The Fall of Michelle Malkin

 

At an alt-right conference running counter to CPAC, called AFPAC, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin fell further down the rabbit-hole:

In this short clip Malkin engages in not just Holocaust denial, but also indiscriminately throws around charges of dual loyalty. It’s part of a trend for Malkin, who also endorsed anti-Semite Paul Nehlen in his contest against Rep. Paul Ryan.

In her opening remarks, Malkin referred to herself as the “Mommy” of the group and thanked the “Groypers,” the alt-right group hosting her, for pushing back against mainstream conservatives.

It’s hard to overstate Malkin’s influence in the conservative media ecosystem; she is the founder of HotAir, Twitchy, and was a mentor to many up-and-comers over the course of her time at the helm of both.

And because of Malkin’s influence, we (as a conservative movement) need to self-reflect about how reflective Malkin’s views are of our movement as a whole. Has Malkin always questioned the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust? Has Malkin always considered Jews to be agents of the Israeli government? How mainstream are the views she’s professing now in the conservative movement? They are uncomfortable questions, but ones we need to be asking as we continue to (rightly) call out the anti-Semitism on the Left with Omar, Tlaib, etc.

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    What a damn, damn shame. Malkin was once a spirited, intelligent writer who was one of my online favorites. I don’t know what happened to her. Someone will point out, correctly, that some of her enemies are pretty crummy themselves. No doubt. But no one forced Malkin to take these stands. 

    • #1
  2. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Well, she’s always seemed too angry and strident in my opinion, so I’m not really surprised at her latest.

    • #2
  3. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Bethany Mandel: In this short clip Malkin engages in not just Holocaust denial, but also indiscriminately throws around charges of dual loyalty. It’s part of a trend for Malkin, who also endorsed anti-Semite Paul Nehlen in his contest against Rep. Paul Ryan.

    Watched the clip. It is inaccurate to say that she engaged in “Holocaust Denial” as the Holocaust isn’t mentioned.

    Nor did she “indiscriminately” throw around charges of dual loyalty. The only mention of dual loyalty was a rhetorical one that used as an example people operating as foreign agents.

    Do better Bethany.

    • #3
  4. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Is there any historical evidence at all that it wasn’t six million Jews who died in the Holocaust? It wouldn’t surprise me if it was more like five million but historian overestimated because they were so disgusted by Nazism. Historians do tend to do that. What makes this a weird question to ask is that is sounds like you sympathize with actual deniers who should be condemned completely. 

    I’d be fine with worrying about the Israel lobby if the people who worried about the Israel lobby would worry about the Saudi Arabia lobby and especially the China lobby with equal vigor. The China lobby is particularly concerning because so many American corporations are utterly willing to abase themselves before Chinese Communists to get a contract. (Please note that I generally have a positive view of corporations and that I like the free market.) So I find it odd when people complain exclusively about the Israel lobby. 

     

     

    • #4
  5. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Please clarify for me what her views are on the Holocaust. I don’t think saying that the number of Jews killed by the Nazis was 5.5 million instead of 6 million is beyond the pale. If she thinks it’s 1 million than I would agree that she’s badly distorting history and needs to be challenged.

    When I was on a trip to Israel in 1984 which was led for a couple of days by Yigael Yadin (just a few months before his death), he was asked what the US’s attitude towards Israel should be. He responded that the US should do what’s in its self-interest. I think in most cases that US’s self-interest coincide with Israel’s.

    • #5
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Bethany Mandel: In this short clip Malkin engages in not just Holocaust denial, but also indiscriminately throws around charges of dual loyalty. It’s part of a trend for Malkin, who also endorsed anti-Semite Paul Nehlen in his contest against Rep. Paul Ryan.

    Watched the clip. It is inaccurate to say that she engaged in “Holocaust Denial” as the Holocaust isn’t mentioned.

    Nor did she “indiscriminately” throw around charges of dual loyalty. The only mention of dual loyalty was a rhetorical one that used as an example people operating as foreign agents.

    Do better Bethany.

    You’re right, Instugator, but I’m going to go further.

    I’m calling out Bethany.  Bethany, you are throwing around false charges of anti-Semitism.  You are blatantly mischaracterizing what Malkin said.  You are lying, Bethany.

    The irony is astonishing.  Malkin is speaking out about false charges of anti-Semitism, and Bethany responds with . . . false charges of anti-Semitism.

    These are the tactics of the radical Left.

    • #6
  7. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Michelle seems to be going in the same trajectory Pat Buchanan took three decades ago, where the irony here is that, at least on the last of her complaints in the clip posted, her mindset’s probably in sync with George Soros.

    • #7
  8. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Richard Easton (View Comment):
    I don’t think saying that the number of Jews killed by the Nazis was 5.5 million instead of 6 million is beyond the pale.

    I watched the clip Bethany provided (the top one). A number of victims of Nazism is not mentioned. The only number mentioned is “billions” and it is in the context of George Soros’ wealth.

    • #8
  9. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    If I could flag a post, I would throw it on this OP.

    • #9
  10. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Wait a minute. I can’t get all that antisemitism out of that 47 second clip.  The left has been calling conservatives Nazis for some time now. I have not heard much about the ADL lately, but my impression is that they tended to lean left at least slightly. I don’t know what MM was calling them out on, but I would like a little context.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I watched the video, Bethany, and I didn’t come away with your conclusions. I’m especially concerned because the clip, posted out of context, is easy to misunderstand. Malkin can be over the top, but I wouldn’t have understood the video as you did.

    • #11
  12. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Whether damning or exonerating, we should at least allow the subject to speak for herself a bit more.

    • #12
  13. rgbact Member
    rgbact
    @romanblichar

    Thanks for covering this. CPAC, Nevers, and the alt Right all had conferences last week….and not many in media appear to be touching any of it. Nothing from HotAir on their old boss formally joining forces with Nick Fuentes. I really don’t see how she thinks she’s advancing her immigration absolutist position by trashing 90% of conservatives, including Trumpers, and linking up with some 20-something anti-semite.

    When 90% of your foreign policy questions are related to Israel…..don’t be surprised when people suspect you’ve got a bigger agenda and you’re not just asking innocent questions.

     

    • #13
  14. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Whether damning or exonerating, we should at least allow the subject to speak for herself a bit more.

    I read the text of her remarks. Lots about illegal immigration and lots about Conservative Inc.

    The only mention of the Holocaust was a quote from the YAF: 

    “YAF gives a platform to a broad range of speakers with a range of views within the mainstream of conservative thought. Immigration is a vital issue that deserves robust debate, but there is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for Holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists.”

    Jew is mentioned once, when Malkin mentions her husband.

    The OP is trafficking in specious untruths.

    • #14
  15. Theodoric of Freiberg Member
    Theodoric of Freiberg
    @TheodoricofFreiberg

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I watched the video, Bethany, and I didn’t come away with your conclusions. I’m especially concerned because the clip, posted out of context, is easy to misunderstand. Malkin can be over the top, but I wouldn’t have understood the video as you did.

    This was my reaction as well.

    • #15
  16. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Whether damning or exonerating, we should at least allow the subject to speak for herself a bit more.

    Yes! Double like. Twitter can be quite misleading.

    • #16
  17. Snirtler Member
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Well, she’s always seemed too angry and strident in my opinion, so I’m not really surprised at her latest.

    Well, she’s always seemed too angry and strident in my opinion–and I find the tactics of people she regards as allies like Laura Loomer little different from those of the militant, unthinking left–but I’m not clear on the context of her remarks. What exactly have I missed in her remarks that makes her anti-Semitic? Or is it the company she keeps?

    • #17
  18. rgbact Member
    rgbact
    @romanblichar

    Theodoric of Freiberg (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I watched the video, Bethany, and I didn’t come away with your conclusions. I’m especially concerned because the clip, posted out of context, is easy to misunderstand. Malkin can be over the top, but I wouldn’t have understood the video as you did.

    This was my reaction as well.

    She wasn’t anti-semitic in her speech. I think Bethany went overboard there. Virtually all her failures in this whole episode are related to her backing an anti-semite…over every other former friend she had. Theres no evidence she’s personally anti-semitic…….but refusing to call out the trash views of her new “friends” speak volumes.

    • #18
  19. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Theodoric of Freiberg (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I watched the video, Bethany, and I didn’t come away with your conclusions. I’m especially concerned because the clip, posted out of context, is easy to misunderstand. Malkin can be over the top, but I wouldn’t have understood the video as you did.

    This was my reaction as well.

    She wasn’t anti-semitic in her speech. I think Bethany went overboard there. Virtually all her failures in this whole episode are related to her backing an anti-semite…over every other former friend she had. Theres no evidence she’s personally anti-semitic…….but refusing to call out the trash views of her new “friends” speak volumes.

    Which brings us to the matter of those “trash views,” what they are, who says what they are, and what is the actual text/context of the comments in question.  Of course, I can be accused of being an apologist for saying this.  Still, in an era when we’re not entirely sure whom to believe and when unfounded attacks are everywhere, I don’t think that it’s wrong to say “let’s look at the record,” and not “let’s listen to what someone says the record is.”

    • #19
  20. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    “It’s anti-Semitic to mention George Soros’s billions. It’s anti-Semitic to criticize the Anti-Defamation League. It’s anti-Semitic to question whatever the precise number is of people who perished in World War II. It is anti-Semitic for me, being married to a 100% Ashkenazi Jew, to question dual loyalties of people who are working here as agents of a foreign country.”

    This is a portion of her speech and the only real place I saw anti-semitism mentioned. I do not see the same things the OP is seeing. Questioning the precise number of people who perished is not at all denying that many people did. 

    This article puts the number at 5.8 to 6.2 million. 

    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/estimated-number-of-jews-killed-in-the-final-solution

    This article places the number at 5.4 to 5.8 million.

    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau7292

    Does that make the second article anti-Semitic because it has a somewhat lower number? 

    This is not at all, the Holocaust did not happen or was just a few people. 

    Malkin has a Jewish husband and does not seem to be claiming he has dual loyalty. She would seem to have specific people in mind not all Jews. 

    Malkin is not exactly my cup of tea, but come on, lets be honest in our disagreements. 

    • #20
  21. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I watched the video, Bethany, and I didn’t come away with your conclusions. I’m especially concerned because the clip, posted out of context, is easy to misunderstand. Malkin can be over the top, but I wouldn’t have understood the video as you did.

    It would have been useful to have a link to the whole speech to put her remarks in context. Using a 45-second snippet out of a, presumably longer, speech is misleading at best, especially when there is over-interpretation of those scant 45 seconds. Yet we see the immediate piling-on in the first comments.

    This is adopting Twitter-quality thinking, reasoning, and evidence. Indeed, the OP is little more that a Twitter-length discussion plus a couple of re-tweets. That’s a fall worth discussing.

    • #21
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    It seems like it’s that part of the West’s historical cycle where the Overton Window expands in both directions before narrowing down to a new consensus – on many subjects?

    • #22
  23. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Early on she was a big supporter of putting the Japanese in internment camps.   That always disturbed me.   

    She could be entertaining at times. 

    • #23
  24. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I don’t know what the objection is to the short video clip.  I don’t see any holocaust denying.  

    I’ve  noticed a trend that many “conservatives” think the US shares all values and goals with Israel.   We don’t.  Israel has not always been a good friend.  

    • #24
  25. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    drlorentz(View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I watched the video, Bethany, and I didn’t come away with your conclusions. I’m especially concerned because the clip, posted out of context, is easy to misunderstand. Malkin can be over the top, but I wouldn’t have understood the video as you did.

    It would have been useful to have a link to the whole speech to put her remarks in context. Using a 45-second snippet out of a, presumably longer, speech is misleading at best, especially when there is over-interpretation of those scant 45 seconds. Yet we see the immediate piling-on in the first comments.

    This is adopting Twitter-quality thinking, reasoning, and evidence. Indeed, the OP is little more that a Twitter-length discussion plus a couple of re-tweets. That’s a fall worth discussing.

    Perhaps the real problem the OP author has is with all the rest of the speech, all the facts about immigration, all the alarms about large scale legal immigration and long term observed voting behavior confirming a preference for more top down control and social welfare. It was Latino votes that gave Bernie Sanders his Nevada victory.

    At the same time, I would like to see a good deal of meat put on the bones of “dual loyalty” and “precise number of people who died in World War II.” What are the bounds of discourse to Malkin? The number who died, if referring to Jews killed by the Nazis, is a game played to cast doubt on the scale and unique character of the industrialized murder. Who, precisely, does she think serves a foreign power? Why isn’t she challenging these young people to turn their concern towards politicians and pundits cozying up to the Chinese Communists? That is, support for moving the embassy to Jerusalem and for a new peace plan is not harmful to American here in America, but the same cannot be said for past bipartisan policy towards China. 

    • #25
  26. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I support Israel because it is a fellow traveler.  No ally is always on our side fully or us them.

    • #26
  27. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    It might be helpful for people to review her entire speech, which I just found on YouTube, before forming an opinion.

    • #27
  28. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I’d be fine with worrying about the Israel lobby if the people who worried about the Israel lobby

    The Saudi Arabia and China lobbies have succeeded in lobbying for money from our congressmen and favorable treatment in policies.

    But the Israel lobby is the only one that has successfully passed anti-speech laws in America. For all the ballyhooing of the Left’s anti-free speech shenanigans of the last 4 years, the only political party that has passed anything resembling anti-free speech legislation was the Right in the anti-BDS laws.

    Now go ahead and hate the BDS movement. I’m not a fan. However, to actually punish people for exercising a constitutional right? Florida even went further in basically outlawing any criticism of Jews or Holocaust denial. I don’t care if you think they are horrible people. They have the right to free speech just as much anyone else does.

    • #28
  29. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    This is adopting Twitter-quality thinking, reasoning, and evidence. Indeed, the OP is little more that a Twitter-length discussion plus a couple of re-tweets. That’s a fall worth discussing.

    That’s basically all her posts ever are – regurgitation of Twitter. I’m not on Twitter for a reason.

    When I follow links there, its to be impressed by rhetorical snark and sharp, pointed wit.

    • #29
  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    So it turns out that this event is in support of Nick Fuentes’s group, America First.

    I’m not sure what to think about Fuentes.  From the little that I’ve seen, he’s very young, occasionally crude, and quite trollish.  He’s gotten himself tarred as an anti-Semite over some veiled reference to questioning the extent of the Holocaust, and over a comment about Ben Shapiro while commenting on one of those violent run-people-over-with-your-car video games.  I’m not convinced that Fuentes is actually an anti-Semite.  He may be, or maybe not.

    I am very convinced that false, or at least weak, allegations of anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and various other -isms and -phobias are used, quite extensively, to shut down discourse, and specifically to shut down speakers with Conservative viewpoints.

    I am also very convinced that guilt-by-association is used in the same way.

    I am actually quite outraged and angry at Bethany for using these tactics.  I will stay calm, but I find it quite reprehensible.

    I greatly object to this “witch hunt” mentality.  I hate it when used by the Left, and I hate it even more when used by someone on my side, like Bethany.  I’ve seen Ben Shapiro do the same thing.  You put someone in the reprehensible box — anti-Semitic, racist, whatever — and then you dismiss everything that they ever say or do.  You don’t respond to their points.  You “cancel” them.  You don’t even listen to their explanations.

    My impression is that Fuentes is a mildly talented, young semi-conservative guy trying to build a movement in opposition to Charlie Kirk’s TPUSA.  I’ve been impressed with Kirk’s success in some ways, but I also disapprove of his message in at least two particulars: (1) he seems a bit weak on immigration, and (2) he is pro-homosexuality.  These are not deal-breakers, and I’m glad that Kirk is in the conservative coalition.

    Fuentes and his America First folks seem to be trying to build an alternative, which may be more traditionally conservative (as far as I can tell).  They’re pretty young — exceptionally young from my middle-aged vantage point — and they’re sometimes rude, but I’m not convinced that they are terrible people.  Quite the contrary.  My general impression is favorable, though this is based on limited information.

    I did look at Fuentes’s website a few months back, when he first came to my attention.  There were a few articles posted, none of which came across as anti-Semitic or racist, and which generally seemed to be trying to express reasonable conservative ideas (though they weren’t very well written).

    Malkin’s speech was very critical of the GOP Establishment.  I think that she has some good points, though I think that her accusatory approach is counterproductive.

    • #30