tv Washington Journal Adele Stan CSPAN August 10, 2021 6:04pm-6:44pm EDT
>> c-spanshop.org is c-span's official store. your purchase will support our nonprofit organization, and you still have time to order the congressional directory with contact information for members of congress and the biden administration. the director of right-wing watch, a project for people of the american way.
explain that you and your colleagues do. guest: it's great to be with you. right-wing watch is a research object that trains its i on what is going on in many of the lesser-viewed corners of the far right wing movements. everybody from before qanon was qanon, when we were watching that movement, and we are still keeping our ionic. we look at very far a conspiracy-minded preachers. the team comprises two researchers and two journalists and the researchers are researcher-writers. we fact-check everything we put out there.
we definitely put it out with a voice, but the facts are solid and wheeze multiple platforms. like everybody. a lot affair posts feature clips of the people we are reporting on. our aim this to really educate the public and journalists about what are some things that you have tracked with right-wing watch? guest: out of the qanon universe, my colleague is interacting with tito ortiz, who is actually rather dangerous. i believe he is a ufc champion. he is a qanon influencer.
and while his position, which i think he has since resigned on the council, the city council of huntington beach, california, may not seem all that impressive, these are the kinds of positions that people on the far right, more normalized far-right movements, this is how they find their way into republican politics, is by eliminating local seats. we've been watching allie alexander, one of the organizers of the so-called stop the steal movement which is the movement that was kind of an astroturf movement but with a lot of followers now. it alleges that the 2020 election the stolen from donald trump. and they had a lot to do with all the momentum for the insurrection.
and then there is a post on pastor greg locke who is always kind of making very threatening remarks. now he has forbidden anybody from coming into his church wearing a mask. that gives you sort of a sampling of what we are up to and who we are looking at. host: what is the line between exposing extreme rhetoric and giving it more oxygen, more clicks, more airtime? guest: this is a discussion we have every day here. as journalists and researchers, we really do feel the need to educate. look at what has happened with the hard right moving into all of the halls of power in the last 5, 6 years, and often controlling government entities.
that has sort of become normalized and you have political journalists now trying to cover, and covering very well, a political dynamic with which they are only now becoming familiar because the right wing was so long passed up as some kind of a fringe movement. i think it was a shortcoming in general stick circles -- journalistic circles for a young time -- long time. and i do have a dog in this fight. they dismiss them as being as french as they believed the right-wing move to be and it is a little head scratching when you consider ronald reagan. host: how did you get into this work? guest: my career started at
magazines in the 1980's. i was brought on as an assistant, but i was permitted to write and pursue some passion project. one was catholic feminism. there was a lot going on inside the cap church regarding nuns who were questioning certain dictates of the church and whatnot. but you ramp -- can't only cover a religious rights movement in 1980 or without covering the religious right, because that was the opposition. once i started looking at the catholic right brought me to the broader religious rights movement, i was absolutely asked because his movements also, the
secular component also, especially around the time of the tea party, became more ground. infrastructure and dynamics, really feeling that moment as well. let me give you the phone number in the conversation. (202) 748-8000, democrats. (202) 748-8001, republicans. (202) 748-8002, independents. i want to give an example of some of the work you are doing. a video you posted yesterday. explain who dr. scott lively is. guest: scott lively is a long anti-lgbt activist who has led movements that affirm the
discredited conversion therapy for lgbtq people. and assess very incendiary. we hadn't -- here he is from the youtube video posted about it and also on the right wing youtube page. > we can take back the country in 2022. if we don't, i don't think it is going to happen short of some kind of violent insurrection, which is still possible. people are eventually going to stop putting up with tyrannical authority and when the only remedy, the only avenue of resistance comes armed
rebellion, some people are going to act in that way if they have any success at all and a lot of other people will follow them. host: that is part of a larger video posted. why post that mark --? guest: i think there is a sense among very smart people that the january 6 insurrection was a one-off deal. and what that clip tells you, and many others, mcauley peter montgomery wrote a scary piece about all of violent rhetoric being used by right-wing preachers in the run-up to the january 6 insurrection. we look at that january 6 insurrection, we see a sort of data test in other words, it is very diffused throughout the country. even if you look at the people who are charged in this
insurrection so far, they are from all over. so it may not be that your next-door neighbor is ready to join the armed insurrection, but there are dynamics in our culture that may cause us to look the other way as we see people kind of being willing to muster for that particular cause once again. and it is quite chilling. we do remember there were all that has been played in authoritarian regimes and throughout the world. host: how do you define success after posting a video like that question the goal is to generally alert the public. there is a saying that what they were covering on january 6, seven and eight, it ain't over.
i'm talking about political journalism. they have done fantastic work following up on people charged in the insurrection of political journalistd who may not be aware of what is going on in the rest of america, it's just that the politics alone is quite consuming to cover. so we hope to get it picked up by reaching the general public. and a lot of the times, they get picked up in popular culture. and that really helps us to educate folks who are not like me, reading three newspapers every day as i may politics junkie. other people have lives. host: the phone numbers again if you want to join this
conversation. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8000 free democrats. (202) 748-8002 for independents. also looking for your comments on social media as well. one of them this morning rights what does the guest think about how trump and his disinformation resulted in january 6? guest: this was a set up a long time coming. people in the league forget because there has been so much devastating news late, but trump was saying long before the election that if he didn't win, it would be because it was stolen. he obviously had some internal polling that said he might not win. so this is how he set it up.
the confirmation bias with trump base which is very inclined to believe democrats have been conducting voter fraud, which is not true. however, it is a great way to sort of disenfranchised part of the population by giving impetus for all of these state legislatures to pass just some egregious restrictions on voting rights that people enjoyed in the 2020 election. one of the state laws said somebody passing out water to you, if you are standing in line for hours to vote, change is are you might be in a majority black district or precinct.
there is a lot to learn about the disinformation effort. i did a peace in my right wing launch guide for the republic about steve bannon's role. he is sort of the propaganda voice for the january 6 insurrection, but he was also as far down as election night advancing a narrative in his house. panamanian was being stolen, -- philadelphia was being stolen. there was a strategy here. it has great repercussions and it is sure to be road -- erode any trust people have in our institutions, especially our electoral system. host: this is valerie in new
york, democrat. caller: good morning. i hope you are both well this morning. i read a lot of nonfiction and after charlottesville, which i found very, very disturbing, i read several books, i read "hatelamd." vice news has done some really good awning over the past three or four years. it is really, really, really disturbing because we don't have a william buckley anymore to purge the party. and to be fair, there are a couple of people on the left or anti-semitic. my grandparents were lucky enough to make it here before hitler came into power. i really find this so worrisome and the internet, it is like a
dopamine hit. people just throw down in these corners and i really don't know what the answer is. he is a former skinhead and i think we need more things like that, more programs like that. thank you for what you are doing it, and you have a great day. guest: thank you, valerie. host: any comments? guest: i really appreciate the reading that the caller has been doing and i really should got a couple of those myself. i do think there is a growing level of intolerance of all kinds, the folks who wanted to keep trump in power or bring him back to power or create a trump party or just bust up the republican party, this has been
going on for quite a long time. what they are able to do is to sort of weaponize all of the confirmation bias is for everybody who has got a little bit of this or a little bit of that. racism, anti-semitism, misogyny, never is. -- whatever it is. people have these kinds of biases and we all have our biases. it is going to be easier to believe the lie. host: john, republican, good morning. caller: i would like you to know that we understand that john sullivan was arrested at the capital on january 6. does the guest view john sullivan and blm's involvement
in the insurrection as an escalation of their summer of insurrection in which they were burning american cities, blowing up cop cars by the hundreds? have we ever seen right wing groups perpetrate such violence and insurrection as we have seen black supremacy groups blm and like antifa commit as we did last year? guest: well, of course behalf. because january 6, what we saw was violence, real violence. people died. in the effort to overturn a democratically-elected president, right? i mean, i never saw blm try to change in election result by force. that is when you are getting into real authoritarian stuff. a weaponized mob, he really did weaponize that mom really
brilliantly. a core group of people had a plan, but then the mob was sort of weaponized. in terms of the one black lives matter activist you are saying was there, i don't know that case. i do know that 600 people, nearly 600 people so far including at least 15 law-enforcement officers, some are former, storm of the u.s. capitol, reached the u.s. capitol, tried to disrupt a democratic process. i'll be at, that was going on on behalf of the american people. so i really resent this kind of false equivalence. was there distress in the united states, across the country after the murder of george floyd which followed a number of deaths of african-american people at the hands of police?
yes, there was. there's no excuse for that. but the protests that were organized by leaders in black lives matter were very intentional, they were peaceful, and there's only so much one can control when you have large gatherings of people. so i think this false equivalence has got to go. host: misery, this is rick, independent. -- missouri. caller: i want to dovetail off of your comment on the george floyd incident because black lives matter took it hold in missouri about five years ago with the falso statement that it was hands up, don't shoot. there were crowds in
ferguson, michael brown's grandfather saying burn this to the ground. that started five years prior. i try to think independently. i want to ask you, do you believe there has been enough reporting on the right to expose the left? because your positions, it seems like it could be flipped the exact opposite way to other people with a diametrically opposed view, and the case be made. so will this country moved toward the middle and survive this? what do you think? guest: i think in the united states of america, the motion of democracy is not extreme, and the notion that people should be able to walk in safety in their streets and not get gunned down
for some misdemeanor-level bad behavior. you know, michael brown, i can understand -- i can understand why his father was enraged. his body was left in the streets for three hours. whatever you believe happened between michael brown and that police officer, that in and of itself is an act of profound contempt. there was no reason for that. i understand why black lives matter formed around that shooting. it's extremely impressive, the movement that they were able to build nationwide, but sadly, the reason that movement swelled with their continued to be this police abuse of black people.
host: about 15 minutes left with the director of right wing watch. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8000 free democrats. independents, (202) 748-8002. i want to give viewers another example of some of the work that you do. this video posted over the weekend, a video made by dave dobbin mayer. guest: dave is a religious right figure who talks a lot to the video screen. but his main claim to fame most recently has been stalking the clintons. he brings small groups of protesters to wherever it is the clintons live in westchester county, bill and hillary clinton. if they so much appear at a local event, they are stalking them.
they are stalking them at the house. he has certainly made violent threats against officials that he disagrees with. he considers himself to be the essence of christianity. i know a number of christians who would disagree with that. you look at a guy like that and you say, why do we pay attention to this? well, he does get a fair number of viewers, and he's also an example of people all over the country who are doing this kind of thing. he is somebody we have followed for a long time. my colleague keeps his eye trained on him . i mean, this guy, i think he lives in ohio.
he has arranged trips for people to go visit the clintons. host: here's the video posted by the right wing watch blog, your youtube page. >> friends, as it was in the day of noah, so shall be the coming of fallen man. what would you tell us? that this jab is melting and working and screwing up your dna! the same thing that was giong on before the days of noah, the exact samet hing. and as it was in the days of noah, so shall it be the coming of the son of man. dr. fauci is an emissary of the devil, folks. not just the devil let you see on halloween, not just a guy who dresses up in a suit. he is an emissary of beelzebub
himself. destroy the seed of christ. guest: well, i think what that video demonstrates is, first of all, he isn't the only christian influencer or pastor who is going the anti-vaccine route right now. there is a lot of conspiracy theorizing among religious right people on the farther religious right. and to make claims such as we just heard, that the vaccine is changing your dna or whatever. the other thing about people like him that we see, what their role is in saying covid was a
hoax or the vaccines are going to do something terrible to you or wearing a mask is an infringement on your personal liberties, all of that stuff, what that effectively does is also makes the case for these far-right, hard right part of the republican party the trump face, it makes them dangerous -- base, it makes them dangerous. there has been a whole strategy, may it came about haphazardly, but when somebody saw it was working, to create a really dangerous base of the republican by various activists. it began with the nra literally changing its own mission to become the gun manufacturing business.
but by convincing people who were regular gun owners and hunters that the government is coming for your guns, and the only way, scaring people about how they live or that they needed for self-defense, you wind up in a weaponized space. and then with the advent of covid, it was really easy to make the base really dangerous to other people. and that's by embracing these conspiracy theories about vaccination against the coronavirus, about mask wearing. and about the validity of the covid-19 diagnosis. host: a little bit of time, a lot of callers. democrats, michael, oklahoma city. caller: good morning, john. there is a word that it seems like journalists don't want to use, and it is fascism. and that is exactly what we
had, a fascist insurrection. the definition comes from mussolini. ed comes from a word meaning a collection of sticks like kindling. the conservative movement -- he also said that each -- they had political power, but not enough to gain control, but if you gather these sticks together, like if you get the conservative christians and the gooden toter's together, they don't have enough power alone, but if you put them together like kindling and light a fire and get them mad, then you might be able to accumulate enough power. that's what fascism is. host: that's michael in oklahoma city. this is reed in oceans short, washington. caller: i have a comment to make about the riots that this guest is saying is an insurrection.
to correct the last caller, fascism is when the state takes over business, like the health care bill that had the largest tax increase in american history. but the democrats didn't do it through a straight up tax bill, they did it through taxing all these corporations. what i wanted to ask your guest, i've seen films censored by youtube now. one is two charter vans being caravanned into the capitol at the time of the riots. out of these jump 50 or 60 antifa members, with their samurai buns, switching into trump gear. they are the ones that spearheaded this riot, not the insurrection. no one was armed to take over the government. guest: ok.
to the fascism question, i will note that officer daniel hodges at the hearing on the events of january 6, which took place last week, called it white nationalist insurrection. that's probably the most precise term one can put on it, but it was not merely an insurrection. when we are trying to stop the democratic process from working by taking seizure and committing violence, that is an insurrection, and they were armed. some actually did have firearms on them, a lot of flagpoles and pipes and people were being vastly outnumbered.
this was, in no uncertain terms, and attempt at insurrection. host: the caller brings up censored by youtube, something that has happened to right wing watch. explain why. guest: ah, yes, we had a youtube channel of our own and all of the videos you will see posted to either our twitter account or in the post on our website, they are put up on our youtube channel. of course, our videos show all of these folks, these far-right folks advancing false claims about the election, about covid-19, about all manner of things. and so, youtube is under great pressure to not advance these false narratives now, because it has caused real harm to people.
and i imagine a lot of this is done by ai. so we post videos of people saying all this stuff, all of this kind of disinformation. with the caveat, we have an opening slide that explains it is for educational purposes and that we are not advancing this. a lot of times now, we get hit with these claims of violating community standards. so we did get it restored after a whole bunch of journalists, mostly, who rely on our work. and we are grateful to youtube who admitted they made a mistake and they admitted that publicly and restored our account. host: truth or consequences, new mexico. kyle is next, independent. caller: i just want to comment on the focus on the extremes and
how detrimental i think it is. the guest just mentioned ai, and i assume the discussion of algorithms is steering us to information that we like rather than information that is accurate. gut: i agree. caller: and looking at it without knowledge, it seems both sides are irresponsible. we can look at what happened on january 6, but we also need to look at what happened with antifa, quite honestly. lastly, just an example of how the extremes conserve to actively hurt conversation. it was just touched upon, but if i were to say generic repurposed will drugs to fight against covid, to say that it can somehow be construed as an extremist and tight exposition is i think representative of the
failure of the media narrative to steer us to the center. that is my comment and i thank you. guest: i'm not familiar with the drug you're talking about, but if it is being advanced as something they could replace a vaccine, i would say probably not a good idea. when you talk about these extremes, i think it's important to look at the two political parties and if you look at the gop, that has become a repository for really, pretty much hard right extremists. people like jim jordan and mo brooks. people who are really advancing this whole false narrative about the election and who are extremely disruptive on the legislative agenda. and when you go to the
democrats, i don't see that level of extremism. you have people who are ideologically left, sure. but they're not making excuses for violence or they are not making any bones about who they are and how they vote, and they work with their fellow democrats. i think it is laughable to see the democratic party at this point as some sort of hard leftist party, it certainly isn't. have progressives pushed that agenda? absolutely. that is how you keep a party healthy, is by having discussions between centrists, liberals and progressives.
on the other hand, when you look at what is the agenda and the dynamic and strategy of the gop right now, it is really catering to this very hard right, energized face. host: about a minute and a half. it seems that simply stating fake news is a common retort to actual, factual data. how can this be remedied? guest: i think you need somebody who has done a lot of sociology studying. and that is not me. i do ruminate on this, i do wonder how to get out of this situation, these dynamics. how do you break these dynamics? i don't know yet what the answer
is, and i fear that sometimes, when something like this takes hold, it can take something really cataclysmic to reveal the truth. i hope it doesn't come to that. and i think we all need to keep talking to our family members, who may have succumbed to some of the disinformation that is out there. host: right wing watch is a project that people from the american way.
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