If you’re active in the political parts of social media, you might have run across a New York Times story detailing an alt-right conference held in Washington on Saturday that started out somewhat tame and ended with anti-semitic, white nationalist hate speech. It included objectively terrifying passages like this one:
But as the night wore on and most reporters had gone home, the language changed.
Mr. Spencer’s after-dinner speech began with a polemic against the “mainstream media,” before he briefly paused. “Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German?” he said.
The audience immediately screamed back, “Lügenpresse,” reviving a Nazi-era word that means “lying press.”
What you may not know is that the Los Angeles Times also took a crack at this story. Their version contains fewer examples of rhetoric, and attempts to illustrate how “normal” the organizers looked and sounded. To CNN’s Jake Tapper, this coverage was unforgivably tepid, and actually served to normalize a hate movement. He took his discouragement to Twitter:
Del Quentin Wilber, a Times writer, fired back at Tapper, accusing him of missing the point:
But Tapper wasn't about to be put off:
And, of course, Wilber backed down, because if mainstream newspapers have proved anything over the past year, it's that they have no spine:
Credit to Tapper on this one—the original article may have had good intentions in its depiction of the alt-right’s professional veneer, but to consciously omit the racial language they used at the event the journalist was ostensibly covering is a tremendous disservice.