Trump’s New “CEO” runs an Empire of Racism and Climate Denial

August 20, 2016

National Review:

Mainstream society has only just now begun to figure out the alt-right. This relative tardiness makes sense: Prolonged alienation from mainstream society is the only explanation for the noxious concoction of racism, illiberalism, and psychological derangement that defines the movement. But after years of incubating online in harmless irrelevancy, the alt-right is getting attention. This is in large part owing to the way that certain parts of its online coalition have latched onto Donald Trump as their conquering vanguard.

Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who calls Trump “Daddy,” has penned the most comprehensive alt-right apologia. According to him, the movement’s deployment of white-nationalist imagery and rhetoric is provocative satire. And one might well ask, What’s so weird, after all, about Trump fan sites posting Trump-related images and links?

UPDATE: David Duke and radio buddy on the takeover of the Republican party. “The Yids are flipping their lids.”

To find an answer to that question, watch this video.(above)
It is in the form of a commercial; uploaded on Wednesday, it currently has more than 600,000 views. The video has a stylized, futuristic aesthetic common to Japanese popular culture, a semiotic hallmark of the alt-right. But its origins are decidedly American: It was created by meme generator Mike Diva. Perhaps Diva created this video out of an artistic impulse or as a clever ploy for money; he’s selling the video’s song on iTunes for $0.99. But people are genuinely watching this stuff. They are posting in these “Trump General” threads, and waging furious comment wars on Reddit about the reasons neo-Nazis should be welcome in “The_Donald.” People are spending hours rebuking journalists on Twitter who pronounce their disdain for Donald Trump. The defense that it’s somehow lighthearted satire is hard to maintain when you look at the all-consuming investment that the online people have in the Trump campaign.

Nice piece by Rachel Maddow explaining the back ground of Donald Trump’s new campaign “CEO” Stephen Bannon, formerly chairman of the right wing website Breitbart.

Maddow focuses on some of the most egregious racist, anti-semitic and mysogynistic outbursts from one of the right wing’s most feverish swamps, but neglects to point out something that makes perfect sense to anyone that has followed this blog – that there is some weird, poisonous, toxic, incestuous relationship between racism and climate denial.

I was honored not long ago to be the target of one of Breitbart’s (near instantaneous) attacks on my video discussing the accuracy of satellite temperature data.

breitbart3

But it didn’t take long to assemble a list of headlines illustrating the website’s curious predilection for mixing vile white supremacist rhetoric with anti-science screeds.

See below:

breitbart2

I get it that a lot of folks are uncomfortable dealing with this.  I’m the only climate activist online that has consistently pointed out the peculiar, pernicious, but persistent connection between climate denial and racism.

When I started this project some 8 years ago, many folks cautioned me, “don’t use the term climate denier, it makes people think of holocaust denier, and that’s over the top”.
I went ahead with it, because I believe calling things what they are is the only way we are ever going to find our way through this – and “climate denier” is now standard rhetoric for  journalists and politicians alike, including the current President – because it is the only accurate descriptor for what we see playing out.

The connection between prejudice, resentment, and science denial may not be obvious, but tyrants, illusionists, and swindlers have known for millennia, if  you want to control people, you have to freeze their ability to reason. Science, the respect for facts, reason and evidence, obviously, are among  mankind’s most powerful tools for rooting out and rising above tyranny and brute force.  Obviously, in many cases, this does not serve the interests of the powerful.

It will likely take psychologists and philosophers a long time to tease out the fundamentals of this, but – now that a climate denying political party has nominated a climate denying  presidential candidate who has appointed a virulently racist and sexist white supremacist to head his campaign, and could conceivably bring that team into the most powerful office on earth, at a moment critical to the survival of civilization, and maybe, life on the planet – what should we make of this?

Media Matters:

Donald Trump has used his Twitter and Facebook accounts to promote Breitbart News articles at least 186 times — often sharing stories that fawned over him and his presidential campaign. Trump recently hiredStephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News, to be the CEO of his campaign.

Prior to Bannon’s hiring by the campaign, Breitbart News and Trump had long engaged in a mutually beneficial relationship. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart became embarrassingly pro-Trump during the Republican presidential primary, leading to objections by several now-former staffers. (Former Breitbart editor at large Ben Shapiro accused Bannon of turning the site into “Trump’s personal Pravda.”)

Mediaite:

Kurt Bardella used to work under Stephen Bannon at Breitbart, where he served as the conservative website’s spokesman. Bardella walked away from the site in March as part of the staff protest that took place when Breitbart seemingly proved its allegiance to the Trump campaign by siding against their own reporter during the Corey LewandowskiMichelle Fields saga.

Bardella spoke on ABC News’ Powerhouse Politics this week, where he described how Bannon would frequently rip on minorities, women, and immigrants during Breitbart editorial meetings.

“If anyone sat there and listened to that call, you’d think that you were attending a white supremacist rally,” said Bardella. “This is someone who has a very low moral compass, and the idea that this is the type of person that Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, as president, would have closest to him is very disturbing.”

Another Maddow piece below fleshes this out.

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16 Responses to “Trump’s New “CEO” runs an Empire of Racism and Climate Denial”


  1. One psychological explanation I have heard for climate denialism centers on the myth of the self-made man and I think it might also help shed some light on the racism emanating from much the same quarters.

    Americans often like to believe that what they have achieved for themselves and their families, their living standards and comfort, is what they have earned through hard work, that it is, something that they have paid the full price for.

    But if the science suggests that people will be paying a price for this lifestyle in terms of carbon emissions due to the industry one has relied on for one’s work, home and travel, and linger in the atmosphere for centuries resulting in more drought and famine, then it would seem that others have yet to pay much of that price. This calls into question the myth and the sense of identity and self-worth of those who lean on the myth. When one’s sense of identity is undermined this results in an anxiety that is experienced as a personal attack. People who experience this may easily lash out in denial of the science and history, and with anger at those who support them.

    Similarly, people who take pride in what they have earned do not like to be reminded that their living standards are in part supported by the history that preceded them, where some of the wealth was created through slavery. Michelle Obama was widely attacked for having said so, but it is true: the White House itself was built in part by slaves. People often do not like to admit that the opportunities they have had are in part due to the privilege of where they were born, in both country and neighborhood, who bore them and the gender that they were born. When reminded of this they will often lash out, defensively, angrily, as if their very existence is at stake.

    Thus the meanness, irrationality and the modern tribalism of us vs. them of those who embrace both. Thus the widespread jingoism and proud embrace of a violently racist, misogynist, bigoted past and present.

    • jpcowdrey Says:

      hear, hear!

    • skeptictmac57 Says:

      I’d like to add an additional layer to those interesting points Timothy.
      Look at the demographic age of the FOX/Breitbart fan. They are white babyboomers (as am I) for the most part. They are already in or approaching retirement, and typical of most Americans, they have been carrying loads of debt from credit cards and loans against their equity in their homes. They can no longer easily regain employment to help them, due to their age and the tight labor market. They probably took some hits against whatever savings that they might have had during the crash of 2008.

      These people are not realizing the American Dream retirement that they feel entitled to (despite their poor planning in many cases), and they want somebody to blame. Their world that they felt comfortable with is changing and instead of adapting and growing with it, they are lashing out against it.

      Breitbart and FOX News and WND and Alex Jones and a whole host of online right wing outlets and pundits are there to stoke and capitalize on their fear and anger, and it turns out that that is a great business model!

      Simplistic thinking and a lack of critical analysis of news and events coupled with human biases and tribalism (as you have pointed out) are rending the fabric of our society to a degree that we haven’t seen for many decades. This has happened in the past as well, and can moderate an heal to some degree, but I worry that the internet and rapid social media presence has created a situation that may have made the problem more intractable than before.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Good thoughts and comments from all so far. All might benefit from taking a look at the latest post on the Wit’s End blog—-titled “Deeply Dystopian”. Short, sweet, and insightful.

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/

  3. Lionel Smith Says:

    The whole Trump circus, mostly of clowns, is so outrageously impolitic that I wonder if Trump is setting up deliberately to fail and thus let some other GOP activist cruise (sp, Cruz) into the would be president slot as voting nears, the relief thus felt aiding the GOP in gaining more votes than otherwise despite a dislike of that alternative..

    The whole thing could be a charade to achieve a GOP win.

    Just a thought.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      It’s too late to pull the kind of “bait and switch” maneuver that you propose. Deadlines for inclusion on the ballot have passed in nearly all states, and the only way it could happen is for all the Repugnants to write in Cruz. Since most of the die-hard Trumpites would never do that, it would only serve to split the right wing vote and guarantee a Clinton win. The only thing that could achieve a GOP win is for a majority of the voters in this country is to become infected with some kind of virus that causes them to lose their minds, and that only happens in the movies (so far).

      The abominable clown circus that the GOP has become since Obama’s election is determined to continue its “stunts”, even though no one thinks they’re funny.

      (And that got me thinking—-why has no one dubbed Trump the “Abominable Orange Man” yet?)

    • skeptictmac57 Says:

      I have felt for some time now that Trump’s actions and words betray the fact that he really never wanted to be president, and that this is a publicity stunt that went horribly and unpredictably wrong (even from his point of view).
      He wants to have a strong following and popularity that he can leverage into furthering his self promotion to market his ‘brand’, but having to actually run the country and study and learn things and have actual responsibilities? Forget that!
      He is a total fraud, and he sees the rest of society as a bunch of dupes, and he’s not far wrong…at least for a large portion of our country.

  4. Tom Bates Says:

    Wow, when you leftists morons get going you just never tell even a tiny bit of truth, it is simply all lies from beginning to end. None of your videos are from Trump and represent only the people who made them. If you were half way honest the only actual racist is Hillary who panders to people of color and women and than sends their jobs to China while sending their kids into debtors prison, currently every single kid owes about 300,000 dollars on the day they are born.


    • Ah, an actual case study presents itself. Is there any room on the right for rational people any more?


    • (Apologies to everyone here except Bates and his fellow deniers for the repetition here — I’m keeping a running count of the number of times I have to ask Bates to retract one of his lies before he musters up the integrity to do so).

      Reposted from earlier:

      Bates, you are such a pathetic liar that it’s, well, (to be redundant) pathetic!

      It’s clear to the regulars that you don’t have a shred of integrity — so they are probably getting quite bored with my requests for you to retract one of your lies.

      But new visitors may not fully appreciate how dishonest you are. I consider it my duty to bring them fully up to speed regarding your honesty (or, more correctly, the lack thereof).

      So here is, for the eleventh time at least, my request for you to retract a lie that I called you out on *months* ago:

      ############

      Tommy-Poo,

      In an earlier comment thread, you made this claim — do you remember it?

      …and only shows warming after that when they plug 66 percent of the data with estimates which are higher than the actual temperatures they replace.

      I proved you wrong by showing that the NASA warming trend can easily be replicated with raw data (no adjustments/estimates/etc.) Link here: https://climatecrocks.com/2016/05/26/exxonknew-and-chose-to-lie/#comment-84594

      When you continued to post here without retracting that completely false claim, I followed up here: https://climatecrocks.com/2016/05/28/bill-maher-on-trump-energy-policy/#comment-84709

      You also ignored that second request to retract your claim.

      And a third.

      And a fourth.

      And a fifth.

      And a sixth.

      And a seventh.

      And an eighth.

      And a ninth.

      And a tenth.

      So I’m following up with yet another request (this one is at least the eleventh). Will you admit that you were wrong about NASA and how it processes temperature data?

      Every time you show up here, I will ping you about this.

      Every. Single. Time.

      And I won’t stop until you acknowledge that you were wrong.

      (Actually, I don’t really expect Bates to man up and admit that he was wrong; I’m simply using him as an example of how deniers are utterly and completely incapable of admitting error, even after they tell the most egregious whoppers).

  5. indy222 Says:

    What lunacy. I can only guess that when the reality of a world that is destroying its future starts sinking in to those who perpetrated it, that literal insanity is soon to follow. One can’t possibly face up to this level of betrayal to all children now and for millennia into the future, and not go into mental breakdown in the next moment. The sheer insanity that has become the Republican Party testifies to this. I can only hope that some day we can live this down, much as the Germans and Japanese had to live down WWII and did so successfully (well, until that lurid Trump video).

  6. skeptictmac57 Says:

    I once again heard an interview with a Trump voter where they were exploring why he was for Trump. The thing that keeps coming up is that “He isn’t afraid to tell it like it is!”.

    This is the weirdest thing that could be said about him since he has the absolute worst record of getting his claims and statements wrong! His record on PolitiFact is 70% falling into the categories of Mostly False to Pants on Fire. FactCheck.org has also regularly exposed his constant lying. And lest you think that this is just biased sources with an agenda, those two sources also never shy away from pointing out Clinton’s falsehoods as well as those of other liberals, conservatives or whomever.

    And finally, the conservative National Review strongly attacked Trump on his lying, scoffing at the “telling it like it is” meme

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431755/donald-trumps-huge-lies

    This is simply ignorant people fueled by their motivated reasoning to blindly ignore the facts and confirm their biases coming from their gut, not their brain or even common sense. Mass delusion is a reasonable conclusion in Trump’s success so far.


  7. I wouldn’t fret about the Japanese-style Trump video. If you check “Mike Diva” on Wikipedia, it explains that the video is a parody. It’s not actually from Japan. He made a Hillary parody too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Diva


  8. […] an extended quotation from Peter Sinclair, who rounded up the Breitbart headlines and related videos above and […]


  9. […] an extended quotation from Peter Sinclair, who rounded up the Breitbart headlines and related videos above and […]


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