Presidential Campaign Brings the Alt-Right Out of the Shadows

Leigh Ann Caldwell, NBC News, August 26, 2016

The alt-right, a mostly anonymous internet subculture, has been introduced to the mainstream thanks to the 2016 presidential campaign.

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In the span of 24 hours, the words alt-right and discussion about it blanketed 24-hour cable news, it was covered in every major mainstream news outlet from NBC News to the New York Times to Vice News to the Voice of America.

What ensued was piqued interest in what the alt-right is. Google Analytics shows that searches for the term “alt right” hit peak popularity Thursday after she gave her speech–but interest started to spike the morning of–the day the term blanketed news coverage.

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Jared Taylor, the editor of American Renaissance, a “race realist white advocacy group,” said Clinton has done the alt-right “a big favor.”

“She has called attention to our movement, and we’re perfectly pleased that she should do so,” Taylor told NBC News. “The fact that she’s calling attention to people who have very thoughtful things to say about problems for which the prevailing orthodoxy has no solutions, yes, we’re grateful to her for that.”

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For his part, Trump denies familiarity with the alt-right, saying on CNN Thursday, “Nobody even knows what it is.”

After this week, more people than ever do.

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