A Holocaust-denying group’s podcast faked an interview with Bob Hall, a Republican state senator in Texas, causing a ripple in the media world this week that started with a retraction from Media Matters for America and culminated in the episode’s removal by YouTube on Wednesday.
YouTube pulled the faked interview with Barnes Review History Hour host Ed DeVries around 12:50 p.m. PT, shortly after TheWrap reached out to the Google-owned video site for comment. The video link now includes the statement: “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
According to a rep for YouTube, “Our policies don’t allow content that has been manipulated in a way that misleads users and poses serious risk of harm.”
On Tuesday, the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America issued a retraction after publishing a story on the interview and writing that Hall “complained about critical race theory on the program of a white nationalist, pro-Hitler outlet that denies the Holocaust.” The retraction said the interview was faked by the podcast in question, “The Barnes Review History Hour.”
“Earlier today, Media Matters published a story stating that Texas state Sen. Bob Hall had ‘appeared on the program of a white nationalist, pro-Hitler outlet that denies the Holocaust.’ After publication, we were made aware that the program in question — ‘The Barnes Review History Hour’ (‘TBR History Hour’) — had faked the interview, falsely claiming they had interviewed Hall by splicing in previous interviews Hall had given to other outlets and making it seem like he was responding to questions from TBR,” the retraction read. “We have pulled the story and apologize for the error.”
A representative for the senator confirmed to TheWrap that the interview was “fake” — though clips of Barnes pulled from other interviews do include him discussing critical race theory and comparing it to “garbage.”
The representative added, “The interview with the individual in the story never occurred. It was pulled from different legitimate podcast interviews that Senator Hall participated in, spliced, and then pawned off as original content.”
Hall’s “interview” was also pulled from the Barnes Review website on Wednesday shortly after TheWrap reached out for comment. Reached by phone at the number listed on the Barnes Review website, a man who identified himself as Paul Angel said he was not aware the interview had been faked and would not have allowed it to be published otherwise. “I have no idea because the guy does the interview and puts them up,” he said.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Barnes Review was named for a prominent 20th-century Holocaust denier and “is one of the most virulent anti-Semitic organizations around.”
So, Media Matters was correct on the points that the Barnes Review features Holocaust denial stories and that Hall has spoken against critical race theory — it’s just that those two facts are more unrelated than the faux interview would lead listeners (and Media Matters staffers) to believe.
Angel objected to his publication being labeled as “Holocaust-denying.” When asked about articles on the website with headlines like, “Why the Holocaust Story Was Invented,” he insisted the Barnes Review is a “neutral observer” that presents “scientific stuff” on the issue, before asking, “Are we not allowed to talk about the Holocaust anymore? Why not?”