NOTE: The video accompanying this post has been taken down due to intemperate remarks made by a guest.
In the spring of 2011, Katie McHugh was a student at Allegheny College. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and was attending the region’s oldest private college but wanted to make it to Washington and join the conservative movement. She was a quiet young woman who hadn’t ventured very far from where she’d grown up. Her reading had taken her to some unusual places, however, for a young person.
Katie ended up writing and editing for Breitbart in the heady days of Trump’s campaign, becoming a producer for Steve Bannon’s Sirius radio show before being sacked for a relatively tame anti-Muslim tweet, after drawing attention for associating with antisemitic accounts.
She bounced out via Charles C. Johnson’s Got News and now works a regular working class job (shudder, says Buzzfeed). She’s tried recanting in a tell-all article she can’t get published; when she shopped it to the Atlantic they declined but offered her the role of snitch:
The friend with whom I’d previously interacted on Twitter reached out to show me an essay McHugh wrote about her experiences. I showed the piece to my editors at the Atlantic — where I was then a staff writer but soon to leave to work on a book — but we discussed it and agreed that our role was to approach her as a journalistic subject rather than publish a piece by her. McHugh attempted to get her essay published at the UK magazine the Spectator, but it never was. “We were interested in the story — and the curious cast of characters involved — unfortunately we just couldn’t quite make it work as a Spectator piece so we encouraged her to place it elsewhere,” Spectator editor Freddy Gray said in an email. (In their statement about this story, the Breitbart spokesperson said, “She is a disgruntled ex-employee and has been shopping this story around here and overseas for well over a year, and nobody with credibility would publish it.”)
Instead, McHugh began to act as a source for me, something she now wants people to know.
In addition to McHugh being offered as a cautionary tale, another Reefer Madness-like hype job, Buzzfeed claims to expose a white nationalist pipeline running from somewhere around Peter Brimelow’s evil lair (Katie was a close friend), through Breitbart and on to the White House.