Former Neo-Nazi recruiter Frank Meeink says that Fox News has radicalized millions of Americans towards right-wing extremism, comparing the rhetoric on the cable news network to the language and propaganda that aired during the Rwandan civil war and genocide in the 1990s.
“Fox News has completely radicalized so many Americans,” Meeink told CNN’s Pamela Brown on Saturday. “If you look at Fox News and then you compare that to hate radio from Rwanda, and what started that civil war, there’s comparisons there. We have to know that a lot of our fellow Americans, our fellow children of God, have been radicalized by a network of news.”
After being radicalized into Nazism as a teen, Meeink served three years in prison on assault and kidnapping charges. During his sentence, he befriended many Black inmates and renounced white supremacism. He has since become an activist against hate groups, speaking at high schools about radicalization and releasing the book “Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead” in 2010.
“As a former radical, I can tell you, from watching Fox News all day, I can show you where they’re saying radical stuff that I used to say,” he warned. “They use the same stuff, instead of when I would say ‘Jews,’ they say ‘Big Media.’ They just swapped out a couple of words here and there.”
Beyond Fox News, Meeink criticized QAnon conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump’s rhetoric after the 2020 election, pointing out that Federico Klein, one of the insurrectionists that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and who has since been arrested, was a member of Trump’s State Department and had security clearances.
“The neo-Nazi stuff that I belonged to is manifested in the QAnon, in the Proud Boys…when I see what I used to be, I see it in QAnon, I see it in the Proud Boys,” Meeink said. “Racism always just recycles itself. We can’t be the KKK anymore, so they can’t be neo-Nazi anymore. Now they are Proud Boys. It’s remarketing hate.”
Watch Meeink’s interview in the clip above.