Why would LEO Weekly shine a light on Matthew Heimbach, the white nationalist whose claim to celebrity is getting caught on tape attacking a protester at a Donald Trump rally?
Certainly, we know some of you will say that this scoundrel will consider any publicity to be good publicity for him and his cause. Indeed, Molly Shah writes eloquently below about the risks of publicity that understates the danger of these groups and people. That said, we believe that it is vital that you know that the racists among us are real, and that they do real, harm, other than flinging words from their keyboards.
The award-winning Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting’s stories on Heimbach and local hate groups dig deep and answer important questions. Just as the best journalism must do.
As for giving Heimbach a platform for his views, Al Tompkins, a senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute, said in an email, “I trust Kentuckians to be able to read the story and understand it is about a man who deserves no glorification. Hate groups have found a home in Kentucky decades past. The surest way to be certain never to go back to those days is to be aware of the threats around you. I know of no problem that gets better by being silent. Pests and vermin usually scatter in the light.” —Editor