In response to the Banter’s Alyona Minkovski’s piece on Pete Hegseth’s atrocious interview with Donald Trump on Fox News, Hegseth took to twitter to call us “#FakeNews” and labeled Alyona an “elitist, globalist, Leftist” who is “posing” as a journalist:
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) June 26, 2017
If anyone took Fox News seriously, the insult would be offensive. As it is, it’s just funny, and Hegseth’s outburst an indication that the piece hit a little too hard to home for his liking. However, there is one word Hegseth used in his rant caught my attention, and it’s a word that has been floating around Trump supporter circles for some time now: “globalist”.
You mostly see this term on the pages of Breitbart.com and Drudge Report, but it has now apparently become the go-to insult for Trump supporters and the hard right. So what exactly does it mean? After a little research, it appears there is some history behind the slur. According to the New York Times back in November of last year, the word “globalism” has some very serious connotations for the far right:
It is a word that conjures many images, none of them good: shuttered factories, unchecked immigration and a distant cabal that, believers say, controls the economy and the media.
Analysts who track extremist groups in the United States have expressed alarm at the use of the word by the president-elect. They say it carries multiple meanings — from benign to sinister — and often serves as a “dog whistle” for racist, anti-Semitic and antigovernment conspiracy theorists.
“Globalism is a principle driver for the fears that animate the radical right in the United States,” said Ryan Lenz, the editor of Hatewatch, a blog published by the Southern Poverty Law Center. “It is the enemy, ultimately.”
As the Times notes however, the real meaning of the term globalism is “a synonym for globalization, the system of global economic interconnection that has been critiqued for decades by liberal groups like labor unions, environmental organizations and opponents of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.”
In actuality, liberals have just as much of a problem with “globalism” as the far right does, albeit for different reasons. Liberals (like myself and Alyona) would have problems with globalism as it relates to lax labor laws, unfair tax havens, capital flight, free trade agreements that hurt workers and the poor, corporate environmental degradation and so on. The far right has a problem with globalism because they believe Jews, gays and media elites are controlling the world for their own benefits — or in other words, problems that don’t actually exist.
So when Fox News host Pete Hegseth calls someone a “globalist” he isn’t doing it because he believes the person is trying to create a more just, fair world where the rich don’t exploit the poor, and corporations don’t destroy the environment. He is calling them a “globalist” so that his readers immediately think of an elitist liberals who watch MSNBC all day and hate America.
The right wing media is increasingly resorting to these mysterious catch phrases and meaningless terms like “globalist” to create a sense of deep paranoia within their aging, white audience. With Sean Hannity bleating on about “The Deep State”, and Breitbart.com warning about the “cucks” and “globalists” selling America to whatever foreign country they currently hate, it is no wonder a significant sector of the population believe liberals are out to kill their babies, desecrate the flag and bring Sharia law to America. While it is amusing to see this bizarre, nightmarish fantasy play out on national television on a daily basis, it is somewhat alarming in that people actually believe it.
Alyona Minkovski is a globalist, elitist #fakenews reporter because she called out a journalist for failing to ask the President of the United States tough questions. The entire premise of the attack proves that Hegseth literally has no idea what a journalist is supposed to do. He believes it is the red team vs the blue team, and he is on team red, so he must defend it with all his might. Or in other words, the exact opposite of what a journalist is supposed to do.
At the very least, he could do some research on the meaning of his insults. But then again, he’s a Fox News reporter, and facts just get in the way of a good argument.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.