Everything You Need To Know



Further to Nicholas Pell’s glossary of alt-right terms published by The Irish Times yesterday, headlined “The alt-right movement: everything you need to know”…

John McManus, opinion editor at the newspaper, has outlined its reasons for publishing it.

From Mr McManus’s explanation:

“… the purpose of the Opinion and Analysis section is to inform readers about the issues of the day, offer insights and give them something to think about. It purpose is also to stimulate and advance arguments about matters of public interest.

The piece by Nicholas Pell met these criteria. At a minimum it decodes a lot of the Alt-right movement’s language and at best it gives a clear indication of its thinking and idealogy.

We took the view that someone reading the piece would be better informed about the Alt-right movement and what it stands for.

There is a wider issue of to whom we should or should not give a platform in The Irish Times. There are limits of course, but fundamentally we don’t subscribe to the notion of denying a platform to people we don’t agree with or that will provoke strong debate, as the Nicholas Pell piece has done. We have, for example, recently run trenchant pro and anti-abortion pieces .

The existence of the Alt-right cannot be simply ignored. It was a factor in the US election and is closely associated with figures in the incoming administration. We would argue, moreover, that anybody who seriously opposes it should want the public to know what the Alt-right really stand for.

…Some of the language in the piece has clearly offended people which was not our intention. We felt on balance that that leaving it in gave a deeper insight into the nature of the Alt-right movement.”

Why we published Nicholas Pell’s article on the Alt-right (Irish Times)


Earlier: To Pell And Back


Una Mullally writes in The Irish Times:

The Irish Times was wrong to publish the article by Nicholas Pell. There are of course many ways to talk about the so-called “Alt-right” – a purposefully fluffy term for white supremacists, fascists, Nazis and others – but publishing a racist, misogynistic, trolling glossary is not one of them. I do not believe we should be interested in humouring fascism. I believe we should be invested in destroying it.

Una Mullally: Why ‘The Irish Times’ should not have published Nicholas Pell (Irish Times)

54 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know

  1. or just maybe

    But does it decode their jargon and idology, or merely offer them a more public platform for their public facing spin about what they claim their language and intent means/is rather than the actual codes as those within the mindset of this fascist fringe understand it?

    This article does not inform the public what the fascists who market themselves under the term alt right stand for but merely provides another outlet for their very carefully constructed marketing campaign.

    Uncritical and unexamined reporting is not unbiased reporting it is merely advertising.

    1. Unlucky in locks

      This is exactly my problem with the article.

      Does free speech allow for a member of a group to deliberately misrepresent, or at least repackage, their views? In fairness, yes it probably does.

      Does the Irish Times have a responsibility to research the group and determine if the member they’ve engaged to write a piece is being truthful, rather than attempting to whitewash a dangerous ideology? Yes.

      Either they did this, and felt ok to go ahead with the piece, which is worrying, or they didn’t, and published the piece anyway, which is also worrying.

      Fun times

      1. Listrade

        I’m loathed to defend Pell/IT and the article…but…

        1. “Uncritical and unexamined reporting is not unbiased reporting” – editorials and opinion pieces are not reporting. They are always partisan and biased by their nature of being an opinion. This part of a newspaper has always played to different rules to reporting.

        2. “Does free speech allow for a member of a group to deliberately misrepresent, or at least repackage, their views?” – Yes otherwise we’d all be screwed. But as with any mention of free speech it is with the caveat of long as it isn’t defamatory, breach of privacy, etc.

        3. “Does the Irish Times have a responsibility to research the group and determine if the member they’ve engaged to write a piece is being truthful, rather than attempting to whitewash a dangerous ideology?” No. Not for opinion pieces or similar. The assumption is that the reader is intelligent enough to see through whitewashing or complete their own research on it and the writer. They are presented as opinion and analysis. In the entire history of this section of newspapers it has always been a read at your own risk or at least “warning will probably contain bullshit.”

        The article was a really really really bad attempt at humour. Bad in that it wasn’t funny except to the Alt-Right. Pell has tried to pretend there was sarcasm in there. There wasn’t, it was just bad.

        Satire is a skill and is hard. That’s why 99% of the Onion or Waterford Whispers is unfunny. This may have been an attempt at satire as if the glossary was written by the Alt-Right, but it failed. It just poked fun at the people who the Alt-Right are against rather than poking fun at the fake author (which is what good “offensive” satire would have done). As such, I’m not convinced it actually was a joke or satirical or sarcastic.

        1. Unlucky in locks

          Agree with you on point 1, although Irish Times still has a choice in its editorial content, and on point 2.

          On 3 that’s a fair point, maybe the Irish Times was trusting its readership to get the joke/perform background research.

          It can get frustrating at times when the “alt-right” is reported on, so-called unbiased fact based reporting I mean here, and is defined based on what they say they are, rather than what they do. I feel anger over that may have spilled over into the reaction to this piece. I’ll admit it has done for me.

          I take your points though

  2. Happy Molloy

    He’s right in that you shouldn’t deny people platforms that you don’t necessarily agree with, but I’d avoid simplistic tags, like alt right, for those who voted for trump or brexit

    1. bleeschmn

      I’d say that a newspaper should provide coverage, and not platforms, but then I’d probably delete the entire opinion section of the IT, it’s rubbish.

      1. Medium Sized C

        That historian lad does some good articles of a saturday.
        You have to kind of tilt your head so you don’t see Breda O’Briens hateful face, but you get by.

        1. Martco

          that’s not even her face tho is it?
          not her current pic anyway it’s at least 20 years old

  3. bleeschmn

    “strong debate” – right, because arguing about whether to host the opinions of neo-Nazis is oh-so new and totally worth retreading. What a strong debate that is.

    “The existence of the alt-right cannot be ignored” – and obviously, ignoring them, and letting their opinions run unopposed are our only options. Also, this isn’t an issue for which an Irish paper needs to source fresh material. It’s been done.

    We all know it’s clickbait, that’s not new. What’s new is the so-called paper of record giving an unopposed platform to a neonazi. It’s unusually crass and cynical clickbait.

    1. Harry Molloy

      and therein lies part of the problem, anyone with an opinion any way to the right of yours is a neo nazi, best to silence dissent

      1. bleeschmn

        No, neonazis are neonazis.

        If you want to know who I would class as such, it’s white supremacist sectarians who endorse governments rounding up minorities. That’s not a leap of logic.
        95% of Ireland has an opinion to the right of me, I don’t thing they’re neonazis.

        Most of our European counterparts are more than willing to call this particular spade a spade, having dealt with them for years already.

        In Ireland we’re humming and hawwing because maybe our swastika-wielding whitesupermacists are going to be different in a meaningful way. Spoiler: they’re not.

    2. Medium Sized C

      This is one of my thoughts.

      I have yet to see any debate about the Alt-right.
      I have seen catastrophizing, trolling, snark and LOADS of debate about wether IT should have published the article. No debate about the topic though.

      I would say this, there are a figurative shit tonne of people opposing the views of the alt-right while criticising the Irish Times for letting them talk unopposed.
      If you don’t think that your own expressions of opinion and all the people who share those opinions openly count as opposition I suggest you shut up and get off the internet.

      1. Nigel

        Alt right are trolls. This is often what debate with and about trolls ends up looking like. I don’t think effective strategies for dealing with them in this new stage have been developed yet. People try to oppose them, but they seem to thrive, mostly because trolls care about almost nothing. You can’t catch them out in lies because they don’t care about the truth. You can’t point out how horrible they are because they think that’s hilarious. You can’t challenge them politically, because their politics are mostly incoherent, and are all wound up with not caring about the truth and thinking saying horrible things is hilarious. And that’s how we ended up with Brexitt and president-elect Trump. So they certainly feel unopposed.

  4. Daisy Chainsaw

    If you’re explaining, you’re losing!

    Perhaps if the article hadn’t been parsed in such a “oh those wacky black hating, women hating, Trump loving Chads!” way there wouldn’t have been such outrage over it. Call alt-right what it is – a racist, misogynist hate movement.

    1. Loan Some Cow Boy

      if you’re explaining and boring snowflakes and other out of work trolls are clicking and pointing you’re generating online ad revenue

        1. Loan Some Cow Boy

          What do you expect in the digital age? How are those poor opinion-formers going to pay for their soy lattes?

  5. Starina

    that wasn’t a piece of straight journalism though. the tone of it promoted the alt-right as something correct and vibrant, and the left as lame and shrill (what is this, a high school movie?) yes, it was interesting to learn about a couple of the term definitions but it could have been presented completely neutrally. Instead, it reads as a piece openly mocking POC, women and anyone who deviates from gender and sexual norms. this permeation of fascism continues…

    1. Loan Some Cow Boy

      ah get over yourself

      How stupid do you think the readers of the Irish times are?

      I’ll give you a hint: they’re not as dumb and reactionary as the snowflake trolls on here.

        1. Loan Some Cow Boy

          Grand. Look

          While respecting your right to engage in reactionary name-calling I’ll also needlessly draw attention to it. There.

          Have you had an orgasm yet?

          1. Daisy Chainsaw


            Do “alt-right” nazis hate themselves nearly as much as they hate women because of their inadequacies? Is it easier to blame women, POC and jews for your own shortcomings, rather than acknowledge them and do something about it?

          2. Loan Some Cow Boy

            What are you on about now?

            What’s a “POC”?

            Or a “jew”?

            Seems I would need a Masters Degree in Sociology and Feminist Studies to ‘curate’ your ill-thought out bollocks

          3. Nigel

            Perhaps you should go find some Buzzfeed articles on those terms so that you can feel more welk-informed.

      1. ahjayzis

        People terrified out of their wits at people with darker shades of skin are in no position to call anyone a snowflake.

        ‘Men’ too scared to help women and children fleeing war are in no way ‘alpha’.

        Frightened little boys, scared sh1tless that women who know they’re equal will see them for how small they are and laugh.

  6. Medium Sized C

    I agree with the assertion that we should all know what these people are about if we really want to oppose them.
    But like, the article does a pretty bad job of it.

    He is wrong about a couple of terms and its all a big sarky joke.
    This is a big serious explainer that seems to think the article is something it really isnt.

    1. Harry Molloy

      Article is very lightweight, it’s just a table of 4chan terminology, doesn’t give any real insight to why the average punter might want to vote conservatively, and I’m sure most of them wouldn’t subscribe to that 4chan stuff either

      1. Tiny D

        I agree. Anyone can look up this terminology, it was a sloppy piece of commissioning and journalism. By all means get “alt right” sympathisers to write an article explaining their views on race and gender so that we can all find out what they stand for, but this article was merely a piss-poor list of slang terms written from the point of view of the “alt right”, that’s all.

  7. Eamonn Clancy

    If the point of the article was to draw leftie silencers from their caves then job done. And by the way, (at the risk of introducing Godwin’s law) the Nazis were pretty good at silencing opposing opinions. The SJWs are in good company so.

    1. bleeschmn

      A cursory glance at the world would suggest that either these SJWs of yours have no interest in silencing anybody, no success at silencing anybody, or some mixture of the two.

      1. Medium Sized C

        Although if you were gonna write a good alt-right explainer, you’d need a section in there about claiming to be silenced while bawling in all fora about being silenced.

  8. Harry Molloy

    ah, load of man juice. far too much identity politics these days, gal’s like some primal need to belong to a tribe or group that seems to be more about who you aren’t than who you are ♥

Comments are closed.