New York Times Nazi

Newspaper Publishes Profile About White Supremacist


The New York Times displays a picture of Tony Hovator on their website.

Ellie Coppock, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

On Saturday, November 26, 2017 The New York Times published an article about a self-proclaimed white nationalist that lives in New Carlisle, Ohio named Tony Hovator. In the article, Richard Fausset, the author, made the Nazi sympathizer seem “normal.” Readers everywhere were enraged by the story. The next day, The New York Times has released a new article that addresses the backlash.

In the follow-up article, The New York Times stated, “Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article. The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.” The problem with this mindset is that these articles are what normalize hate. This article in particular, is featured on a very popular news outlet.

Next, The New York Times stated, “Some readers also criticized the article for including a link to a webpage that sells swastika armbands. This was intended to show the darker reality beyond the anodyne language of the website. But we saw the criticism, agreed and removed the link.” The link should have never been there in the first place. That link indirectly encourages people to purchase the product. That is not acceptable.

The New York Times also added some quotes from the critics of the article. The New York Times stated, “’You know who had nice manners?’ Bess Kalb, a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, said on Twitter. ‘The Nazi who shaved my uncle Willie’s head before escorting him into a cement chamber where he locked eyes with children as their lungs filled with poison and they suffocated to death in agony. Too much? Exactly. That’s how you write about Nazis.’” Kalb is right. When talking about Nazis and all of the horrible things they have done and continue to do, an author must show what is the truth. Showing them as a normal person is not the truth.

The article also featured another critical quote: “’Instead of long, glowing profiles of Nazis/white nationalists, why don’t we profile the victims of their ideologies?’  asked Karen Attiah, an editor at The Washington Post. ‘Why not a piece about the mother of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in Charlottesville? Follow-ups on those who were injured? Or how PoC are coping?’” While articles like this one normalize vile behavior, people are suffering because it and have no voice to change anything. We should not give a disgusting man like Hovator a platform when all he stands for is hate and discrimination.

Hovater, his wife, and her brother, were all let go from their employment at The 571 Grill and Draft House near New Carlisle after the restaurant received an onslaught of messages after the article was published.