White nationalist and former Breitbart employee Tim Gionet, who goes by the name “Baked Alaska” on social media, says he was asked by his employers to remove anti-Semitic tweets during his time with the right-wing website.
“You know I, back in the day, used to work at Breitbart and I literally was told many times—they said, ‘Go through all your tweets and delete the word “Jew” in your tweets.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ Like, I was told that by Breitbart management,” Gionet said in a New Year’s Eve livestream on YouTube. “[I]t’s like, if you’re going to be pro-white at all, publicly, you can say goodbye to getting a job. You can say goodbye to working at any sort of company. You’re going to get fired immediately.”
Gionet’s experience at Breitbart is the latest proof that the far right blog is happy to work with extremists — as long as they keep their most vile and extreme views quiet. Milo Yiannopoulous, another former Breitbart employee, is known to have quietly spread white nationalist propaganda on the outlet’s watch; a video from April 2016 shows Yiannopoulos singing “America the Beautiful” while onlookers — including avowed white nationalist Richard Spencer — raise their arms in a Nazi salute.
In December, Breitbart radio host Curt Schilling canceled an interview with Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist running against House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), only after the candidate publicly embraced white nationalists like Spencer and appeared on an anti-Semitic podcast. Nehlen had used far right rhetoric and shared more subtle white nationalist talking points previously.
Breitbart’s attempts to make white nationalism more palatable are particularly distressing because of the site’s role — up until recently — as an unofficial mouthpiece for the White House. Steve Bannon, the site’s executive chairman, served as the chief executive of the Trump campaign and then as White House chief strategist, becoming one of President Trump’s closest advisers. When Bannon left the White House, he returned to Breitbart where he vowed to advance the Trump agenda.
A number of other former Breitbart employees worked in the White House alongside Bannon, including Sebastian Gorka, a “national security expert” and — allegedly — a sworn member of a Nazi-allied group in Hungary. Gorka denies those claims.
On Wednesday, Bannon and Trump’s relationship appeared to publicly collapse after The Guardian published an except from a new book in which Bannon called the now notorious meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Kremlin-connected lawyer during the 2016 election “treasonous.”
“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon was quoted as saying.
The White House responded in a statement saying, “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”