AuthorLueders, Bill

Here's a thought: When you read Melissa Ryan's excellent and important article on how the alt-right is making inroads through the Republican Party, check out the version we published online, which should appear around the time this issue reaches subscribers. Check out the links to substantiating sources for each and every astonishing fact.

Take, for instance, the link that backs up the statement that Cecily Wright, then-chair of the Republican Party in Spokane County, Washington, spoke publicly on behalf of alt-right provocateur James Allsup, who was forced to resign as president of the College Republicans at Washington State University after taking part in the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The linked article goes beyond what is relayed in our story. It describes how Wright introduced Allsup at a small local conservative event in July 2018 with these words: "It's pretty darn sad, and people's lives are destroyed with these labels that are being hung on them because we don't take time to really figure out, 'Is it true or is it not true?'... I have a gentleman here this evening who has been label-lynched."

This, mind you, was the very same "gentleman" about whom Wright had issued an official statement--meant for a larger and more general audience--the month before: "Mr. Allsup has never been affiliated in any official capacity with the Spokane County GOP. His past statements, affiliations, and actions are deeply out-of-step with the values of the Republican Party, as well as the values of the Spokane County GOP and our members."

Wright, who jokingly told a reporter she'd "like to go punch the guy [Allsup] in the nose," went on to assure all and sundry that "the Spokane County GOP remains committed to standing against white supremacy, racism, and bigotry in all forms. We will always support a free society where individuals are judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin."

Adding links to stories is something we do for every piece we publish. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it. The links are useful for fact-checking and to readers who want to dig deeper. And, on a topic like this, that's something we all should be willing to do.

Our focus on the rise of the alt-right in this issue also has an excerpt from a new book by Alexandra Minna Stern on how its members have connived to use culture and social media to win followers as a precursor to political engagement. Simon...

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