The responses to my Q&A with far-right mayoral candidate Faith Goldy have ranged from praise for studying a high-profile candidate’s campaign largely ignored by the mainstream press to heavy criticism for being her “stenographer,” “normalizing her,” and allowing her to get away with lies.
Upon reflection, and after discussing the issue on this week’s CANADALAND’s Short Cuts with Jesse Brown, I think there’s some merit to both responses.
No one likes to admit to mistakes in their work, but in this case I do think I dropped the ball by not confronting Goldy more about her radical beliefs, asking her directly about some of her more reprehensible public statements and how she appears to have warm relations with Alt-Right and white nationalist internet personalities.
Although I have covered The Rebel in the past extensively, my coverage didn’t include any stories directly related to Goldy while she worked there — other than co-writing with my editor Jonathan Goldsbie a report of her firing by Rebel founder and host Ezra Levant — and I was not that familiar with some of her more unsavoury past statements — which Brown presented to me in our discussion — before doing some research on her for the interview. That initial research involved listening to some of her more recent appearances on Alt-Right shows, where she appears to have couched her language considerably from earlier appearances. In my research I also read a few critical pieces looking at her past behaviour and statements. Goldy has been on TV and YouTube for years and likely has hundreds of hours of content to sift through, so that also factors into why I missed some of these odious statements. Either way, my research turned out to be insufficient.
Here is one of Goldy’s more unsavoury statements Brown brought to my attention, which is essentially advocating committing war crimes in response to Europe’s migrant crisis, that I would have asked her to answer for during the interview had I known about it:
“I think the only way we will see any marked improvement and a halt to the current invasion is a two-pronged approach, one of which is preventative, which would involve NATO troops being deployed to — because most of the nations now being affected do have a piece of the NATO so to speak — NATO troops being stationed along the coast of Greece, Italy, and Cypress. And I think they need to be armed to the teeth, including RPGs, and they need to start firing at these [migrant/refugee] boats.” — On Stefan Molyneux’s Freedomain Radio
After the podcast with Brown I confronted Goldy about this indefensible statement and she defended it.
“As a woman of Greek heritage, I can quite confidently say: Europe is being invaded,” wrote Goldy via text message. “These aren’t refugees. They are economic migrants and ISIS sleeper cells. If the West is more keen to be polite than be honest about the public safety Pandora’s box we’ve welcomed onto our shores, then we’ll have to agree to disagree. Regrettably, time has and will continue to prove I am right.”
It’s clear that Goldy is a white nationalist, and that should’ve been spelled out in my Q&A.
Previously, when I asked her about her videos on white genocide she confidently told me she had never used the term. At the time I had relied on the reporting of columnist and author Jonathon Van Maren’s article recounting his former friendship with Goldy and how she had become more radicalized in her thinking, explaining to his readers why conservatives cannot support her mayoral campaign. (He has since wrote a response to my Q&A, which can be read here.) I was quite sure she had used the term in the past, but relented at the time, figuring I could easily check after the interview was over to see if her denial was a lie. Sure enough, I found a video of her using the term. When I confronted Goldy about it, she said it was one video from a couple years ago and had forgotten about it. I included that response in my original Q&A. Yet, other previously-deleted videos of her using the term we’re brought to my attention by other journalists after I published my piece.
Although Goldy says she will engage with all journalists, in Picazo’s case she blocked her without responding.
I also confronted Goldy about reciting white supremacist David Lane’s fourteen words (“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”) as well as her, supposedly unwittingly, endorsing a twentieth-century anti-Semitic fascist’s book that calls for “the elimination of Jews.”
Before the days of gonzo nothing burger journalism, writers would take pleasure in pointing out hypocrisy where it exists. I approached the phrase as a journalist performing a social experiment. If one watches my video one clearly sees I performed a thought experiment, replacing the term ‘white’ with ‘aboriginal’, only to find many of the good people of Toronto agreed with the modified statement; thus underscoring the hypocrisy in despising the original version, despite its origins…
Last time I checked, it’s not illegal to read a book in this country. As I mentioned in the interview, I hadn’t finished it and once disturbing portions of the book were pointed out to me, I publicly affirmed I did not endorse it. Reading historical texts can be a useful tool to understanding the shared battles we face and avoid making the same mistakes…
Readers can make up their own mind if Goldy is satisfactorily answering to her numerous past controversies involving her repeated far-right musings and affiliations. (I had transcribed more incendiary things Goldy has said, and was going to include them at the end of the article, but I don’t think it’s necessary.)
That being said, I still think I was justified in interviewing Goldy.
After looking into Goldy’s campaign last week I discovered that she has a real campaign team behind her and is canvassing neighbourhoods and churches. There will be a poll coming out in the near future that will have Goldy as an option. She also claimed to be about to break a controversial story about City Hall, which allegedly involves Mayor John Tory. She also claims a politician is planning to endorse her soon, but it’s unclear if they’ll get cold feet as some of her more unsavoury past statements come to light.
My coverage led to others bringing up other odious things she has said in the past and her connections with the far-right. The podcast with Brown, stemming from my original Q&A, further scrutinizes her past.
The mainstream media will eventually have to report on her campaign, which will lead to her reprehensible comments and affiliations coming up, informing the public of who Goldy is, not just the charming Goldy some will meet at the door. She will have to answer for her radical beliefs.
How many Torontonians decide to vote for her will likely say a great deal about this diverse, multicultural city.