Pro-Trump media celebs can’t shake the alt-right brand

Internet personality Mike Cernovich, best known for his self-help book Gorilla Mindset and his involvement in spreading the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory, was one of four white men on a panel focused on the supposed degeneracy of liberals. The mainstream media wants to “eliminate the age of consent so they can molest children,” he warned the packed crowd at “A Night for Freedom” in New York City last weekend. Cernovich also mocked the idea of being called “alt-right” or “far-right,” but outside, protesters chanted antifascist slogans and cursed his name as a peddler of hate.

“Nazi scum—your time has come!” someone in the crowd cried that Saturday night.

During President Donald Trump’s improbable rise to power, Cernovich and other independent, Internet-based pundits—known as “e-Celebs”—carried much of the public heavy lifting for his campaign, providing support for the reality TV star turned candidate in the absence of mainstream media backing. In 2015 and 2016, they worked under the banner “alt-right,” a catch-all term that was loosely defined around Trump’s hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric. Trump received only two major newspaper endorsements, after all—one from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and one from the Florida Times-Union. Also, the National Review, once considered the go-to destination for conservative thought, printed an entire issue denouncing the controversial candidate.

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