News and Commentary

YouTube Bans Former CRTV Host Gavin McInnes

On Monday, YouTube banned Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, who had almost a quarter-million subscribers on the channel. A statement on McInnes’ YouTube channel’s page said it had been deleted for copyright infringement, according to the Daily Beast.

McInnes had already been banned by various social media platforms; in August, Twitter suspended his account just before a “Unite the Right” rally in Washington, D.C.; at the end of October, Facebook and Twitter banned McInnes and Facebook groups affiliated with the Proud Boys, one day after the Daily Beast reported:

McInnes used his account to draw up publicity for his infamous Oct. 12 speech at a New York Republican club, which ended with his Proud Boy followers brawling in the street with left-wing activists. To promote his speech, which celebrated the decades-old murder of a Japanese socialist, McInnes posted pictures of himself on Instagram in racist “Asian eyes” glasses. In the aftermath of the event, McInnes—who recently made his account private—posted a picture of the Japanese assassination with a Nike slogan superimposed over it: “Just do it.”

On Saturday, The Blaze announced McInnes would not be working with them, although roughly one week before the outlet had announced he would be hosting a show.

As the Daily Beast reported:

McInnes, who before becoming an alt-right darling was best known for co-founding Vice, was poised to host “Get Off My Lawn,” a show that was reportedly similar to his “Get Off My Lawn” podcast. BlazeTV co-president, Gaston Mooney, had previously touted McInnes as a “provocateur,” telling CNN that he was “one of the many varied voices and viewpoints on Blaze Media platforms.”

In mid-November, The Washington Post reported that a Washington state sheriff’s office had issued a report saying the FBI considered the Proud Boys to be an extremist group. The office of Clark County Sheriff Chuck E. Atkins said in the report, “The FBI categorizes the Proud Boys as an extremist group with ties to White Nationalism. The FBI has warned local law enforcement that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest and that some in the group have contributed to the escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses.”

But last week, The Oregonian reported that according to Oregon’s top FBI agent, the FBI had not designated the Proud Boys as an extremist group. Special Agent in Charge Renn Cannon told reporters that the FBI never intended to designate the Proud Boys as an extremist group when it briefed Clark County law enforcement leaders about regional threats.

Cannon continued vis-a-vis the Proud Boys, the FBI “tried to characterize the potential threat from individuals within that group,” adding that the FBI doesn’t designate groups but does investigate violent conspiracies. He stated, “We do not intend and did not intend to designate the group as extremist … I can see where Clark County representatives came to that conclusion. That was not our intention. That’s not what we do. We will not open a case if someone belongs to antifa or even the Proud Boys. There has to be a credible allegation or a threat of violence before someone opens a case.’’