There has been an intense leftist and media campaign against the western fraternal men’s organization the Proud Boys over the past two months. This began when New York Proud Boys become involved in a physical confrontation with their main opposition group Antifa outside a Gavin McInnes speaking event in late October. Nine of the Proud Boys involved are now facing serious criminal charges.
Since then the Proud Boys have been booted off Facebook, Instagram, PayPal and had their Proudbook online forum’s hosting revoked. A campaign to have Gavin McInnes barred from entering Australia for the Deplorables Tour was successful after an 81,000 person petition was delivered to Parliament. McInnes himself quit the Proud Boys two weeks ago arguing that it would assist the New York nine during their trials. Milo Yiannopoulos also quit the Proud Boys hours later
But in the campaign against the Proud Boys the development that was seized upon by most was that the FBI had classified the Proud Boys as an extremist group with ‘ties to white nationalism’. This was widely reported by mainstream media outlets and left wing activists.
This classification was based on an internal affairs report by Washington State Police in regard to their firing of a member of their force due to their support for the Proud Boys. The FBI made no explicit classification of the Proud Boys as an extremist group.
Now FBI Special Agent Renn Cannon has confirmed the FBI did not intend to designate Proud Boys as an extremist group. This was during a recent briefing of Clark County law enforcement, their intention was to characterize the potential for violence from individuals within that Proud Boys. Special Agent Cannon was quoted as saying “We don’t designate groups but we do investigate conspiracies.” and in regard to the Proud Boys “We do not intend and did not intend to designate the group as extremist.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Renn Cannon says FBI did not intend to designate Proud Boys as an extremist group during a recent briefing of Clark County law enforcement – but tried to characterize the potential for violence from individuals within that group. pic.twitter.com/7twWbFQnSz
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) 4 December 2018
Some mainstream media outlets have published this clarification from the FBI but the large majority of them are not correcting their previous fake news reports about the Proud Boys. After all they have been happy publishing other fake news about the Proud Boys, that they are alt-right and white nationalists despite the organization explicitly rejecting such ideas. Don’t hold your breath.