixotic campaign for mayor of Toronto, to be herself. It turns out herself is pretty neo-Nazi-ish.