In a segment for the BBC’s flagship Newsnight programme, the UK’s public broadcaster has attempted to paint the hipster-right Identitarian youth movement as veiled Neo-Nazis.
The segment entitled “Is the Alt-Right On the Rise in Europe?” saw BBC presenter Gabriel Gatehouse visit Austria and France, two of the main hubs of the anti-mass migration and anti-Islamisation Identitarian movement in Europe.
Mr. Gatehouse first travelled to the Austrian capital of Vienna to speak to Martin Sellner, the co-leader of the Austrian branch of the Identitarians, and makes no qualms that he thought the movement was simply Nazism renamed and repackaged.
Gatehouse asserted that the Identitarians are different from the far right, saying that they disavow any form of violence, are articulate with their ideas, and tech-savvy.
Despite acknowledging the differences, the BBC presenter made it clear that he believes the group are Nazis. After Sellner suggested that illegal migrants should be housed in temporary safe zones until they can be processed for asylum, Gatehouse alluded to concentration camps saying, “you know that has really scary overtones in this part of the world”.
The idea of housing migrants in safe zones is also supported by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz who cited the current migrant policies of Australia who process asylum seekers on islands off their coast.
After switching locations to a local cafe, the BBC presenter confronted Sellner with a “far right checklist”.
Gatehouse asked Sellner how he feels about people of differing ethnic backgrounds having children together which he replied, “it’s their choice”. He then asked Sellner his opinion on gay people to which he once again replied, “it’s their choice”.
When asked the question “do you think Jews run the world?” Philipp Huemer, the Vienna Identitarian leader, pointed out that it is specifically Jews who fear Islamisation the most and noted how in France many have fled to Israel because of escalating violence perpetrated largely by Muslims.
“Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism”, Gatehouse added in the narration after failing to achieve the response he desired from Sellner.
The Identitarian leader spoke exclusively to Breitbart London about the interview saying the BBC “just wanted to collect bits and pieces for their pre-built agenda. No wonder people are turning to alternative media”.
Sellner called the checklist “cringeworthy” and claimed Gatehouse agreed on the safe zones not being comparable to concentration camps but chose to cut the footage out of the broadcast.
According to Sellner, he approached the interview openly but said Gatehouse had also tried tricking him into endorsing a quote from Hitler in English which annoyed him. “I expect some journalistic standards, not petty emotional design and propaganda,” he said.
After travelling to France, where the Identitarian movement began in 2012 as “Generation Identitaire“, Gatehouse spoke with the French Identitarians in Lyon. He begrudged that the group gave food and money to European homeless men and women during the winter as part of their “Generation Solidarity” campaign.
When asked why they help Europeans an Identitarian activist noted, “we have noticed that people sleeping rough here are always Europeans. Politicians have decided to help migrants instead, even illegal immigrants”.