Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday sympathetically portrayed notorious white supremacist Paul Nehlen as a “prominent voice” who has fallen victim to censorship for his beliefs on “border enforcement.”
Hosting far-right commentator Candace Owens during a segment on right-wing figures who have recently been kicked off social media, Ingraham began the discussion by brushing off criticism of doctored videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as part of a “larger effort to silence conservative voices ahead of the 2020 election.”
The pair went on to complain that the left is “thin-skinned” and that liberals are “meddling in the election” because of their supposed efforts to ban conservative voices, prompting Owens to say that it will only lead to Trump winning by a big margin in 2020.
Noting that Facebook has said it will monitor hate on its platform, Ingraham displayed an image of right-wing figures who have recently been banned or suspended from various social media platforms. The caption read: “Prominent Voices Censored On Social Media”
After joking that Owens, who once said Hitler was OK until he tried to go global, was part of the list, Ingraham added: “But it's people who believe in border enforcement, people who believe in national sovereignty.”
The image, however, did not just include people who merely believe in border security and nationalism. It included Nehlen, who was permanently suspended from Twitter in 2018 after repeatedly sending racist and anti-Semitic tweets, culminating in a photoshopped image of Meghan Markle as a dark-skinned ancient Briton.
Nehlen’s hateful and bigoted rhetoric and rampant anti-Semitism led to the Republican Party cutting ties with him and saying his views “have no place in” the GOP. He was a guest on former KKK leader David Duke’s radio show last year, where he called for a border wall to include machine guns and said any Mexican immigrant who approached the border should be “treated as an enemy combatant.”
Earlier this month, Nehlen was one of a number of extremists who were banned from Facebook due to “dangerous” behavior. Others who were booted off include fellow anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson, and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
Ingraham, meanwhile, has herself been accused of peddling white nationalist rhetoric on her program. Last year, she sparked backlash when she said that “massive demographic changes” make it “seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore.”