Right Richter: Cast of Characters
Along with the likes better-known figures like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, Right Richter covers some figures that are lesser-known but still have a good amount of influence on Donald Trump’s new right.
The Alt Right: A nebulous collection of groups with sometimes overlapping groups they oppose. Anti-feminist, anti-“globalist,” and sometimes anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, and racist.
Steve Bannon: White House chief strategist Bannon is maybe more interesting because of his former role as head of Breitbart, which has quickly become a favorite media source for Trump. The site, with its attacks on Bannon’s rivals, can double as a look inside his thinking — although Bannon is officially disconnected from its operation.
The Proud Boys and Gavin McInnes: Vice co-founder and former Fox News contributor McInnes has reinvented himself as the head of the “Proud Boys,” a “Western chauvinist” fraternity. Initiations include beatdowns until a prospect can name five types of cereal and restrictions on masturbation.
“Cucks”: For a while, “cuck”—a shortening of “cuckold,” a man whose wife is cheating on him—was the favorite insult on the Trump right. Along with a general implied weakness, “cuckold” is also a pornographic genre that often involves (safe for work) a black man having sex with a white woman, making it especially appealing for right-wing figures who want to accuse more moderate figures of selling out the white race.
Mike Cernovich: After making his debut with becoming a figure in the Gamergate movement, Cernovich — a sort of throwback hyper-masculine figure—has now moved into broader Trumpism with his Twitter account and endless, agitated Twitter broadcasts.
But Cernovich’s large alimony payments from his ex-wife, and refusal to engage with more extreme figures on issues like anti-Semitism, has drawn ire from detractors who call him “Mike Cuckovich.”
In his latest effort, Cernovich is selling “nootropics” — brain pills hawked by various alt right figures. Ominously, they’re dubbed “Gorilla Mind.”
James O’Keefe: O’Keefe, the undercover video trickster famous for taking down ACORN while dressed as an exaggerated pimp, has hit rougher times lately. While O’Keefe still manages to heat up right-wing media sometimes with his video stings, he manages to flop just as often — including a recent mishap where his operatives blew their cover by failing to hang up in a call to a target’s voicemail and recording their plans.
“Baked Alaska”: Timothy “Baked Alaska” Treadstone has emerged as one of the alt right’s more extreme figures. A former BuzzFeed employee, of all things, Treadstone had a falling out with less racially crazed figures like Mike Cernovich after Cernovich forbade Nazi salutes at their alt right inauguration party, the DeploraBall.
Milo Yiannopoulos: Former Breitbart editor Yiannopoulos managed to climb out of his career as a Gamergate provocateur into a position of huge alt right prominence — only to blow it in February when videos surfaced of him making strangely positive comments about pedophiles.
But Yiannopoulos is likely just biding his time, and the online right has been furiously cooking up justifications for his fall from grace.
Lucian Wintrich: The White House correspondent for right-wing hoax blog Gateway Pundit has Bertie Wooster’s aesthetics and Yiannopoulos’s instincts for provocation. The organizer of “Twinks 4 Trump” is set to get a much larger profile thanks to his new White House press pass.
InfoWars and Alex Jones: As a prominent 9/11 and Sandy Hook shooting conspiracy theorist, Jones and his media outlet, InfoWars, would have seemed far outside the GOP just a few years ago. But Trump appeared on Jones’s show during the campaign, and Trump’s staff reportedly shows the President InfoWars stories to buoy his spirits.