MINNEAPOLIS — While the alternative media outlet Vice is associated with reporting on a decidedly liberal flavor of the American and international counterculture, one of its original co-founders is today a strong supporter of Donald Trump and his extremely conservative agenda.
Along with Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, Gavin McInnes founded a small independent magazine, the “Voice of Montreal,” in 1994, which would be rechristened “Vice” in 1996. By 2008, Vice had grown into a media empire that includes a popular website, a separate “Vice News” brand for journalism, a music label, and an HBO program. However, citing “creative differences,” McInnes announced his departure from the media brand in January 2008.
Since parting ways with Vice, McInnes, who now hosts an online program, “The Gavin McInnes Show,” and serves as a frequent Fox News contributor, has come under fire for transphobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric. And now he’s lending his support to Trump, the controversial GOP frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination.
On Dec. 7, Trump called for a ban on all Muslim immigrants entering the United States in response to the Dec. 2 San Bernardino shooting. Russell Berman, writing for The Atlantic, noted:
“Trump has built his campaign juggernaut on the premise that he is willing to flout all standards of political correctness, drawing the support of Americans fearful of immigrants and favoring a muscular response to Islamic terrorism.”
Trump also drew criticism for his support of a debunked myth that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — a claim he has repeated during multiple media appearances following the November attacks on Paris.
In a Dec. 8 appearance on NewsMax TV, McInnes declared that although he previously supported Ted Cruz for president, he had “crossed over to the dark side” to support Trump after the San Bernardino shooting.
Lamenting that people in Paris were in a civil state of mourning following the November attacks in the city and other GOP candidates’ comparatively liberal policies on immigration and refugees, he declared, “We need to swing the pendulum away from tolerance and towards irrational behavior.”
“They’re all wimps,” McInnes declared of the other Republican presidential hopefuls, including Cruz. “When Trump says something with hubris and courage and bravery that sounds like the real America, they cower in fear.”
Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric is also garnering support from another, perhaps more unexpected source. Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the group commonly known as ISIS) closely follows him, according to Rita Katz, an intelligence analyst who follows the terrorist group on social media. On Dec. 8, she told NBC News, “They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric,” adding:
“They follow everything Donald Trump says … When he says, ‘No Muslims should be allowed in America,’ they tell people, ‘We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.'”
David Phillips, director of the Program on Peace-Building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, concurred, telling NBC, “Trump’s incendiary anti-Muslim comments will surely be used by ISIS social media to demonize the United States and attract recruits to fight in Iraq and Syria.”
Watch “Gavin McInnes discusses his provocative take on the California terror attack” from NewsMaxTV: