A Daily Caller Editor Wrote for an ‘Alt-Right’ Website Using a Pseudonym
Scott Greer, an editor and columnist at the Caller, also wrote as “Michael McGregor” for Radix Journal, the publication associated with the “alt-right” figure Richard Spencer.
Updated at 5:29 p.m. ET
The former Daily Caller writer and editor Scott Greer has severed all ties with the conservative website after acknowledging that he had written under a pseudonym for the white-supremacist Radix Journal.
Greer, who stepped down as an editor at The Daily Caller in June to write a book, said he would drop his contributor status last week after The Atlantic confronted him with leaked chat logs that showed he had spent some of his time at the website also writing as “Michael McGregor” for Radix, the online publication founded by the “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer, who wants to turn America into a white ethno-state.
The Atlantic last week was the first to report ties between a former Department of Homeland Security official, Ian Smith, and a group of known white nationalists, including Spencer. Greer’s role at Radix offers yet another glimpse into how members of an underground white-nationalist scene—emboldened by the rise of Donald Trump during the 2016 election—were able to operate relatively undetected in conservative institutions.
Greer expressed racist antiblack views and anti-Semitism in the Radix articles he wrote under the Michael McGregor byline, and disparaged other groups including feminists, immigrants, Christian Zionists, and the pro-life movement. In an interview with the website Social Matter in 2014, the same year Greer started working at The Daily Caller, Michael McGregor was identified as the managing editor of Radix.
In a statement acknowledging writing for Radix, Greer said that his views have changed since he stopped writing for the journal in 2015. “In my early twenties when it appeared our only mainstream options were Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, I was attracted to more radical ideas and expressed them under the name Michael McGregor at Radix Journal,” Greer wrote. “As the political situation has evolved in recent years, so have my views. That said, I do not apologize for honestly stating what I believed to be correct at the time, unless everyone must apologize every time they change their opinion. I stopped writing for Radix in 2015. My tweets and Daily Caller columns are my honest views. The Daily Caller was unaware of my outside writings. I already stepped down as an editor from The Daily Caller in June to focus on writing a book. I am now resigning any affiliation with The Caller. However, I will continue to promote my views without any shame or regret.”
Greer’s ties to white nationalists have attracted notice before, particularly by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which issued a report last year titled “The Daily Caller Has A White Nationalist Problem.” He has been photographed among the Wolves of Vinland, a neo-pagan group that has ties to the white-nationalist movement, and has been photographed alongside the white-nationalist activists Devin Saucier and Marcus Epstein, the former Tom Tancredo and Pat Buchanan aide who assaulted a black woman in Washington, D.C., in 2007. “Despite his attempts to hide it, Daily Caller deputy editor Scott Greer has questionable ties to many younger members of the white nationalist movement,” according to the SPLC report.
Asked for comment about Greer’s work for Radix Journal while he worked at The Daily Caller, the website’s editor in chief, Geoffrey Ingersoll, passed on a statement from The Daily Caller’s co-founder and publisher Neil Patel saying the site would no longer publish Greer.
Patel said the Caller was skeptical of the SPLC report last year “because of their history of unfair attacks,” and had asked Greer about the group’s findings, which he denied. “We had two choices: Fire a young man because of some photos taken of him at metal shows in college, or take his word. We chose to trust him,” Patel said. “Now, if what you allege is accurate, we know that trust was a mistake, we know he lied to us. We won’t publish him, anyone in these circles, or anyone who thinks like them. People who associate with these losers have no business writing for our company.”
Earlier this year, Greer had been chosen for a Novak Fellowship, a prestigious program for conservative journalists organized by the Fund for American Studies. But he's no longer participating: Reached by email, Daniel McCarthy, the fellowship's director, said Greer withdrew late last week. "He said that your article was forthcoming, and when I asked him what it was about, he revealed his writing for Radix. Once we found out about his racist writings, we would have revoked the fellowship ourselves." Greer had "failed to disclose his pseudonymous and prejudiced writing when he applied," McCarthy said. "Had he done so, he would not have been considered for a fellowship."
Greer’s last byline at The Daily Caller was on July 23. Greer was the deputy editor at the site, where he wrote opinion columns from the right on news topics. His columns on Harvey Weinstein and the violence in Charlottesville were cited by The New York Times. The Washington Post quoted him on Facebook censoring political speech. Greer is also the author of a book, No Campus for White Men, for which the disgraced former Breitbart News tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos wrote the foreword.
Greer’s day-to-day work was much less controversial at The Daily Caller, which has been a key voice in the conservative online media since its founding by Tucker Carlson and Patel in 2010. The Caller has published moderate voices and been the springboard for respected reporters, but has had its brushes with controversy. The site backtracked and fired its opinion editor last year after he brought in Yiannopoulos, by then fired from Breitbart due to controversial comments he had made about pedophilia, to write a weekly column. Also last year, the Caller published a piece by Jason Kessler, a white supremacist, about a pro-Confederate monument rally without disclosing that Kessler was involved in the event. He would later organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that led to the death of a counterprotester.
The online chat logs involving Greer, obtained by The Atlantic from a source to whom they were forwarded, are from February 2014, when he was an editor at The Daily Caller. In the chats, he appears to acknowledge that his blog was being published by Radix under the pseudonym Michael McGregor.
They show Greer discussing his blog being published on Radix and referring to editing other people’s posts there. The messages show Greer saying “the DH has gone to Radix,” referring to his blog, the Daily Helm. When asked in the chat if his was listed as a blog there, he replied, “blog on radix.” In the messages, Greer also refers to fixing a typo in another writer’s post on Radix.
In the messages, he also referred to the name Michael McGregor, joking, “who’s michael mcgregor???? I’d like to meet him,” and saying, “I hear he doesn’t post much on the twitter.” A source Greer spoke with at the time said Greer had told him earlier this year that he had written under a pseudonym at Radix.
The Michael McGregor byline appeared many times on Radix in 2014 and 2015, and the archive for that byline has “daily helm” in the URL. Since The Atlantic began reporting this story, the posts have been deleted. The posts began on February 25, 2014, and continued until June 16, 2015. Topics ranged from Rachel Dolezal to Caitlyn Jenner to white South African farmers, a topic currently top of mind for President Trump, as he tweeted last Wednesday night. In a post from May 2015 titled “Immigration We Should Support,” Greer wrote that white South Africans should be allowed a right of return to Europe, mirroring Israel’s right of return for Jews.
The pseudonymous Michael McGregor posts frequently expressed racist antiblack views. In a post on protests in Baltimore after Freddie Gray died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody in 2015, Greer wrote: “Cops are now the preferred scapegoats for the sole reason that they are the symbols of a justice system Blacks hate, a justice system Blacks want undermined for their benefit. However, this justice system has to be harsh on Blacks in order to preserve stability and a measure of safety in a multiracial state. The current campaign against tough policing, if successful, would effectively turn any city with a large percentage of Blacks into a third world hellhole.”
The posts sometimes showcased anti-Semitic views as well. In a post about a 2015 cover story in The Atlantic about European Jews written by the magazine’s current editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, Greer sneeringly (and with incorrect grammar) used Hebrew words and wrote that Jews were responsible for the anti-Semitism they face in Europe due to “the Jewish role in promoting the root causes of this problem through their support of mass immigration, multiculturalism, and hate speech laws that only go after Whites.”
In March of that year, Greer complained that white men were being discriminated against in football, writing: “Running backs, wide receivers, and most defensive roles are seemingly reserved for Blacks only. If you’re a White guy at any of those positions, the odds are stacked against you for getting noticed by the big college programs. No matter how talented you are, you aren’t Black.” And he celebrated after the 2014 Little League champions, an all-black team, were stripped of their title after rule breaking by their coach: “Who says Indo-European virtue can’t triumph over black corruption?”
Greer wrote in 2014 that the Ad Council’s post-9/11 “I Am an American” commercial was disgusting to him. “This ad thoroughly disgusted me when it came out and made me question what being an American actually means. American in my mind still stood for being a normal White person who can speak English. Little did I know it just means living here. I thought America was actually a country, not a great Lockean shopping mall.”
Greer also wrote about sexual politics, the religious right, and abortion; in a September 2014 post about a sexual-consent law in California, he wrote that “while sex laws become more draconian for White men and they are further assaulted for trying to be men, the more virile Arabs, Blacks, and Hispanics that are swarming into our countries will continue to victimize our people.” In June 2014 he wrote that Christian Zionists’ “worship of Jews borders on fetishization and naturally incites hatred for the root cultures of European peoples.” In March 2014, he wrote that pro-life movements “are not pro-life in any way, shape or form. They have a sick obsession with seeing any type of ‘human being’ that is capable of shitting being preserved — no matter what the cost.” In another September 2014 post, he wrote that gender equality “will make women more determined to pursue ambitions that will make them miserable, turn men into eunuchs, and allow for the continuing growth of non-White hordes in formerly White countries.”
Other emails obtained by The Atlantic showed interactions between Greer and Spencer, the alt-right leader and the founder of Radix Journal. Despite Greer’s admission that he wrote for Radix as Michael McGregor, Spencer refused to confirm the pseudonym. “I will never reveal someone’s pseudonym, that’s a sacred trust … I will only do that if compelled in a court of law,” he told The Atlantic.
In an email from April 27, 2016, Greer queried a group that included Spencer, asking how to get in touch with the Twitter account Conservative Pundit. He wrote that he was supposed to do an article on the account. “Aren’t they the same guys behind my posting career? Trying to get in touch with them,” he wrote. After his story on Conservative Pundit came out a few days later, he wrote to another group that included Spencer, sharing the link with it.
On an email chain from March 17, 2014, Greer and Spencer both participated. Devin Saucier, who has edited under a pseudonym at the white-nationalist publication American Renaissance, had sent a link, https://gop.com/create-your-american-dream/, to which Spencer responded: “Poeple [sic] of all colors and creeds, united by their shared douchebaggery.” Greer wrote a reply to the group after Spencer.
On another thread from February 2014, involving plans for going to the Conservative Political Action Conference that year, he was on the thread along with Saucier, Spencer, and others.
In an email to The Atlantic, Saucier said, “Scott’s a smart, funny, honorable guy who has stood up for what he believes in spite of the risks. We don’t agree on everything, but I’m proud to call him a friend.”
In another email thread, Greer joked about the birth of Jesus in response to a conversation about a National Review article regarding the jazz musician Duke Ellington and Christmas. On December 27, 2013, one of the participants wrote to the thread: “Seeing as how Christianity probably began when some Jewish woman deployed a common lie to cover up an affair, I suppose this actually is in the true spirit of Our Lord’s conception.” Greer responded, “‘Hey Mary, why is our son black?’ ‘Because he’s God’s son!’ ‘Only the Goy would be dumb enough to believe that. So which one of those Nubian slaves have you been fucking?’ A condensed history of the birth of Jesus.”
Of the emails, Greer said: “The five-year-old emails contained stupid inside jokes and dark humor, which were exchanged privately between friends. They were obviously less serious than Sarah Jeong’s tweets.”