ABC’s Nightline on Thursday night did a “deep dive” into the world of “ultra-conservative,” “far-right” mobs in Europe and connected Donald Trump to the continent’s “history of hate.” ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman seemed to go out of his way to say “far right” as much as possible and blur the line between regular conservatives and bigots.
Starting in Europe, he warned, “[w]hat was supposed to be a celebration of Poland's Independence day engulfed by tens of thousands of right-wing demonstrators, chanting slurs.” After showing racist signs, he played loose with the term conservatism: “Across Europe, this ultra-conservative rhetoric now seeping out of the fringes and into the mainstream. We all know about Europe's dark history of hate."
History of hate? Get it? Nazis?
He added, "Following the migration crisis, there's been a resurgence in right-wing thought.”
Anchor Dan Harris fretted about the “far-right rising.” Far-right, ultra-conservatism? It’s all the same thing, right? Later, Longman connected Donald Trump to the groups he covered:
And yesterday that message amplified with a click of a button. This time in the United States. When President Trump tweeted a string of inflammatory videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
Nightline has shown a fascination with highlighting fringe groups and trying to make some grand point. In January of 2014, the show devoted 30 minutes to white and black bigots who want to “hang a couple bankers.”
A partial transcript is below:
11/30/17-12/1/17 (on east coast)
DAN HARRIS: Tonight, far-right rising? We are traveling across Europe, capturing a growing movement.
JAMES LONGMAN: This is what European nationalism looks like. It's angry, it's loud, it's on the rise.
HARRIS: Their mission, they say, is to preserve their heritage. But what's really behind this?
JOE MULLHALL: Their ideas are fundamentally rooted in European fascist thought. They are racist. They are Islamophobic.
HARRIS: How the European Identitarian movement is tied to American nationalists.
HARRIS: Amid uproar over President Trump's retweets of a far-right anti-Muslim group in the U.K. we are taking a deep dive into the growing and ominous influence of nationalist movements in Europe. ABC’s James Longman travels into the world of so-called identitarians.
JAMES LONGMAN: This is Poland in 2017. And there are dark clouds descending upon its capital. What was supposed to be a celebration of Poland's Independence day engulfed by tens of thousands of right-wing demonstrators, chanting slurs. Signs reading white Europe, and clean blood. This is what European nationalism looks like. It's angry. It's loud and it's on the rise. Across Europe, this ultra-conservative rhetoric now seeping out of the fringes and into the mainstream. We all know about Europe's dark history of hate. Following the migration crisis, there's been a resurgence in right-wing thought.
MAN: This is the culture we have in Europe, we don't have an Islam culture here.
LONGMAN: Nationalists are getting back into mainstream politics. From the streets of Germany to packed stadiums in France, battling to regain what they say their countries are losing.
MARINE LE PEN: [Translated.] Our national identity is under siege.
LONGMAN: Their traditional identity, their culture, their heritage.
MAN: They should be hung for treason.
LONGMAN: And yesterday that message amplified with a click of a button. This time in the United States. When President Trump tweeted a string of inflammatory videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
REPORTER: Mr. President, why have you been retweeting anti-muslim videos?
LONGMAN: The three videos originally shared by an anti-Islam ultra-nationalist party Britain first, a group known for hate-filled incitement. Jada Franzen, the group's deputy leader, then thanked the president.
JAYDA FRANSEN: I’d like to start by saying how delighted I am that as the leader of the free world you took the time to retweet three of my videos. Donald Trump retweeted three of my tweets because he wanted to raise awareness on issues regarding immigration and lack of border control.
LONGMAN: The embassy of the Netherlands saying the attacker was actually Dutch. Tweeting to the President, “Facts do matter.” Yet the White House doubled down denying the President was pushing anti-Muslim propaganda.
REPORTER: So, it doesn't matter if the video is fake?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I'm not talking about the nature of the video, I think you're focusing on the wrong thing.
LONGMAN: Making a case for national security.
SANDERS: The threat is real, that's what the president is talking about. Is the need for national security, the need for military spending, and those are very real things. There's nothing fake about that.
LONGMAN: This is a refrain that echoed throughout our trip across Europe. We're on our way to Graz in southern Austria. It’s actually a part of the country which has quite a long history of right-wing extremism.
LONGMAN: This is the Keleti train station. It was here a couple of years ago that thousands of migrants and refugees from North Africa and parts of the middle East were stopped from making their way further into Europe. Pictures of people crammed onto trains and waiting outside made headlines around the world. I think it was those pictures that really crystalized the idea amongst the far right and their supporters that Europe was somehow under attack. These images bolstering the right-wing party already in office, the country becoming a de facto base for right-wing thinkers from across Europe. What we're discovering is there's kind of two groups in this kind of right-wing movement in Europe. There's the kind of young guys,
young activists, like the Identitarians that we met in Austria. And then there are the bigger players, the bigger thinkers if you like. One of them is Daniel Freeberg. Earlier this year, Friburg partnered in a website venture with Richard Spencer, the self-proclaimed white nationalists.