Chatelaine Straight Up Lies

August 18th, 2017 | R. Rados
chatelaine magazine

Canada's girly magazine usually fails to provide any kind of journalistic integrity, but their latest article on white nationalism takes top honours. We shouldn't really expect anything less from a magazine that highlights all of its links in a stereotypical and gender assuming colour like pink, but even a tiny bit of research could have saved the magazine some credibility. The magazine's editor-at-large, Rachel Giese, has dropped the biggest and most factually inaccurate piece of journalistic garbage I've seen in a long time. Giese even managed to fit three lies into two small sentences. That's something I've never seen before.

Given the current climate, I'll also add that Nazis and white nationalists are human trash. It should normally go without saying, but anyone who likes facts seems to get called a Nazi sympathizer in 2017.

In a piece called, “White Nationalism Is Alive And Well In Canada—Here's Proof”, Giese opens by reminding us that Donald Trump is an “amoral opportunist with a long history of anti-Black racism”. That's her first lie—and it's only the second paragraph into her factually defective smear. She then goes on to tell three consecutive lies in one short paragraph:

Not only did Trump refuse to denounce the support of people like the Ku Klux Klan’s David Duke, he filled his inner circle with fascists, racists and white nationalist sympathizers. Once elected, he promptly called for a Muslim travel ban.

Wow. We're only three paragraphs in and Rachel Giese has already had four strikes. It's a good thing this isn't baseball. I'll go back to her first lie about Donald Trump having a history of anti-black racism after I go over the three consecutive lies about David Duke, white nationalist sympathizers and the Muslim ban.

Trump Disavowed Duke Several Times

I could give Rachel Giese the benefit of the doubt and say she's the most misinformed editor I've ever seen, but that might be wrong. There's no possible way an editor could be this misinformed and still have a job as an editor, right? It would make more sense to assume that Giese is deliberately trying to mislead her magazine's misinformed audience.

The claim that Trump “refused” to denounce David Duke is straight up false. As far back as 2000, Trump told NBC News, “Well, you've got David Duke who just joined (the Reform Party)—a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean these are not exactly the people you want in your party.”

After David Duke's subtle endorsement in 2015, Trump said, “I don't need his endorsement. I certainly wouldn't want his endorsement.”

In 2016, Trump said, “I disavow, ok.”

In 2016, again, Trump told NBC News, “I don't mind disavowing anybody and I disavow David Duke.”

During the GOP debate in March of 2016, Trump said, “I totally disavow the KKK. I totally disavow David Duke.”

After that, Trump denounced Duke a few more times and several more times on Twitter. If you'd like to see Trump denounce Duke even more times, watch this video.

Trump Did Not Fill His Circle With Racists

It's important to be able to prove that someone is a racist before you call them a racist. As far as Steve Bannon is concerned, the media has been falsely equating him with white nationalism, despite his record at Breitbart, where he hired Jews and Muslims. Before he went into politics, Bannon bought a huge stake in Seinfeld—a sitcom produced by and starring Jews. The only unsubstantiated allegations of racism hurled at Bannon have been from his enemies and from his ex wife.

More recently, Bannon went on a tirade against the far right, in which he called them "a collection of clowns".

As for all the other “white nationalist and racist sympathizers” Giese talks about, no one else from Trump's inner circle qualifies except maybe for Jeff Sessions, who has been accused of racism in the past. There is nothing racist from Sean Spicer's past, Hope Hicks's past, Kellyanne Conway's past, Sarah Huckabee's past, HR McMaster's past, or from anyone else's past that anyone can point to. Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller are Jewish, Ben Carson is black and—who cares.

Giese likely perceives anyone who doesn't subscribe to her worldview as racist, so the entire debate is subjective. As for objective facts that unequivocally prove Donald Trump's circle is made up of racists and white nationalists, none exist.  

It's Not A Muslim Ban

Trump's travel ban on six Muslim majority countries isn't a Muslim ban. To Giese's credit, she isn't the only one that has been peddling this lie. A true Muslim ban would have banned entry from all Muslim majority countries, including the ones that aren't on the list, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, and Jordan.

Trump's travel ban is a ban on countries that are known hotbeds of terrorism and extremism. In fact, the original seven countries were included in a similar ban that was imposed by Barack Obama in 2015. Politifact confirms this:

The travel part of Trump’s order does target the same seven countries that were singled out with a law Obama signed in December 2015.

The Obama-signed law contains provisions that restrict travel to the United States for people who lived in or visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria since March 2011. They must have a visa to enter the United States; they can’t use what is known as the Visa Waiver Program, which allows 90-day U.S. visits to other foreign visitors.

It wasn't a Muslim ban when Obama signed it into law, so why is it a Muslim ban under Donald Trump? Simple answer: journalistic integrity is dead. Journalism isn't about impartial facts anymore, it's about feelings, political affiliations and bias.

More Lies

Rachel Giese's smear piece is a series of lies, distortions and inaccuracies. I've honestly never seen anything quite like it from a professional, well established and “legitimate” magazine. After that third paragraph of lies, she goes on about the tragedy in Charlottesville:

Where else was this headed if not a violent, deadly rally of hundreds of white supremacists armed to the teeth and chanting Nazi slogans? Trump’s connection to these groups and these ideas were never a secret. On the contrary, he embraced them.

In response to last weekend’s events, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his sympathy to Americans and noted that Canada “isn’t immune to racist violence and hate.” He’s correct. Not only are we not immune, we’ve long been seriously infected. And as we absorb the news from the U.S., it bears looking at the current growth in white supremacist activity here.

Maybe there is or isn't a growing number of white supremacists in Canada, but when and where was “Trump's connection to these groups”? And how do we take anything Rachel Giese says from here on seriously? She couldn't even tell the truth in the first three paragraphs.

Yes, white supremacists and Nazis were armed and clad in helmets. That may or may not have anything to do with the media hyping the rally as “violent” before it even happened. That may or may not have anything to do with Antifa threatening to shut the whole thing down—and then showing up with baseball bats, helmets, masks, pepper spray and an intent to riot.

No, Trump doesn't have a connection to the KKK, neo-Nazis or white supremacists. Just because a lot of them voted for him, doesn't mean there is a connection. As we've established, Trump disavowed the KKK and has never been associated with neo-Nazis or white supremacist groups. In Alberta, we have a premier who proudly wears a Che Guevara watch. We can save the discussion about who Democrats and Liberals are connected to for another time.

Giese also goes on to claim that “experts” on far right extremism have confirmed that there are a number of groups operating in Canada. This is probably true, but what isn't true is a claim she makes later in her smear piece:

When it comes to preventing terror attacks, to date these far-right extremists haven’t been taken very seriously. Police forces and intelligence agencies are largely focused on Islamist groups like ISIS.

First, we have to ask why we haven't had more extreme, right-wing terror attacks in Canada if our law enforcement agencies are ignoring them. Secondly, we'd have to pretend the RCMP hasn't foiled any extreme right-wing attacks in the past if we were to take Giese's claims seriously.

RCMP did, in fact, foil a plot by teenaged neo-Nazis to commit mass murder in 2015. You can refresh your memory about that incident here. The claim that neo-Nazis and right-wing radicals are falling under the radar is patently false. This is further proven by the fact that Canada hasn't had many right-wing attacks. The idea that right-wing extremism is growing in Canada might be true, but the idea that they're being ignored by our law enforcement agencies is not.

Trump Does Not Have A History Of Anti-Black Racism

Donald Trump's father was taken to court in the 1970s for evicting and refusing to give housing to blacks. The case was settled out of court and no ruling was ever made that proves Fred Trump was guilty. Donald Trump himself has never been taken to court for any such claims. Just as comedian Chelsey Handler isn't responsible for her grandparents being Nazis, Donald Trump isn't responsible for his father's actions.

In 1999, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson praised Donald Trump for all the work he has done for African American communities. You can watch a video of that here. Trump has also been praised by Herman Cain, Ben Carson and Mike Tyson—among other African Americans. Black pastor, Darrell Scott, defended Donald Trump in 2016 against the media's false allegations of racism.

It's Pure Trash

Rachel Giese's article is almost complete trash from beginning to end. Her intent isn't even noble. She set out to warn us about white nationalism and racism in Canada, but failed to bother with facts. I'm glad I stumbled upon her article through a news aggregator, because it reminds me of the state of media and journalism. I was looking to be enlightened about the rise of white nationalism in Canada, but instead found myself disappointed by more worthless, yellow journalism. 

Journalists and editors have failed to bother with facts. The entire industry has become about partisanship, bias and slander. Ridiculous people like Rachel Giese have chosen ignorance and ideology over truth—and for that they deserve serious, harsh criticism. If we don't attack the gross parasites who claim to be ethical, impartial and honest, we won't fix journalism.

It's time to hold journalists accountable for distorting the truth. It's time to take out the trash. The stink is getting unbearable.