The Listening Post

Charlottesville: White supremacy and the White House

The Charlottesville fallout and what to make of Trump’s views on white supremacy. Plus, how China manages the message.

On The Listening Post this week: How the Charlottesville fallout has drawn US President Donald Trump out on the far right. Plus, how China manages the message before the 19th Congress.

Charlottesville: White supremacy and the White House

When hundreds of far-right protesters gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia last week it was ostensibly to protect a statue, a symbol. They were also out to assert themselves on the public stage, in front of the news cameras.

They were met force that didn’t come from the police. And when a car rammed into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters, killing one and injuring many more, the recriminations were swift. The driver of the car reportedly had links to a neo-Nazi movement called Vanguard America, and within 48 hours of the killing, the web hosting service used by the movement dropped the group at the insistence of online activists. Another neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, was dumped by its host, following a wave of complaints online about a deeply offensive story the site published on the woman killed by the car driver.

But with the mixed, coded messages coming out of the Trump White House, how has US President Donald Trump’s messaging emboldened the far-right project?


Sarah Posner, investigative fund, Nation Institute
Angelo Carusone, president, Media Matters for America
Shuja Haider, Viewpoint Magazine
Osamudia James, law professor, Miami University Law School
Andrew Marantz, contributing editor, the New Yorker

On our radar

  • The Iranian government is stepping up its intimidation game towards exiled journalists not toeing Tehran’s line – freezing the assets of 152 BBC Persian journalists.
  • A Swedish journalist has disappeared under mysterious circumstances after boarding a home-built submarine in Denmark.
  • Political satire has crossed one of those red lines in Iraq that authorities don’t want crossed – this time, the political comedy came from The Al Basheer Show.

China: Xuanchuan (propaganda) overdrive

As China’s ruling Communist Party gears up for its 19th Congress in a couple of months, President Xi Jinping is calling on the country’s media to play their part in touting his grand vision for China.

The propaganda machine is also trying to shape the conversation on social media. Censors are vetting political jokes and commentary. New laws are restricting who can distribute news, and which VPNs (virtual private networks) can be used to circumvent the “great firewall” of China.

The Listening Post‘s Meenakshi Ravi reports on control and censorship in China before the 19th Party Congress.


Chang Ping, former news director, Southern Weekend
Steve Tsang, professor, SOAS China Institute
Benjamin Haas, Beijing correspondent, The Guardian
Xiaoling Zhang, Nottingham University