The topic of radical Islam’s link to terrorism is certainly a contentious one, with myriad reporters and commentators sharing their opinions on the matter online. One would think that Breitbart, a popular right-wing news website, wouldn’t mind its reporters expressing extreme right-of-center views. However, one Breitbart reporter has been shown the door after firing off a series of Tweets that even conservatives considered to be a step too far.
— Katie McHugh🇺🇸 (@k_mcq) June 5, 2017
Katie McHugh worked as a reporter for Breitbart, the online newspaper founded by the late Andrew Breitbart. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the London Bridge, Katie Tweeted that “[the UK wouldn’t have terror attacks] if Muslims didn’t live there.” While almost 8,000 people liked the Tweet, Breitbart didn’t share their fondness for McHugh’s inflammatory remark. Breitbart’s editor-in-chief Alex Marlow announced that McHugh had been dismissed from the organization on June 5th.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 4, 2017
Breitbart really rose to prominence during the 2016 presidential race. While the publication had enjoyed some popularity among conservatives prior to the election, it was the website’s positive treatment of President Donald Trump and his campaign that catapulted it into the public eye.
#PrayForNice to strip all Muslims of French citizenship, deport them all, close the borders to non-Europeans, & reject 'multiculturalism.'
— Katie McHugh🇺🇸 (@k_mcq) July 14, 2016
Controversial conservative speaker and author Milo Yiannopoulos got his start writing for the site, where he oftentimes sparked outrage for his editorials, which frequently bashed feminists, fat activists and pro-Islamic activists. Hillary Clinton even publicly condemned Yiannopoulos and Breitbart at a campaign stop, citing such headlines as “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” as why the entire pro-Trump side was, in her words, “deplorable.”
Massive security and surveillance programs still fail. Only solution is exclusion of Muslims from the West. https://t.co/ZNoqhttafS
— Katie McHugh🇺🇸 (@k_mcq) June 12, 2016
However, Yiannopoulos would later resign in disgrace from Breitbart, after old audio from an interview with comedian Joe Rogan started circulating on social media. In the interview, Yiannopoulos seemed to speak fondly of his experience being sexually molested as a child and suggested that the age of consent should be lowered to 14. Yiannopoulos maintains that his split from the news organization was an amicable one and continues to post articles from the website on his Facebook page.
Funny how Europeans assimilated, unlike Third Worlders demanding welfare while raping, killing Americans. https://t.co/n1iqggqlwb
— Katie McHugh🇺🇸 (@k_mcq) September 17, 2015
McHugh hasn’t been as gracious about her termination as Yiannopoulos has been about his resignation. The reporter has lashed out against her former employer, stating that she was fired for “telling the truth about Islam.”
“I said nothing wrong. As President Trump says, if we don’t get smart it will only get worse,” McHugh said in a comment to CNN.
This wasn’t the first time that McHugh has Tweeted something inflammatory about a minority group. She once Tweeted that “Mexicans wrecked Mexico” and that Mexican-Americans “think the USA will magically cure them of their retarded dysfunction.” The Southern Poverty Law Center had previously identified McHugh specifically, alleging that she was a racist and a figurehead of the Alt-Right.
McHugh claims to have mounting medical bills related to an undisclosed illness. A supporter of McHugh has set up a campaign for the reporter on the crowdfunding website WeSearchr. At press time, the campaign has raised almost $3,500 of its $10,000 goal. The campaign implores people to donate in order to “support Katie and send a message to Breitbart, the liberal media and apologists for Islamic terrorism.”
Supporters of McHugh maintain that the reporter was terminated for speaking freely, while her detractors claim that she was justifiably let go for being a racist. McHugh had condemned comedian Kathy Griffin for her photo series that depicted her holding President Trump’s decapitated head, calling for CNN to fire Griffin from her job as the host of their New Year’s Eve special. Perhaps McHugh didn’t anticipate that she would find herself at the center of yet another controversial debate over what constitutes hate speech versus what constitutes free speech.