Fox News’ Laura Ingraham used her primetime Thursday evening slot to defend Paul Nehlen, a failed congressional candidate and anti-Semite who glorified the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter and who has been kicked off practically every social media platform — including far-right safe space Gab.
Ingraham was discussing the so-called censoring of conservatives on social media with far-right commentator Candace Owens. After somehow squaring the circle by claiming that criticisms of Facebook for its refusal to delete doctored videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was part of a plan to “silence conservative voices,” Ingraham went on to show a graphic of “prominent voices censored on social media.”
The graphic included conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and Laura Loomer, along with far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos, actor James Woods, and Paul Nehlen. Ingraham referred to those named as “people who believe in border security, people who believe in national sovereignty.”
Nehlen, who twice ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018, is notable for his inclusion because he his simultaneously much lower profile then the other figures but also much more vitriolic.
In April, for instance, he was featured on a far-right podcast with another noted anti-Semite, Patrick Little, where Nehlen advocated for a race war and a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Israel. Last April, Nehlen was banned from Gab, which makes a point of tolerating pretty much anything, for doxxing a rival far-right troll. A few months beforehand, Nehlen was banned from Twitter for posting a racist meme of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Currently, the only social media site where Nehlen remains active is the Telegram Messanger app, where he reportedly shares memes praising mass murderers.
Nehlen’s history of bigotry and anti-Semitism stretches much further back, however. When he was campaigning to replace former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Nehlen shared a post on his campaign Facebook page from Christopher Cantwell, who is best known as the “Crying Nazi” from the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. In early 2018, he also appeared on David Duke’s radio show to fantasize about killing women and children who attempted to cross over the U.S.-Mexico border. Nehlen has also glorified Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter who killed 11 mostly elderly worshipers last October.
This is hardly the first time that Laura Ingraham has used her show to give a platform to white supremacist ideas of individuals. She has previously claimed that immigrants are “replacing” real Americans, which is a stone’s toss away from the Great Replacement, a prominent white supremacist conspiracy theory.
President Donald Trump, for his part, made sure to plug Ingraham’s show. “I will be watching @AlanDersh on @IngrahamAngle at 10PM,” Trump tweeted last night. “He speaks the truth!”
In a statement, Fox maintained that Ingraham was simply defending free speech. “It is obscene to suggest that Laura Ingraham was defending Paul Nehlen’s despicable actions, especially when some of the names in our graphic were pulled from an Associated Press report on best known political extremists banned from Facebook,” a Fox spokesperson said. “Anyone who watches Laura’s show knows that she is a fierce protector of freedom of speech and the intent of the segment was to highlight the growing trend of unilateral censorship in America.”
This post has been updated with a statement from Fox.