In October 2021, white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who had managed to get kicked off all mainstream social media sites as well as loosely moderated streaming sites, launched Cozy TV. The new streaming network would be explicitly “anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-Black, antisemitic,” he said.
Fast forward to today, and a host of familiar far-right names have joined the network in the past week alone: Roger Stone, Trump confidant and dirty trickster; Ali Alexander, the leader of the movement promising to “stop the steal” after Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election; and Laura Loomer, a two-time failed congressional candidate and self-declared proud Islamophobe.
While each now has a channel on the network, it’s unclear whether they will offer any original content there. Stone streamed his “The Stone Zone” show on the channel last night, as well as on Mike Lindell’s Frank Speech Platform. This follows the pattern of other streamers on the network, including radical conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who streams the same content he offers Cozy TV on his conspiracy theory network InfoWars. Though Jones has been welcomed back to more mainstream right-wing media like Fox, Jones was broadly deplatformed from mainstream sites after he falsely claimed the parents of the slain children at Sandy Hook were paid actors, leading to their harassment; he was recently ordered to pay $965 million for his lies.
Not everyone on Cozy TV who has made it the cesspool that it is appears welcoming to these newcomers. Kai Schwemmer, a 19-year-old influencer with the white nationalist America First youth movement, lashed out at Ali Alexander Tuesday, claiming that he had heard “credible” accusations that Alexander is a pedophile. (It looks like the right’s obsession with accusing of people of pedophilia applies to their own as well.)
And while the Christian nationalist Fuentes threw his support behind Laura Loomer, who supports a white ethnostate, during her congressional primary in Florida this summer, calling her “one of our own,” fractures between Loomer and Fuentes have appeared before. After Fuentes attacked Jews this summer, Loomer, who is Jewish, tried to come to terms with her ally’s antisemitism, posting on Telegram, “I don’t understand the obsession some people have with demonizing all Jews.” During her second congressional bid, Fuentes also tried to convince his followers that Loomer was OK, even though she is a woman and a Zionist. “People say, ‘Well, she’s a Zionist, she’s a woman. We don’t support women in office, we don’t support Zionists.’ And that’s true,” Fuentes said. “But she would be the only one out of 530-some congressmen and senators who is going to be fully red-pilled.”
It’s unclear how much of an increase in viewership this new cast of characters will see from joining Fuentes’ platform. Former associates of Fuentes have claimed that he manipulates the viewership numbers to make himself appear more popular than he is, though extremist researchers have been unable to confirm the veracity of this allegation.
It’s notable that so many of the far-right activists and Republican operatives who were prominent in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and who called for violence to keep Trump in office would join the same platform. A day before the election, Stone was caught on tape saying, “Fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence.” Stone led the first so-called “Stop the Steal” campaign in 2018, which falsely alleged fraud and disrupted vote counting in Florida, while Alexander rebooted the campaign in 2020 and urged his followers to take matters into their own hands.
And of course, Fuentes was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after he suggested that his audience could off lawmakers to prevent them from “stealing” the election. Though he did not enter the Capitol himself, followers of his America First movement did, including Christian Secour, who was recently sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the insurrection.