A bad poll
A bad poll

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UPDATE: In response to a cease and desist letter from Gavin McInnes' lawyer, I've included more links and clarifications in the post.

Online polls, particularly those where people can vote more than once, are almost always meaningless.

Enter bad online poll exhibit #1,607,292 into the record: Joey Gibson, who lives in Washington, is now leading the Oregonian's 2017 Oregon Person of the Year poll. Patriot Prayer's Gibson, who attracts white supremacists and neo-Nazis to his rallies, is now topping Rick Best Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, the two Portland men killed by white supremacist Jeremy Christian on a MAX train in May, by six percent.

How did Gibson—who was only recently well behind the two men Christian killed, the one man Christian stabbed but didn't kill (Micah Fletcher), and the firefighters who battled the Columbia River Gorge fires—come to take the lead? With the help of a fellow right wing troll who happens to have a lot of Twitter followers. New York-based Gavin McInnes wants his followers to "trigger the entire state of Oregon" by voting for the "Patriot Prayer hero."


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McInnes is, of course (clarification: in my opinion), a well-known white nationalist (clarification: He tweeted earlier this year "This attitude + immigration = white genocide in the West." He's both a pro-white advocate—here's his post "10 Things I Like About White Guys" —and a nationalist. He endorsed this apparent Steve Bannon quote: "I am a fire-breathing nationalist and I’m damn proud of it”), misogynist (clarification: in a tweet about women and politics, he said "Who let these bitches vote?" He said women are "less ambitious" and they should "be at home" instead of working), and anti-semitic (clarification: earlier this year, he uploaded a video titled "10 Things I Hate About Jews" before changing it to "10 Things I Hate About Israel." He criticized Jewish people for being "obsessed with the Holocaust." He also said "I’m becoming anti-Semitic" and "I found my self defending super far-right Nazis") who's endorsed by the likes of David Duke and Richard Spencer. In 2016, he founded the "Proud Boys," a "pro-Western fraternal organization” for men who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Proud Boys show up to rallies wearing Trump-approved red MAGA hats and dorky black and yellow Fred Perry golf shirts while often brawling with antifascist protesters.

Update: McGinnes' lawyer Jason Van Dyke, who threatened a lawsuit against the Mercury and me, personally, like he's done to other publications who have written about his client, wrote the following:

Mr. McInnes is not now, nor has he ever, espoused white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, or alt-right views. Any assertions to the contrary are both patently absurd and willfully ignorant of the fact that Mr. McInnes often uses comedy in his work to convey a broader message. Mr. McInnes condemns, and continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms, any sort of denigration of any person on the basis of race, and for that matter, sexual orientation. Such condemnations of racism and anti-Semitism are relatively easy to find for any journalist willing to conduct even the smallest amount of due diligence. Unfortunately, Mr. Brown made a willful decision to write a hit piece without conducting any research


There are currently 27 candidates for Oregon "person of the year." This round of voting ends tomorrow at 12:30 pm, when the top 10 finishers will be added to yet another poll for people to vote on. The winner of the top 10 poll will be named this year's Oregon person of the year by the Oregonian.

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