Is there a week that goes by when Louise Mensch doesn’t put her foot in her mouth?
Yesterday morning, her new website ‘Heat Street’ – had to apologise for criticising Hillary Clinton over a commonly known anti-semitic meme.
The background is this: over the last year a meme around ‘Pepe the frog’ has become associated with and owned by neo-Nazis on the internet.
The history behind how it became a neo-Nazi meme and then became aligned with Donald Trump is explained in this article.
Just over a week ago, Donald Trump Jr. shared a meme of Pepe on Facebook, which was then attacked by Hillary Clinton as him tacitly promoting a symbol of white-supremacists.
But Heat Street took issue with that and published an article claiming it wasn’t an anti-semitic symbol.
And now Mensch’s site has had to eat humble pie and acknowledge their mistake:
A week or so ago we published a piece by a valued contributor, Ian Miles Cheong, one of our best gaming writers, stating that the Pepe the Frog meme is not antisemitic and that Hillary Clinton’s explainer was wrong.
That piece was inaccurate. We apologize for publishing it. The piece was floated and rejected in a story meeting yet somehow, at high volume, this one slipped through the net.
That is untrue. While Pepe, once a harmless frog meme, may have started out as a widely used meme, the frog is now a symbol of the Nazi Jew-baiting of the alt-right. We do not do trigger warnings here at Heat Street, nor did it seem right to shove a good-faith mistake down the memory hole. We will leave up Ian’s piece and append this apology to the top of it.
Glad they acknowledged their mistake, though the apology doesn’t seem to be linked from the front page of the website. And Mensch herself didn’t tweet it out either.
And it begs the question…
How much does Heat Street really know about internet culture if they made this whopper of a mistake?