National Press Club Cancels Alt-Right Press Conference

Blake Neff, Daily Caller, September 7, 2016

The National Press Club (NPC) has canceled a planned Friday press conference featuring several members of the alt-right, just hours after the event was announced.

The National Policy Institute (NPI) had booked NPC’s First Amendment Room for three hours Friday to host a press conference featuring three leading figures from the so-called “alt-right,” a mostly online political movement opposing multiculturalism and political correctness, as well as mainstream conservatism. Along with NPI’s Richard Spencer, the event was to include VDare.com editor Peter Brimelow and American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor.

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“What is this movement, which has been called ‘dangerous,’ ‘radical,’ and ‘fearsomely intelligent’ by its observers?” the conference’s Eventbrite page said. “How has the Alt Right–born on the Internet in the past eight years–attracted so many passionate fans and critics and become a force in American politics in such a short period of time?”

But now the conference is in limbo, as NPC abruptly canceled NPI’s reservation Wednesday afternoon, forcing it to seek out a new location.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to NPC for an explanation of the cancellation, but did not immediately receive a reply. NPI, for its part, claims the cancellation was an effort to censor their views, and denounced NPC accordingly.

“The press club gave no indication that they would cancel or were uncomfortable with the event,” NPI program manager Hannibal Bateman said in a statement given to TheDCNF. “While they are a private entity, it’s a bit ironic to disinvite us from a ‘First Amendment’ lounge. Ultimately it shows our views are having an impact and the powers that be don’t want to hear dissent.”

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[Editor’s Note: In 2015, the executive director of the National Press Club, Bill McCarren, told Salon that “For 108 years, the National Press Club has provided a forum for people to have their say and to take questions from the press.” He called the club “an open public forum” and said he could not think of a person or group which the club had ever rejected.]

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