Dave Rubin, the classical liberal who runs a popular YouTube series, is livid about an article in the progressive publication Mother Jones that described the political commentator as a member of the “far right,” in a piece about extremists funded through Patreon.
Mother Jones senior reporter Josh Harkinson tweeted: “Crowdfunding is fueling the rise of a new extremist media industry that is even further to the right than Breitbart.” It linked to his article on the “rising extremist world” farther to the right of Steve Bannon’s former operation.
The publication previously wrote about about Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey’s political contributions, saying he was a Trump backer. Luckey criticized the reporting.
In the piece, Harkinson rails against “violent ‘free speech’ rallies” and crowdfunding campaigns maintained by Trump supporters, YouTubers and independent media personalities. The writer took issue with Dave Rubin’s The Rubin Report for featuring interviews with “far-right guests.” He fails to note Rubin’s interviews with Rabbi David Wolpe, Fox Sports host Jason Whitlock, human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, political pundit Ben Shapiro, and gaming personality Colin Moriarty—among many other interesting people.
Rubin publicly objected to being falsely characterized as an extremist. He’s listed ahead of Mike Cernovich, Lauren Southern, Baked Alaska “and a number of lesser-known figures such as alt-right sci-fi novelist and video blogger Brittany Pettibone.”
“Hey @joshharkinson, your article is outright libelous about me. Expect a public retraction from you and @MotherJones,” tweeted Rubin, who also tweeted his complaint to Clara Jeffery, the publication’s editor-in-chief. “I expect a retraction and correction on this libelous piece.”
The pundit also shared the definition of the term “libel” to address criticism that their mischaracterization of him did not fit the legal definition of libel. Calling Rubin a member of the “farright” may not necessarily constitute libel, but it’s certainly false.
There’s more to politics than just the progressive left and the alt-right, and Harkinson displays an extremely naive understanding of the subject by shoving Rubin into the camp of some of the people he’s spoken to.