Vice Media Became A $5.7B Liberal News Network. Its Co-Founder Denies He’s A White Supremacist
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In August, ahead of a “Unite the Right” in Washington, D.C., Twitter suspended the accounts of Vice Magazine co-founder Gavin McInnes and another of his creations — the violent, far-right, anti-left, anti-anti-fascist group Proud Boys.
Violence and extremism got McInnes’ Proud Boys in trouble again last week, this time in New York. The NYPD says it has enough evidence to charge nine members of Proud Boys and three protestors with rioting and assault in connection with a brawl near a Republican club following a speech Friday by McInnes, according to the Daily Beast.
“How did a man who has been quoted by The Huffington Post as saying, ‘(maybe Jewish people were) ostracized for a good reason,’ have his beginnings with a now-liberal news and documentary network?” — Liana DeMasi, Inquisitr
When McInnes co-founded Vice Media in 1994, it was a different company from the liberal news and broadcasting network it is today, Inquisitr reported. Vice back then was seen as “an outlet for young people who found mainstream culture lame.” McInnes parted ways with his co-founders Suroosh Alvi and Shane Smith when he started costing them money and respect. He has not been involved with the company since 2008, according to Vice.
Vice attracts a millennial audience with young adult–focused online content, web series, news, film production and a record label. In 2016, Vice launched cable TV network Viceland. In 2017, Vice secured a $450-million investment from private-equity firm TPG Capital to increase scripted programming and international expansion. As a result of the deal, Vice Media is now valued at $5.7 billion, Wall Street Journal reported.
One of Viceland’s most popular shows, “Desus & Mero,” is leaving the network and moving to Showtime in 2019. Desus Nice and The Kid Mero hosted their own daily late-night talk show on Viceland for two seasons.
Vice’s original content is far from anything they would publish today, according to NY Magazine’s The Intelligencer:
“Like an article they once wrote called ‘The Vice Guide to Shagging Muslims.’ At that time, though, McInnes was in charge of the editorial portion of the growing company, and so had final say on what was covered. As Vice began to grow, McInnes’ rhetoric, behavior, and ideas started costing them money and respect, so the two other founders, “bought (him) out.”
McInnes founded Proud Boys in 2016 and it became part of the alt-right. In early 2017 McInnes began distancing himself from the alt-right saying their focus is race and his is Western values — a view that has been termed “alt-lite,” The New Yorker and Intercept reported. The rebranding effort intensified after the Unite the Right Rally.
The Proud Boys claim they do not support white supremacist views, but members often appear at racist rallies and events, according to Daily Beast.
“Although the group officially rejects white supremacy, members have nonetheless appeared at multiple racist events, with a former Proud Boy organizing the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville,” Daily Beast reported. “The Proud Boys are a violent, ultra-nationalist group that promotes anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-woman views. The group rallies around anti-left violence.”
McInnes often champions violence, particularly against the left:
“I want violence, I want punching in the face. I’m disappointed in Trump supporters for not punching enough,” McInnes said on his webshow. He also uses the show to spout racial slurs, especially the n-word, and call for attacks on transgender people. “Choke a tranny. Get your fingers around the windpipe,” McInnes said on his show, according to Newsweek. A self-described misogynist, McInnes has argued against women in the workforce and denies that sexual harassment exists.