Why Do Hate Sites Keep Linking David Storobin?

No one disputes that articles written by State Senate candidate David Storobin have frequently been linked by white supremacist hate sites.

Today, at a press conference, Storobin defended himself against charges of racism by saying he could not help who linked the articles he has written.

This is only technically accurate.

If one strews the sidewalk in front of one’s house with stinking, rotting decaying offal and animal feces, one should really not claim surprise when one attracts rats, flies and maggots.

Mr. Storobin strew the filth, and is now crying about getting a summons, essentially complaining that the officer made a technical error in writing his address.

Technically, he may be correct.   

I am on the record criticizing both blogger Mole333  and Councilman Lew Fidler for going somewhat too far in linking State Senate candidate David Storobin  with white supremacists, which they did based upon articles I had written on the topic.    

I will criticize them again for a very grave sin.

While, based upon his writings, there is every reason to suspect that Mr. Storobin would be comfortable in the company of white supremacists, there is little solid evidence that Mr. Storobin has partaken of such company. By carrying the accusation slightly farther than the provable facts justify, Mole and Fidler have allowed a thoroughly despicable character who should never be allowed to hold public office to temporarily lay claim to the moral high ground to which he is not entitled.

Beyond that, the slander is only a technical one. They have created a possibly false impression (or not) about Mr. Storobin’s associates, but have been perfectly accurate about Mr. Storobin’s views.

Mr. Storobin has published dozens of articles on two sites he founded, Global Politician and International Analyst Network; however, since becoming a candidate Storobin has scrubbed his contributions off Global Politician and closed down International Analyst for repairs

Let’s take a look at the articles I’ve found which were linked by the haters (I’m pretty positive they are not the only ones).
1) The self described "White Nationalist" hate site STORMFRONT linked Storobin's 2007 interview with Jim Gilchrist of the “Minuteman Project on Immigration, Terror, and Elections.”
According to Wikipedia:

Stormfront is a white nationalist and supremacist neo-Nazi Internet forum that has been described as the Internet's first major hate site.

Stormfront began as an online bulletin board system in the early 1990s before being established as a website in 1995 by former Ku Klux Klan leader and white nationalist activist Don Black. It received national attention in the United States in 2000 after being featured as the subject of a documentary, Hate.com. Stormfront has been the subject of controversy after being removed from French and German Google indexes, for targeting an online FOX News poll on racial segregation, and for having political candidates as members. Its prominence has grown since the 1990s, attracting attention from watchdog organizations that oppose racism and antisemitism.

Storobin’s Gilchrist piece is a total white wash.
"Today I spoke to Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project. The most striking part of the interview was how mild his views on immigration truly were. The man has been vilified by most of the Left and even much of the Right, including the White House. He’s supposed to be an immigrant-hating vigilante who dreams of dead Mexicans at night. Instead, he’s an intelligent, mild-mannered person with very reasonable proposals..."
Remember that the White House from which Storobin defends Gilchrist from was the one inhabited by George W. Bush.
According to the Anti Defamation League, the Minutemen began as “…a month-long series of events, including armed vigilante border patrols, designed by anti-immigration extremists to draw attention to the issue of illegal immigration….
…During the Project's first weekend, several hundred volunteers showed up, many armed, to engage in the volunteer "border patrols." Some volunteers unintentionally set off sensors that alert Border Patrol agents to intruders, according to a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman.

Highly publicized among right-wing extremists ranging from militia groups to white supremacist organizations, the Minuteman Project has attracted a variety of extremists and anti-immigration activists of all types. A number of neo-Nazi National Alliance members showed up for the first weekend of events…before the project began, National Alliance fliers, describing illegal immigration as an "invasion" that will cause white people to be "a minority within the next 50 years," were circulated…

The Minuteman Project has been advertised on various extremist Web sites. For example, an Aryan Nation Web site links to the Minuteman Project, proclaiming "a call for action on part of ALL ARYAN SOLDIERS."

The ADL says “…Highly publicized, the Minuteman Project attracted a variety of anti-immigrant activists, including extremists ranging from militia members to white supremacists…

… Some… chapters have adopted tactics such as videotaping alleged undocumented immigrants at their places of work, based on the color of their skin. Whatever their tactics, the Minutemen’s goals have received the support of a wide range of individuals, from extremists to media commentators and politicians. As a result, more mainstream figures in the anti-immigration movement are willing to overlook, tolerate or, in some cases, even share the stage with more extreme Minutemen chapters, as well as other border vigilante groups such as the virulently anti-Hispanic group American Border Patrol (ABP), in order to advance their agenda.

The Minutemen are the common thread that links many of the mainstream and extremist elements of the anti-immigration movement, many of whom appear together at events staged by the group. The tactics and activities of the Minutemen have acted as a rallying cry for other groups and figures that oppose immigration in this country.”
Storobin does not subject Gilchrist to tough questions about his ideology, or about the human garbage he attracts as followers. Gilchrist is just given a place to show how "reasonable" he is, with commentary that reinforces that message. As I have illustrated, this is a whitewash of The Minutemen movement and its allies.
2) As noted recently in Crain’s, one of Mr. Storobin’s two, count ‘em, two pieces spotlighting heroes of the white separatist Afrikaner Independence Movement appears on the white supremacist website American Renaissance. (Storobin’s other sympathetic interview of those who would restore apartheid to its glory days appears here)
According to Wikipedia:
American Renaissance (AR or AmRen) is a monthly racialist magazine published by the New Century Foundation.


The magazine and foundation were founded by Jared Taylor, and the first issue was published in November 1990.

American Renaissance states that it is a monthly magazine first published in 1991. A section called What We Believe on the organization's website states that "Race is an important aspect of individual and group identity. Of all the fault lines that divide society — language, religion, class, ideology — it is the most prominent and divisive. Race and racial conflict are at the heart of the most serious challenges the Western World faces in the 21st century. The problems of race cannot be solved without adequate understanding. Attempts to gloss over the significance of race or even to deny its reality only make problems worse. Progress requires the study of all aspects of race, whether historical, cultural, or biological. This approach is known as race realism."

In fairness I should note that this would appear to be at least a slight step up from Storefront:

The Anti-Defamation League writes that "Taylor eschews anti-Semitism. Seeing Jews as white, greatly influential and the “conscience of society,” Taylor rather seeks to partner with Jews who share his views on race and racial diversity" and "Jews have been speakers and/or participants at all eight American Renaissance conferences."

I know Storobin’s supporters say he was only acting here as a reporter, and should not be judged by his subjects. I think the evidence indicates these stories are dog whistles, and that Mr. Storobin has no right to say he has woken up with fleas.
In his interviews with far right wing extremists, Storobin lobs soft balls and never subjects them to tough inquiry.
Storobin just gives the fringy, white supremacist Afrikaners a forum for their grievances. The sins of the apartheid society which met Jeanne Kirkpatrick's definition of a totalitarian ideology are never even raised. The great achievement of South Africa in abandoning the rigid apartheid society structure, while avoiding bloodbaths and show trials, and creating an imperfect democratic capitalistic society, are ignored. The white supremacists are just given a forum for their unfettered hate propaganda.

Nowhere, either in the interviews or commentary, or in any other article, does Storobin condemn the Afrikaner nationalists, even though he almost universally opposes the national claims of almost every ethnic minority (and sometimes majority) almost everywhere else in the world.

Contrast the softball treatment of the Afrikaners to the way Storobin treats countries, movements and religion he does not care for (Of course, you really can’t, because thanks to Storobin’s scrubbing, the task is nearly impossible).

A similar pattern infects all Storobin's writing about race.

Speaking of some international development during January 2008, when the Obama/Hillary contest was in full swing Storobin opines “This announcement was largely ignored by the American media as it debated what’s more important for the next President: the shape of the candidate’s genitals or the color. “

In Storobin’s work, it is always the white man and only the white man who is beleaguered, usually by the most horrifying form of discrimination, oppressive political correctness.

If there is one article in existence where Storobin empathizes with racial minorities, I cannot find it.

3) As I noted yesterday, Storobin’s notably sympathetic article about Russian collaborators with the Nazis, “Pro-Axis Russians: Terrorists ... and Democratic Capitalists, is seemingly only available  on the white supremacist hate site;  the Vanguard News Network Forum.
.Wikipedia describes as  the Vanguard News Network Forum as  an antisemitic, white supremacist website” According to  the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), VNN is one of the most active white supremacist sites on the Internet.  Its motto is "No Jews. Just Right." Linder espouses numerous Nazi sentiments, among them that "the thing to be done about [the Jews] is to kill them, exterminate them, get rid of them. You don't argue or reason with a cockroach; you step on it."

4) Another, somewhat more innocuous Storobin piece about the racial characteristics of Jews and Palestinians, which nonetheless betrays a rather anal obsession with racial origins, appears on the rather strange (even in this context) hate site called “Phora.” The website of Phora proclaims to "discuss racialism, eugenics, nationalism, holocaust revisionism, history, philosophy, science, politics." The Anti-Defamation League has characterized it as "an anti-Semitic Internet forum."

It is typical of the type of misdirection that Storobin practices that he cited only the piece linked on Phora when describing how he’d been slandered. The other, far more upsetting pieces were ignored.
It is further typical that much of the press accepted this misdirection without further investigation.   
One would think that, at a certain point, someone whose prose attracts the continued attention of all the wrong sorts of people might engage in a bit of self-reflection, but in Storobin’s case, one would be wrong.

As Crain’s recently noted:

Storobin said he has no idea who took down the postings or why, but he stood by his work. “My views have evolved over the years, but there's nothing I've been ashamed of,” he said. “I'm very proud of the stuff I've written.”
In fairness, white supremacists aren’t attracted to Global Politician solely because of the pieces written by its founder.
For example, Global Politician has published articles from an anonymous right-wing blogger called "Fjordman", an anonymous Norwegian blogger who writes about Islam and Muslim immigration and the danger that he believes it poses to Western civilization. Shortly after the bombing of Oslo in the 2011 Norway attacks, when it still was believed the terrorist was an Islamist), Fjordman asked his regular readers at the Gates of Vienna blog to "remember" that Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was as much a "pathetic sucker for Islam as it is humanly possible to be". When the shooting at Utøya became known a few hours later, Fjordman described the Workers' Youth League (AUF) under attack as a "gang of anti-Israeli, pro-Palestine youth-socialists". Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused in the 2011 Norway attacks, frequently praised writings of Fjordman, citing him extensively in his manifesto.

An article by a denier of the Armenian genocide gives a telling insight into Storobin’s editorial philosophy. He describes the process whereby Storobin agreed to publish his holocaust denial article in "Global Politician"

Storobin (to the Holocaust denier): ""Thanks again for agreeing to put this up. If 'Global Politician' has at all an image of being cutting-edge, not to mention courageous, I don't think this article will hurt it. And those who know the real truth about this matter will regard your publication with much respect."

That such an article excited Storobin is of course no surprise, given Storobin’s own noteworthy and reprehensible efforts at genocide denial.

True to form though, Storobin eventually scrubbed the article. He didn’t even notify the author. Nor did he post any explanation or apology. He just disappeared it.

The sicko then wrote to Storobin, making sure to thank him for his courage. Storobin replied, "Everyone, including some writers who have nothing to do with Armenians complained." In return, the sicko noted that a few other sites had already reproduced the article before Global Politician iced it, and said "Won't it raise eyebrows if readers find the article has disappeared from the source?"
Apparently it was a lesson Storobin has yet to learn.
One has to ask ‘why?”
Obviously Storobin is a young man in a hurry. I think his articles reflect his worldview, but I also think he was purposely attempting to be provocative to attract notice and following.


It reminds me of what I read last week in the Atlantic about Ron Paul:


A person involved in Paul's businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.


"It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,'' said the person, who supports Paul's economic policies but is not backing him for president.”I'm not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.''…


….Ed Crane, the longtime president of the libertarian Cato Institute, said he met Paul for lunch during this period, and the two men discussed direct-mail solicitations, which Paul was sending out to interest people in his newsletters.


They agreed that "people who have extreme views" are more likely than others to respond. Crane said Paul reported getting his best response when he used a mailing list from the now-defunct newspaper Spotlight, which was widely considered anti-Semitic and racist….


 …The tone of…Paul publications changed, becoming increasingly controversial. In 1992, for example, the Ron Paul Political Report defended chess champion Bobby Fischer, who became known as an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier, for his stance on "Jewish questions


Is Mr. Storobin’s provocative website a sin?

He is certainly within his rights to publish what he wants, and he certainly has a right to his views, however sick.

But we have a right to judge him by those views, and also for the lack of limits on the views he sponsors, as we would have the right to judge a grocery owner who sold bread full of rat feces and poison.   

In a free society, social mores and peer disapproval are usually far more effective limits on speech than government regulation could ever be. "Free" speech is a misnomer; it always has a cost; in a "free" society, that cost is determined by the marketplace rather than the government.

That some choose to sometimes hold their tongues is not always necessarily a bad thing. In this case, I advocate an Adam Smith solution to David Storobin.

I say we slap him with our invisible hand and take our voting business elsewhere.