Woke Journalism: Lies and Hatred in Service of Cancel Culture

Character assassination is the Left’s weapon of choice; these days, indeed, its only weapon. Jean Guerrero is a typical “woke” journalist: an anti-American racist and a pathological liar. As a result, her “reporting” is worthless – a clumsy fiction at best, but a poisonous one throughout. A free press – once a pillar of America’s democracy – is for the moment dead. This is a national tragedy because a free press is the main bulwark against the incipient fascism of a political left which no longer is content to contend with its opposition but actively seeks to criminalize and suppress it.

BY DAVID HOROWITZ FOR POWER LINE

In 1940, a German refugee named Richard Krebs published a memoir called Out of the Night, which was a Book-of-the Month Club selection for that year. He published it under the pseudonym Jan Valtin in fear of reprisals from the Nazis and Communists his memoir exposed.

Krebs had been a longshoreman during the 1930s, a union leader, and a trusted member of the German Communist Party. He was so trusted by the Party that it sent him on an undercover mission to Hamburg to spy on the Nazis. To equip him for the task the Communist Party provided him with a forged Nazi Party card that identified him as a member.

After Krebs returned from his mission, he became critical of the Communists because of their active collaboration with the Nazis in destroying the Weimar Republic. He had the indiscretion to make this opposition public. The Communists retaliated by accusing Krebs of being a Nazi, and “proving” it by publishing on the frontpage of one of Germany’s largest papers Krebs’ membership card in the Nazi Party that the Communists had forged for him, forcing him to flee for his life.

In providing actual “evidence” – however deceptive – the German Communist Party had more respect for the intelligence of their target audiences than progressives in general and Democrats in particular do today, where “guilt by accusation” has become the standard for slandering and cancelling their political opponents, none more obviously than Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States and the recipient of more votes – over 74 million – than any previous president in American history.

For four years Trump was universally accused by his Democrat opponents – without a shred of evidence – of committing treason with the Russians. The end sought by the Democrats – the destruction of Trump – is apparently sufficient to justify the means. Aside from a few true liberals like Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley, there are no dissenters from this rule on the left. From the outset of his presidency, Trump was tarred and feathered by Democrats and their media allies as a “traitor” a “white supremacist” and a “racist”– again without a shred of credible evidence. To prevent Trump from running for a second term with 74 million supporters he is being crucified now as an inciter of violence and “insurrection” without a credible action or quote to back up the charge. The basis for the claim is that he challenged an election result by calling on key states to de-certify the election results – something the Democrat Party and its legislators did as recently as the 2016 Trump election itself.

What distinguishes Trump from the legions of his supporters who have been accused of thought crimes, slandered and cancelled, is the visibility of his record, which allows 74 million Americans not consumed by racial and characterological hatreds to see how baseless the attacks on him are, and to defend him against the progressive lynch mob.

I happen to be one of those Trump supporters tarred by progressives as a “racist” and “hate monger” based on no evidence whatsoever. The slanders against me are expressions of political malice. They were used by the Washington Post and by numerous major media outlets to smear Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis during the 2018 elections. DeSantis’ “crime” as described by the Post: “[He] spoke four times at conferences organized by a conservative activist [me] who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people and that the country’s ‘only serious race war’ is against whites.” These are two obviously true and non-racist statements, but not in the witch-hunting atmosphere created by the left.

Even though I am a somewhat private citizen, without the high visibility of Trump, I am unique in one respect: unlike most of the Trump supporters who have been cancelled, defamed and in other ways suppressed by leftwing lies, I have created a uniquely detailed record of my views and activities stretching over the last sixty years in numerous articles and books. My first book was published in 1962, and I have written more than forty since then containing over two million words describing my political and social views in detail. This record provides a fact-based portrait of my views which can be used to measure the brazen dishonesty and malice that now passes for progressive journalism and politics.

A perfect illustration of the dishonesty that has overcome and distorted our political culture can be found in a recent book by an Emmy Award-winning PBS journalist named Jean Guerrero. Her book Hatemonger is a book length libel against Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s key and most brilliant White House advisers, a classical liberal, whom Guerrero portrays as a “white nationalist” and racist. Guerrero uses me – or rather a gross caricature of me – to tar and feather Miller, whose career I helped to advance.

It is important to note at the outset that far from being a fringe character herself, how legitimate Guerrero’s journalistic credentials appear, a fact that illuminates how corrupt the literary establishment’s credentialing agencies – all on the political left – have become. From 2010 to 2013 Guerrero was a Mexico City bureau correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, and Dow Jones Newswires, reporting on Mexico and Central America. Since 2015 she has been an investigative reporter for KPBS in San Diego. Guerrero is a regular contributor to NPR, PBS, Newshour and PRI’s The World, with appearances on MSNBC and CBC among others. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesColumbia Journalism ReviewWired Magazine and other outlets. Guerrero is the winner of the PEN/FUSION Emerging Writers Prize. Her KPBS series America’s Wall won an Emmy.

In Guerrero’s fevered imagination I – an “anti-immigrant white nationalist” created Stephen Miller, and through him, “shaped Trump’s [2016] campaign,” and “was its architect as a central strategy of the new Republican Party.”(Hatemonger, p. 78) Like her whole book this is a brazen invention.

I met Stephen when he was a high school student, and made him the head of my Freedom Center’s modest “Terrorism Awareness Project.” The project’s main achievement was to produce a video about terrorist attacks that was used by the California Joint Task Force on Terror, which was composed of the California Highway Patrol and the FBI. They asked if they could use the film for training purposes.

When Stephen went to Duke University, we made him the head of our Students for Academic Freedom chapter at the school. When he graduated, I recommended him for three congressional staff positions as an exceptionally bright young man. His job with Senator Jeff Sessions led to his appointment as Special Advisor and speechwriter to the Trump campaign, a position I had no hand in.

I told Guerrero in our interview that I had merely recommended Stephen for these congressional positions and had nothing to do with his appointment to the Trump campaign – and then White House. Further, I told her that he was exceptionally bright and his political views were well-developed when I met him, I had little personal contact with him and was not aware that I had any particular influence over his ideas.

Ignoring these facts, Guerrero wrote a malice-laden piece for Politico, promoting her book with the title: “The Man Who Made Stephen Miller.” The subtitle of the article made her purpose in fabricating this story transparent: “Almost 20 years ago, anti-immigration activist David Horowitz cultivated an angry high school student. Now his ideas are coming to life in the Trump administration.”

The purpose of inflating my importance was first to smear me and then to use those lies to smear Miller and Trump. Politico, of course, was a willing accomplice. No fact-checking there.

The reality is this: I have never uttered a sentence or word that is anti-immigrant. On the contrary, as readers of my recent book Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win know, like Miller and Trump I am pro legal immigration and have pointed out the hypocrisy of the charge that the White House is anti-immigrant, therefore “racist,” because the Trump administration has presided over the influx of millions of legal immigrants including hundreds of thousands if not millions of immigrant “people of color.”

Moreover, I am not what any reasonable person would call an “activist” on immigration issues. I have written in support of legal immigration and against illegal immigration but I have done no organizing nor conducted any actions on the immigration front. I have been an “activist” in only two areas – free speech and school choice. All my other activities have been through my writing and editing. Since I have written so much about my activities and work, such lies are not errors but calculated slanders whose purpose is to destroy a political opponent, and by extension a political movement.

Guerrero goes far beyond the usual “guilt by accusation,” by claiming that the portrait she draws of me is based on her reporting of facts gathered through interviews and research. In her “Acknowledgements,” she claims her book is based on 150 interviews and was “fact-checked” by several individuals. In an “Author’s Note,” she describes her methods this way: “I attributed thoughts and quotations to characters when a) they were stated directly to me by the characters, (b) they were recalled to me by sources who were first-hand participants in conversations with those characters and whose accounts could be verified by other sources, and (c) when I found them directly in court documents and other records.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. This meticulous concern for the facts is simply invented to make her fabrications and slanders seem based in reality instead of the malicious thoughts in her head.

Here’s how Guerrero introduces me in her book (Hatemonger, pp. 74-75): “Horowitz ran the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, later renamed The David Horowitz Freedom Center – his School For Political Warfare. The foundation’s website says it ‘sees its role as that of a battle tank, geared to fight a war that many still don’t recognize … the political left has declared war on America and its constitutional system, and is willing to collaborate with America’s enemies abroad and criminals at home to bring America down.”

Guerrero then purports to describe The Freedom Center’s activities – without actually examining them, and calls them racist: “His School for Political Warfare taught white men to wear the armor of persecuted minorities in their fight to save the United States.” This fits Guerrero’s effort to smear Miller and me as white nationalists but it is a pure invention that is the clear opposite of the facts.

Neither I nor any member of or writer for the Center have targeted “white men” as an audience let alone as a constituency. That is Guerrero’s racism – universal among progressives: any criticism of the left qualifies as “racism.” On the contrary, the Freedom Center’s events have supported and given awards to a large array of minority figures – Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Candace Owens, Adrian Fenty, John Bryant. It has championed school choice for minority children and raised tens of thousands of dollars for minority organizations like Operation Hope.

Guerrero’s claim that my political strategy is to pretend that white men are persecuted like people of color is not only ridiculous – who would even try to get away with such a transparent absurdity? – but outrageous, because what I have actually advocated is exactly the opposite of what she claims.

Everything I have written about political strategy is contained in three books easily accessible to Guerrero. Each book is built around the same theme – Republicans must be champions of America’s underdogs, specifically minorities and the poor. This elephant in the room refutes everything Guerrero accuses me of in her book, which is why she ignores the evidence in favor of her bigoted attack on conservative ideas.

The three books in which I have collected my writings on political strategy are: The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits, 2000; How to Beat the Democrats and Other Subversive Ideas, 2002, and Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left, 2014.

This is what I wrote in 2000 in The Art of Political War: “What to Do: … 2. Give Minorities and the Poor a Shot at the American Dream.” This is how I spelled out this principle: “Welfare paternalism, regulations, taxes and quotas, and metastasizing school bureaucracies are oppressing poor people, minorities and children, and cutting off their opportunities. Republican policies and principles – lower taxes, single standards, school choice, secure streets, and individual responsibility provide the necessary rungs in the ladder of success. Empowering minorities, poor people and working Americans by putting the education dollar directly in their hands, either through ‘opportunity scholarships’ or school vouchers, is the most important single legislative step that Republicans can take in liberating them from the chains with which liberals have shackled them.” (Art of Political War, pp. 35-36)

This is what I have done with my political activism: I had access to the Bush White House and personally proposed that they support a $100 billion voucher plan for inner city kids. They declined. I did the same via Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon to the 2016 Trump campaign. They embraced the proposal but it got lost in a welter of other projects and battles. These actions and writings of mine are hardly compatible with the “white nationalist” views Guerrero maliciously attributes to me, Miller and Trump.

In her Politico article, Guerrero cites a strategy paper I sent to Miller, which was called “Go for the Heart.” It was published as a pamphlet and as a chapter of Take No Prisoners – easily available to Guerrero if the truth meant anything to her. But it does not. According to Guerrero “The paper… did not blame Romney’s [2012] loss on any demographic. Horowitz said the problem was failure to vilify the left.” (Hatemonger, p. 130)

Actually not. This, too, is the opposite what I said – something one could tell from the title itself – Go for the Heart. The reason for Romney’s loss, I argued at the very beginning of the paper, was that Romney didn’t convince voters – particularly minority voters – that he cared about them. “At election time,” I wrote “caring” is not one issue among many. It is the central one.” (Take No Prisoners, p.2)

In order to portray me as a white nationalist Guerrero ignores all the passages in which I advised conservatives exactly how to implement such a strategy. For example: “If Republicans want to persuade minorities they care, they have to stand up for them. They have to defend them. They have to show that Democrats are playing them for suckers, that Democrats are exploiting them, oppressing them, and profiting from their suffering.” (Take No Prisoners, p. 18)

To establish the strategic importance of caring, I cited a CNN exit poll that had asked voters: “What is the most important candidate quality to your vote?” CNN had listed four leadership qualities including strong leadership and sharing one’s values. The first three Romney won by 54%. But he lost the fourth – “cares about people” – by a whopping 81-18 percent. Go for the Heart was written to change this deficit in Republican politics. Republicans, I wrote, spoke like accountants. They needed to speak like champions of the oppressed.

Because she doesn’t understand – or has paid no attention to the realities and arguments underlying this point of view, Guerrero describes this as “gaslighting” – which she describes as “emotional abuse” and “psychological warfare to derail victims’ sense of reality.” (Hatemonger, p. 78) In other words, Guerrero’s response to conservative perspectives is, “my mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

This is the way Guerrero cancels a lifetime commitment to equality for black Americans, inspired as it happens by my Communist parents. As I have written in several of my books, beginning with my autobiography, Radical Son, my first civil rights demonstration was in a Communist organized May Day march in 1948. My views on how to achieve equality have changed, but not my passion for achieving it.

My entire political strategy is based on persuading voters, and particularly minority voters who make up a key base of the Democrat vote, that Republicans care about them and Democrats don’t. This is the message of all my writings on political strategy, collected in the three books. You could sum up my entire political career in the fact that I spent the last three decades trying to persuade Republicans to take up the cause of minority communities who were being oppressed by Democrat majorities in America’s inner cities.

All my pleas to Republicans fell on deaf ears until Trump came along. My 2020 book Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win begins with four chapters arguing this point and presenting it as a key to Trump’s success with the voters despite the vilification campaign against him.

It is true that my strategy advice also includes confronting Democrats with the same aggressive tactics they use against conservatives. Democrats call Republicans “racists” and Republicans respond by calling Democrats “liberals.” This is a losing symmetry. My advice to Republicans is to throw the Democrats’ accusations back in their faces – to “fight fire with fire.” The epigraph for Take No Prisoners is a quote from Democrat strategist Chris Lehane: “Everyone has a game plan until you punch them in the mouth.” Democrats punch Republicans in the mouth with the false charge that they are racists. Republicans have no comparable response. My advice was: Expose Democrats as oppressors of minorities and the poor. They’re racists. Call them that.

Not satisfied to utterly misrepresent my strategy for dealing with Democrats, Guerrero, deceitfully describes my “School for Political Warfare” as an effort to train white students to abuse minority students: “In the nineties Horowitz coordinated with right-wing or libertarian lawyers to defend right-wing youths in trouble due to alleged racism, sexism or homophobia…. [Cal State Northridge] was one of several cases Horowitz helped fight, pressuring universities to rewrite sexual harassment and hate speech rules, so that right-wing youths could more freely offend minorities.” (Hatemonger, p. 75)

These are damnable lies. My academic activism has been to defend the rights of all students to be presented with both sides of controversial issues and not be indoctrinated. It also has a powerful free speech dimension: not to be punished for exercising their First Amendment rights. The Academic Bill of Rights I authored protects both leftist and conservative professors from being hired or fired, promoted or demoted, on the basis of their political views. For example, I defended the notorious leftist Ward Churchill when he was fired for an Internet article he wrote. His article called the victims of 9/11 “Nazis” who deserved their fate. It was an exercise of free speech, however repellent, and thus not grounds for firing him. I also defended Bill Maher when his Politically Incorrect show was cancelled after he called the 9/11 attackers heroes and Americans “cowards.”

Because my Academic Bill of Rights was an attempt to protect the Bill of Rights, a resolution affirming its key principles was inserted into the Higher Education Authorization Act by House Speaker John Boehner and was passed by both political parties.

I have a libertarian view of the First Amendment. It is specifically designed to protect speech that some might find offensive. Consequently, I also had my Freedom Center’s legal team defend students on the left as well as the right from being punished or silenced for “offensive” speech. I defended Mexican-American fraternity students at the University of California Riverside, who had designed a T-shirt the left found offensive and were punished by having their fraternity banned for 3 years, which meant the certain death of their club.

In the Riverside case, as in every case we prosecuted, the universities’ own lawyers advised their administrators that their so-called “hate speech rules” were in violation of the First Amendment, and they removed their bans. I reported all of these cases on Frontpagemag.com or in my book Indoctrination U. (2007). The remedy for speech one doesn’t like is not repression but more speech. That’s the American way, something Guerrero obviously needs a remedial course in.

Guerrero’s anti-white, anti-American racism is on display in virtually everything she writes about me. She accuses me, for example, of “romanticizing immoral deeds by white men (Hatemonger, p.78) – such as slavery and genocide.” In the two million words I have published there is not a sentence that would justify this vile claim. I have always condemned slavery, and wrote a book – Uncivil Wars – on that very subject. My apparent crime for Guerrero is pointing out 1) that black Africans were responsible for enslaving all the black Africans shipped to America, and 2) that the American founders – yes, white men – declared for the first time in human history that “all men are created equal” and had a God-given right to liberty, which led to the abolition of slavery.

I have also pointed out that white Americans immediately began freeing the slaves in the northern states, but failed to do so in the southern states because it would lead to a civil war, which the free states might lose (and almost did in the actual Civil War). Nonetheless, 350,000 mainly white Americans eventually gave their lives to free the slaves. Noticing this is hardly “romanticizing immoral deeds by white men.”

Guerrero also slanders me by accusing me of “ignoring the central role of people of color in making once false American ideals of equality and liberty true. Instead, she writes: “he saw this country as a white-forged masterpiece, unfairly demonized by brown hordes.” This is a truly evil invention. I have never used words or expressed sentiments like this. I have never attacked brown people. Indeed, I have Mexican American, Asian and black family members. I have never referred to any racial group as a “horde.”

In fact, I have never characterized a racial group as having one characteristic or trait – which is the kind of racist attitude Guerrero displays about white people. Quite the opposite. I have decried the term “people of color” as itself racist on the grounds that it implies a monolithic viewpoint and commonality of interest between groups that oppress and even murder each other. This is the case with Mexicans descended both from oppressed Indians and their Spanish oppressors who are lumped together as “people of color” – or the parties to the recent Hutu-Tutsi war, which resulted in the massacre of a million black Tutsis by black Hutus.

Guerrero’s malicious portrayal of me as a white racist is not a mistake or oversight. It is a consequence of her racist outlook, which tragically has become a standard outlook on the left. I have written three books containing my views on race: Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes (1999), Uncivil Wars: The Controversy Over Slavery (2001), and Progressive Racism (2016). All of them are devoted to celebrating the vision and leadership of Martin Luther King and praising the Civil Rights Movement and the efforts to achieve equality for all races and particularly American blacks. My current views on race and on what the civil rights movement has become were shaped forty years ago by the black scholar Thomas Sowell through his book Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?

The one book of mine which Guerrero claims to have actually read is Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes. It opens with the description of my visit to Martin Luther King’s memorial in Memphis, and is a lament for the abandonment of King’s ideals by the civil rights movement under the leadership of the race hustlers Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. I was particularly disturbed by the tribute in the memorial to the lunatic Elijah Muhammad, murderer of Malcolm X and leader of the largest racist organization in America. Guerrero ignores this.

At my Restoration Weekend – the same at which Governor Ron DeSantis spoke – I have given awards to black leaders, such as Adrian Fenty, the former Democrat mayor of Washington DC, whom I honored for championing inner city kids’ quest for educational equality, and to Operation Hope founder John Bryant, for his work to create economic equality for blacks. I have never slighted let alone ignored the movement that gave birth to the historic Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, but held it up as a model of what a political protest movement should be.

Guerrero’s attack on me is apparently based on my opposition to the current racism of her political friends on the anti-white, anti-American left. I have indeed pointed out that there is a war on “whiteness” and on white America generally, as anyone with two eyes can see. But I have never done what feminists have done, for example, which is to conflate prejudice against women with the history of this country’s persecution of blacks. This cultural appropriation of black suffering is offensive in the extreme. There is nothing in women’s history comparable to the suffering of blacks under slavery, segregation and Jim Crow discrimination. As for white people, despite the fact that they are under attack they are not by any stretch of the imagination an oppressed “minority.”

In all these comments, Guerrero’s political hatreds are on nauseating display. The only principle guiding her writing is to smear me as a white racist, and grossly exaggerate my influence on Miller and Trump. Her motive in demonizing me is transparent in her claim that through Stephen Miller I shaped the Trump campaign and White House. In fact, Trump wrote about his support for inner city minorities and the school choice movement in his 2000 book The America We Deserve, before I ever heard of Stephen Miller. Though I applaud Trump’s achievements for civil rights, I had nothing to do with his honoring Martin Luther King with a national park, or his decisive role in passing the Criminal Justice Reform Act – long desired by the black community and ignored by the Democrats – the Opportunity Zones he created with Tim Scott and his unprecedented support for Historically Black Colleges. The racist slanders against me, like the racist slanders against Trump supporters, are mini-versions of the slanders intended to vilify and destroy America’s 45th president.

Jean Guerrero is a typical “woke” journalist: an anti-American racist and a pathological liar. As a result, her “reporting” is worthless – a clumsy fiction at best, but a poisonous one throughout. A free press – once a pillar of America’s democracy – is for the moment dead in our beleaguered country. This is a national tragedy because a free press is the main bulwark against the incipient fascism of a political left which no longer is content to contend with its opposition but actively seeks to criminalize and suppress it.

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