Breitbart pushes back on ‘alt-right’ label

Breitbart pushes back on ‘alt-right’ label
© Greg Nash

The conservative publication Breitbart this weekend pushed back against being labeled "alt-right," after CNN host Don Lemon ripped the network as a "platform the alt-right."

Stephen Bannon, founding member of the board for the online media company and now former White House chief strategist, also referred to Breitbart as "the platform for the alt-right" in a July 2016 interview with Mother Jones reporter Sarah Posner.

Reporter Tony Lee on Saturday defended the publication, citing a Harvard/MIT study that found Breitbart was not alt-right, and used an alternative quote from executive chairman Bannon explaining his own beliefs, which Lee argued has been taken out of context. 

“I’m an economic nationalist. I am an 'America first' guy. And I have admired nationalist movements throughout the world, have said repeatedly strong nations make great neighbors,” Bannon told The Wall Street Journal last year, Breitbart noted.

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“I’ve also said repeatedly that the ethno-nationalist movement, prominent in Europe, will change over time. I’ve never been a supporter of ethno-nationalism," he continued. 

The publication's defensive posture comes days after Bannon left his White House post and returned to lead the publication. 

The publication has cheered Bannon's return.

“The populist-nationalist movement got a lot stronger today,” Breitbart's News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow said. 

“Breitbart gained an executive chairman with his finger on the pulse of the Trump agenda," he continued. 

The president has faced intense backlash over the past week for his response to the violence that erupted in Charlottesville last weekend after a white supremacist rally. Trump held "many sides" responsible for the violence, rather than blaming the rally's organizers.

The alt-right label is often applied to white supremacist, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.