Hey, the most talked-about article in the country is all about me! Let me take you through it and explain all 50 things wrong with it – in red!
NOTE: CENSORED.TV is banned from all social media and this post can’t be shared with anyone including via DM unless you use this sanitized URL…
THE SECRET HISTORY OF GAVIN MCINNES
1- I think, what he’s going for here is that I went to a “racial realist” conference and that’s when I left Vice and my life changed etc. and it’s a big secret nobody knows. When he discovered I was going there as a journalist covering yet another freaky thing, he plugged in a bunch of other weird “secrets” including, “always obsessed with Nazi skinheads” and “did too much Adderall” which are also false. It’s rare a writer includes all of his hypotheses in the final piece. It’s like we’re reading his rough notes.
In the ’90s, he played punk rock and helped create Vice magazine. Five years ago, he founded a very different organization: the Proud Boys, the far-right group that came to personify the vilest tendencies of Trump’s America. A former Vice editor interviews one of our era’s most troubling extremists.
My Lord! This thing is almost 10,000 words long! Don’t they have editors? Oh yeah, they’re run by an activist now. You see, Vanity Fair used to be “rich porn” for middle class women. They’d read about a yacht or some fantastic trip to the Riviera and imagine themselves in that fantastic situation. Then, the magazine decided to go woke and affirmative action hired Radhika Jones who immediately turned the whole thing into agenda driven proselytizing. Now, it sucks.
BY ADAM LEITH GOLLNER
One of the things I remember about Adam is a story he told about him and his father going to visit Adam’s Hungarian grandfather in an old folk’s home. His dad had purple socks and sandals and a fanny pack and a pink undershirt with a fluorescent headband. When the grandfather saw him, he was mortified and said in his thick accent, “[Adam’s dad’s name] what ahre yew dewing? You look warst dan de warst neegeer.” Adam and I thought it was hilarious and would say it to each other on a regular basis. When I brought this up to him, he seemed embarrassed of his past and insisted his grandfather had actually said, “neegrow.” That’s called “rewriting history” and it’s what woke journalists do.
On election night in 2016, four years before the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, the Proud Boys threw a party. That November evening, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes—my former boss—summoned his followers to the Gaslight Lounge in New York’s Meatpacking District to watch the returns. “Tonight we either take back the country or we lose the country to the establishment,” he told the attendees, a mixture of Trumpist trolls, frat bros, and the sort of amped-up nationalist types who call themselves “Western chauvinists.”
McInnes had just created his gang months before. But as
2- A “gang” has two defining characteristics. It has top-down management (such as the Pagans or the Mongols) where there is no autonomy and the leader calls all the shots. The second characteristic is illegal activity. Neither are true in the case of this club. If you heard me call it a “gang” on a comedy podcast, that does not make it an actual GANG .
someone who’d always predicted trends, he could see where this would lead. “If Donnie wins,” he bellowed into a distorting microphone, the Proud Boys will “own America. We’ll just walk into the White House.” They began chanting “USA! USA! USA!” the same way the Proud Boys would when breaching the Capitol complex in January.
3- Jesus, this is a stretch. Adam must have seen the video and has to know my tone. I was joking about us all being pals with Trump and we can now go over to the White House the way you would if your best friend won the lottery and bought a mansion. Later, on my show, I wore a bathrobe and green screened the White House behind me. I called out, “Don, you’re out of potato chips” like I was cousin Eddie in National Lampoon’s Vacation. It’s a good bit and has exactly zero to do with “insurrection.”
A large part of what got this article to press was convincing editors that random jokes from a Trump supporter can lead to something as horrible and as dangerous as the “Insurrection.” Does this look like an insurection to you?
Few back in 2016 realized how far the group would go—soon establishing chapters in 45 states, with members eventually indicted on charges ranging from civil disorder to conspiracy in the Washington, D.C., rampage. McInnes had founded what would become, according to the Canadian government, a “terrorist entity.”
At 2:40 a.m., when Fox News decreed that Donald Trump had won, the crowd in the Gaslight erupted. Howling men in MAGA caps hoisted an ebullient McInnes into the air, crowd-surfing him across the throng. But life hadn’t been so joyous in the eight years since he’d left Vice, the Montreal magazine cum media conglomerate he’d cofounded in 1994 at age 24. He’d lost so much in the intervening years: friends, fistfights, the respect of peers,
4- This is called “shifting the timeline to fit your hypothesis.” It’s also called “lying.” My social life was 100% normal back then. I was not a pariah until AFTER Trump won. Liberals thought he was a joke and my liberal comedian friends actually liked that I loved Trump. They thought it was hilarious. When their joke become real, Trump Derangement Syndrome kicked in and they all dumped me. This is still going on with Trump supporters all over the country. I call it, The American Divorce.
a stake in Vice Media Group’s future profits, presumably countless brain cells. In his departure letter from Vice, he’d vowed his ideas would one day “blossom into fruition like a hundred humid vaginas in the presence of God’s boner.” Now, here he was—a legal immigrant from Canada, living in the States on a green card—surrounded by 100 sweaty dudes, some waving cocktail-napkin-size U.S. flags.
McInnes didn’t simply feel vindicated; he believed he was at the pinnacle of a new world. “I feel like Clark Kent,” he tweeted. “I’m just a guy in a suit but if you have a problem, I’d be happy to punch through your face.” Interviewed today for this story, he told me that Trump’s victory party was “one of the greatest nights in my life.”
In the 1990s, McInnes was hardly a far-right menace. He was a tree-planting vegetarian, a druggy anarchist, and a self-described “dogmatic feminist.”
5- Apple News chose to focus on this for their link to the story. I think what they’re trying to do is say, “Hey Nazis, you know your leader? Well, he used to be a feminist and a vegetarian.” Then, these poor Nazis go, “Oh no! We’ve been duped. Let’s disband.” The problem is, it’s based on a Nazi straw man. I still have those feminist ideals. I think Islam treats women as second class citizens and that’s wrong. Though I believe all women should have the right to compete in the workforce (what feminism used to be) today’s version is about shaming those who stay home and be normal moms. My past has never been a “secret history.” I published a fucking book on it all called The Death of Cool.
Now Apple News is blowing minds with this scoop? It’s like when antifa made a Proud Boys account with a rainbow that says “Proud to be Gay Boys.” Good. I’m sure the gay Proud Boys appreciate the shout out. When you attack a straw man and debunk his evil values, you’re actually doing PR for the person. The club was started in Manhattan. Of course it’s cosmopolitan. What are you going to do, go gay-bashing in the West Village? Hang a noose in Harlem? Zieg Hiel in Williamsburg? It’s like a hot homophobic chick assuming you’re gay and then sucking your dick to punish you. “Oh no. Please stop. I, like, totally hate this.”
It reminds me of the time Brandon Johnson threatened to make public the fact that I used to hang out with him and Jerry Minor when I was in LA. They’re both black and the threat was to destroy my reputation as a white supremacist. Uh, please do. You’re offering free PR.
Some people who knew him then still regard him as one of the funniest people they’ve ever met.
6- So, the guy is funny but it’s not possible some of what he says could have a sense of humor to it? Got it.
He counted comedians such as David Cross and Sarah Silverman as friends, both of whom contributed articles to Vice. (Neither agreed to interview requests.) But over time McInnes accelerated his drift to the political fringe.
In 2003, when Vice was largely an extension of McInnes’s psyche, Jimmy Kimmel told The New York Times that its “brand of humor is what I would do if there were no ‘standards and practices’ on TV.” The whole Vice gestalt was so laced with sarcasm that The Village Voice called it “brilliant hipster self-parody.” McInnes’s early provocations were widely perceived as a commentary on hate rather than hate itself. When his stance began to grow more blatantly xenophobic, he turned to stand-up, a medium that allowed him to claim he was only “joking around.”
7- This drifts away from wrong and into mental illness. So, humor is a great hiding spot for evil ideas and I turned to stand up – not because it’s fun – but because it’s a good Trojan Horse to sneak hatred into the public psyche. Okay, how about an example? I did an entire stand-up comedy movie called The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants. Care to point to a xenophobic sentence? It was almost all penis jokes.
Just kidding had long been his default position. But couching his beliefs in humor didn’t hide the deadly serious nature of his politics.
Ha ha ha ha. What a faggot.
His true intentions were tattooed right on his back—in a tableau depicting a jellyfish with Chiang Kai-shek and Fidel Castro, “two immigrants,” he once proclaimed, “that came into a country, wiped out the previous cultures and started new, prosperous ones…. The days of the West are numbered, and I will be the impetus that destroys it. I am turning America inside out from the outside in.”
8- Okay, he should have asked me about this. The quote is from twenty years ago when I wasn’t very good at battling the media. They were attacking me for writing for the American Conservative so I pussied out and wrote a rambling speech about how it’s all part of some crazy backwards mindfuck. It was a dumb move I regret but this is the kind of thing journalists should ask the person they’re writing about. I talked to this fucker for about five hours.
By 2016, his unseemly pronouncements had become a part of American political discourse. He made an overt statement on his webcast: “Can you call for violence generally? ’Cause I am.”
9- This one’s crazy because I explained it to him. This is why I think today’s journalists KNOWINGLY spread false information to fit their agenda (and woke editors push it even farther). The “calling for violence” came while discussing a rally in NYC where antifa were spitting in Trump supporters’ faces and then saying, “I identify as a woman. You can’t hit me.” Instead of retaliating the victims meekly called for security (who never came). The violence I was calling for was to fight back and ignore their stupid “can’t hit me” rules. Call me old fashioned but if someone spits in your face, you should kick their ass.
What kind of a douche includes an artsy picture of himself in his own article? I mean, if it was him at Vice with the rest of us in it, maybe but just answering the phone in a Zoolander pose? Blech.
He also declared, in a textbook example of hate speech, bordering on incitement: “Fighting solves everything—
10- This is the sad result of the bourgeoisie writing articles for a living. If he had ever met a boxer or a blue collar human, he’d know “fighting solves everything” is a common saying. Google image it. It’s a t-shirt.
we need more violence from the Trump people. Trump supporters: Choke a motherfucker”—going on to use derogatory terms about trans people and women—“Get your fingers around the windpipe.”
11- Again, this is regarding the fake trannies who were spitting in people’s faces. Why did he leave that out? You know why.
Also, I was pissed off. MAGA people were getting the shit beaten out of them on an almost daily basis and nobody was doing anything about it. There was zero media relating these stories. The victims were stoicly taking a beating and it was making me mad.
The expletive-laden comment was among the reasons he would ultimately get deplatformed from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
12- This is just factually incorrect. I have to paste the entire article here because they keep changing it as more and more errors become evident. Hence the “This article has been updated” at the end.
Fun fact: 90% of the people who will read an article, read it in the first day so the updates are irrelevant.
In November 2018, he reluctantly stepped down as leader of the Proud Boys. But by then he’d already lit the match and passed the torch. A peer-reviewed Bard College study this year determined that, based on an analysis of his public statements, “the rhetoric spouted by McInnes is actually fascist political action.”
13- LOL. Adam doesn’t get that ONLY interviewing liberal sources gives away your agenda. Bard? Really? What does Ann Coulter think of the Proud Boys? Why were no conservatives interviewed for this article? Why aren’t they ever?
No longer the make-believe insurgent he’d been in his punk days, the Canadian originator of the Proud Boys had become—at 50, his beard specked with gray—a fever-dream incarnate of the tattoo on his back. Not unlike his “good friend” Roger Stone, the Trump crony—and, not incidentally, pardoned felon—who has Nixon’s face emblazoned between his shoulder blades, McInnes wanted to subvert things. He wanted to cause chaos. He wanted to break America—and remake it in his imaginings.
14- Again, dude, you’re quoting a dumb rant from twenty years ago. An idiotic pussy out should not be the spine of your story.
This account, based on my firsthand observations and interviews with McInnes’s friends and former colleagues—as well as McInnes himself—is the forgotten backstory of how a wisecracking media maverick became a well-known and influential “hatemonger,” to quote the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
What!? We haven’t even begun yet? Bet you $100, the first draft started with the sentence below but it seemed too nice so they stuck this long intro at the beginning to make it sufficienty damning. LA Magazine did a sort of fair piece last year but they got so much backlash, they changed the title and the picture to make me more scary. Check it out…
Anyway, back to Vanity Unfair…
I worked alongside McInnes at the start of Vice in 1994, becoming the magazine’s editor shortly after it moved from Montreal to New York in 1999. Though McInnes immediately struck me as someone to avoid outside of work,
What the fuck is he talking about?
nothing then indicated he would hatch an organization as vitriolic and violence-prone as the street-brawling Proud Boys. He and I were never friends.
15- “I wasn’t friends with my boss.” Okay.
Founding editor Suroosh Alvi—who remains at Vice Media with the title of founder—brought me on board as a writer at the same time as McInnes. And when I stepped down in early 2001, it was largely because of McInnes’s toxic attitude. (By then his title was cofounder.)
16- I think this was because he was basically just lazy. I thought he was a good writer (he was) but he kept shrugging off opportunities. He’s written what, two books his entire life? This lack of work ethic is lauded in Montreal but doesn’t really fly in NYC which is likely why he was unable to make the transition.
Vice’s third cofounder, Shane Smith, was integral to the arc of McInnes’s life. He was—before their very public falling out—McInnes’s bandmate, roommate, rival, and best friend. Close since the age of 12, they shared everything from mescaline (then the Canadian name for PCP or horse tranquilizer) to lovers. How tight were they? A 2002 book they coauthored, The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, claims that McInnes once unwittingly squeezed his penis into the same condom as Smith’s during a threesome.
How does someone take a life as interesting as mine and turn it into such a boring article?
Smith today serves as executive chairman of Vice Media. He is considered an internet-age pioneer, having expanded an indie magazine into a global powerhouse. He is sometimes referred to as “Citizen Shane” among certain ex-colleagues, as much for his Hearst-like legacy as a media baron, huckster, and former purveyor of yellow journalism as for his Xanadu-like home in Santa Monica. In April, Smith’s wife, Tamyka, filed for divorce, and the mansion was sold for $48.7 million—the approximate amount, according to The Wall Street Journal, that Vice Media lost in 2019. Smith declined to be interviewed for this story.
The company provided the following statement to Vanity Fair: “VICE and Gavin parted ways in 2008—many years before Gavin founded the Proud Boys. VICE unequivocally condemns white supremacy,
This is a fun way to call someone a white supremacist. “I have nothing to do with Adam Gollner. I am adamantly against molesting children and want nothing to do with it.”
racism and any form of hate, has shone a fearless, bright light of award-winning journalism on extremism, the alt-right and hate groups around the world, and has created one of the most inclusive, diverse and equitable companies in media.
How did that work out for ya? Go woke, get sued, and then have a woman take over the company.
Our respective records of the last decade and a half speak for themselves.” Vice News, in fact, has been unflinching in its extensive and clear-eyed coverage of the Proud Boys. (Media executive Nancy Dubuc took up the role of CEO in 2018 after Vice Media began to buckle in the #MeToo era, triggered in part by a New York Times sexual harassment exposé in which the founders apologized for the company’s “detrimental ‘boy’s club’ culture.”)
As a side note, this is brutally ironic. Vice was a boy’s club of sorts in my days but it was inclusive. Sort of like the way punk rock was in the late 70s. The Clash were a guy’s band but women were invited. After I left, it was like when the Beastie Boys went from party bros to activists and THAT is when they got called sexist. The ship was run by women and trannies and homos but that demographic is insatiable so that is when they decided to bite the hand that feeds them and attack Vice. I used to streak through the office. Everyone laughed. As soon as streaking is verboten, the lefties take them to court. This is the problem with appeasing the weirdoes. They just want more. Alas, I digress.
Though neither Smith nor McInnes typically comment on each other—due to the terms of a separation agreement—the latter recently told CNN that he still haunts Smith’s company “like Banquo’s ghost.” Lies, betrayal, greed: There’s a Macbethian whiff to the entangled narratives of McInnes and Smith. But even though Banquo gets sacrificed to the vaulting ambition of Macbeth,
Ugh, I never should have used a Shakespearean analogy. It allowed him to go off on a pretentious tangent for paragraph after paragraph. Is this guy gay? I’m starting to get gay vibes.
his former brother-in-arms, McInnes would seem to have more in common with Coriolanus, a violence-for-violence’s-sake fame-lord whose opportunism outweighs genuine political convictions. Shakespearean or not, McInnes started both Vice magazine and the Proud Boys, and one metastasized out of the other.
Who actually remembers Shakespeare after they’re done school?
Gavin Miles McInnes was born in England to Scottish parents in 1970. His family immigrated to Ontario when he was five, settling in suburban Ottawa.
Oh Lord in Heaven above, we’re barely halfway in and NOW we’re beginning my life story? I’m not even born yet?
In high school, he formed a gang called the Monks with guys nicknamed Pig Al and Pukey Stallion.
17- “Big Al” you boob. Also, when your crew is about half punks and half mods and you jokingly call yourselves The Monks, you’re hardly a “gang.” I hope this downplays the “gang” moniker he gave the Proud Boys at the beginning.
Among the dozen-odd outcasts in the crew were McInnes’s two best friends, Eric Digras and Steve Durand. As kids, they said, McInnes’s predominant characteristic was his recklessness. “A super-radical shit disturber,” Durand told me. “Anything to provoke an extreme reaction.”
Was there any foreshadowing that he would go on to form a group as extreme as the Proud Boys?
18- Here’s a thought, why not prove that the club is “extreme”? Tell us about one of their values and explain why that is extreme – as in – is only regarded as normal by a tiny fraction of the population. Flat earthers are extreme. Antifa is extreme. What exactly is extreme about the Proud Boys (Oh, and citing other people who also think they’re extreme doesn’t count).
“Gavin was really into making rules that you had to abide by,” recalled Digras, explaining that one rule McInnes devised as a teenager has since become codified as a Proud Boys bylaw. The clan’s second-degree initiation rite—for “adrenaline control”—involves naming five breakfast cereals while being punched in the arms. The Monks did the same thing: “We’d all beat the shit out of you until you could say five breakfast cereals,” Digras said. “The culture of our gang was that if you were ever earnest or vulnerable, you lost all credibility.”
19- This is a great example of how humorless the left as become. We would beat the shit out of you if…
You farted and didn’t say “safety”! Spooky, huh? The game is called Safety Slug and highschool boys have been playing it forever (though in the states you have to touch a door knob instead of naming five breakfast cereals). Is it possible that there is some humor in this “sinister ritual”? Ever heard of goofing around?
Adam conspicuously leaves the fart part out of the game. What an absolute cunt.
McInnes and his Monks were stoner freaks, on a different planet entirely than the Carpies, rural farm lads from up Carp River. “Nobody wanted us to show up at their party because we were the guys who started doing drugs and we’d always fuck shit up a little bit,” said Digras, then nicknamed Dogboy. Moving on from bongs, some of the Monks, by age 15, were dropping acid and huffing Pam cooking spray.
So was everybody, you nerd.
In 1986, a police officer came to their school to screen a PSA about the dangers of drunk driving. As McInnes relates in his 2012 autobiography, the students at Earl of March Secondary School watched the sobering account of a young woman paralyzed in an accident. During the Q&A that followed, McInnes took the microphone. “Why do you consider being in a wheelchair so horrible?” he asked the officer. “My mother is in a chair and has been her whole life, and our family certainly doesn’t see her as some kind of tragedy.” This was a lie, but it already revealed his affinity for darkly unfunny identity-based jokes. Even at that early age, he was both a class clown and “a very natural manipulator,” Digras explained.
20- Hmmm, I’m starting to think this Gavin guy is pretty funny. Oh wait, he’s sinister. Sorry, I gotta get my head in the game.
McInnes, Digras added, would use him and Durand as “the fall guys” for his jokes when girls were around. “We called ourselves ‘the cardboard guys’ because we were just these cutouts that he would use as props for his show.” Later in life, several people who became close with McInnes would come to understand a similar dynamic, most notably his two partners at Vice, Smith and Alvi.
The origins of Vice can be traced to a rehab facility 30 minutes south of Montreal. In 1994, Alvi was 25 and had been shooting heroin for five years.
I never thought I could be bored of my favorite subject, me. Yet, here I am and so are you. It’s been 5,000 words and I’m only 24-years-old. Hey Radhika, time to dust off the red pen.
Having OD’d multiple times, he was thieving where he could, pawning gold or cameras to cop his fix. He’d tried getting clean many times. Nothing worked. Blaming Montreal—“It’s too decadent of a city”—he moved away, to Minnesota, Vancouver, even Slovakia. But wherever he went, after the dope sickness wore off, he’d kick, get clean for a little while, and turn to Valium until he could find a dealer; then he’d get strung back out.
Weird how the article becomes normal and accurate when he likes the person. Who is this guy, a woman?
That spring, Alvi checked into the Foster Addiction Rehabilitation Centre, a clinic overlooking a cemetery in Saint-Philippe, Quebec. “If you keep using,” they told him, pointing at the tombstones, “that’s where you’ll end up.” Two years ago, I drove out to Foster with Alvi, where, sitting in a grassy ditch at the graveyard’s edge, he recounted the story of Vice’s beginnings.
Days before entering rehab, Alvi had gone with his family to the mosque to celebrate Eid. As a Pakistani-Canadian, Alvi was raised Muslim but had never been observant. On that day in the prayer hall, however, he got down on his knees and begged for mercy: “If there’s an Allah up there,” he prayed, “I need your help now.” He felt a sense of surrender, of submission to Islam.
Everything after that started changing, quickly. During treatment, the therapists asked the inpatients to do a career exercise: Write down their ideal job, imagining a time when they would be sober and try to reintegrate themselves into society. Alvi described himself working for a magazine somehow—even though he couldn’t imagine any media company ever giving him a job.
After rehab, he attended a Narcotics Anonymous meeting where a stranger named Walter walked up to him, offering to become his sponsor. Walter asked if he was interested in writing. Alvi nodded, adding that he’d never written before. It didn’t matter; the next day, Walter introduced him to two Haitian publishers who were starting a cultural newspaper called Voice of Montreal. The job was part of a government program that supplemented regular welfare checks. Alvi, already on welfare, was hired on the spot.
The exercise from rehab had come true. “I wrote that, and Allah made it happen,” as he put it. “If I hadn’t been a heroin addict, Vice wouldn’t exist.”
Suroosh dressed as a Nazi skinhead for Halloween with a swastika shirt that said, “More white babies.” We thought it was funny because it was. He also wore a gold ring that said, “Jihad.” Again, no problems. This is called “brown privilege.”
He felt that it had all been preordained, that heaven-sent grace was coming his way. He would think things and they would happen, he told me. While vacuuming at his parents’ house one day, he found himself thinking about a song by Hüsker Dü, the first punk band he’d loved. Knocking the remote with the vacuum cleaner, he accidentally turned on the TV and the video for that exact song came on. Hüsker Dü had broken up but the band’s frontman, Bob Mould, would soon be performing live in Montreal. Alvi knew his magazine would cover it. He just needed to find someone to review the concert—which is how I ended up writing for volume one, issue one, of Voice of Montreal.
At university in Ottawa, McInnes took women’s studies courses and got a ♀ tattoo with an E for equality. He started aligning himself with socially conscious groups. “He did it for social currency—as a fashion statement—rather than because he really believed in the ideology,” claimed Digras.
No, Eric. It’s because everything else was boring. At least women’s studies classes were interesting. The Fucked Up’s Damon Albarn said the same thing.
Also, I’d argue Western Chauvinists share a lot of the same values as the liberal activists of a quarter century ago. Both hate the government, want women to be free, want the people to be armed, eschew identity politics, and want an end to the drug war (remind me how Proud Boys are extreme, again?) If you’re looking for sexism and homophobia, I’d stop spending so much time scrutinizing the West and maybe check in on the Middle East.
Around that time, McInnes started a punk band called Leatherassbuttfuk with his grade school friend Shane Smith. McInnes sang songs like “You Can’t Rape a .38” as Smith, attired in leather chaps, banged away at a flying V guitar. “They had this weird bondage element,” said Durand, who saw them perform live. “There was blood involved…. Their shtick was being half naked, falling-down drunk. It was fucking gnarly.”
Is it possible the people who find this guy extreme today are just square?
After university, both McInnes and Smith bummed around Europe. Smith relocated to Budapest, where he became, as he’s described it, “a criminal” involved in arbitrage (money trading). McInnes stayed in squats and attended a fascist skinhead rally in Germany.
21- This one made me yell “WHAT!?” at the magazine. “Attended?” Are you fucking nuts? He knows what the story is. I drew it out frame-by-frame in my zine. We were staying with punks at the Meinza squat in East Berlin. We heard there was a Nazi skinhead rally so everyone left to PROTEST it. I joined them, obviously. Germany really valued freedom of the press back then so, because I had a camera and was taking pictures, I could go anywhere I wanted. This is “attending a Nazi rally.” This is the most blatant act of journalist activism in the whole piece.
“They look great,” he wrote, shortly thereafter, of the skinheads. “Why is it the bad guys always look cool?”
22- Even if you make it clear they’re the “bad guys” you can’t compliment them. Sorry Adam but skinheads do look cool. So do all subcultures. This is because subcultures are primarily focused on fashion. In fact, “looking cool” is basically what subcultures are all about.
Asked today about that experience, he grew agitated. “Are you implying that I somehow became enamored with Nazi skinheads at that rally?”
“Not enamored,” I replied. “But there was a fascination?”
“That’s a terrible angle,” he argued. “Skinheads have always been the bad guys.”
See? This is why you need to talk to journalists even when you know it’s a hit piece. This is one of about 100 fires I put out while talking to him.
He vehemently denied any links between skinheads and the Proud Boys, even though Fred Perry polo shirts are worn by both groups,
23- And Hitler used toilet paper just like you. What about Freddy Mercury and Amy Winehouse and every blue-collar Brit for the past fifty years and mods and punks etc. etc.? Are they Nazi skinheads for wearing Fred Perry? This is called “guilt by association.” All dogs are mammals. All cats are mammals. All dogs are not cats.
and members of 211 Bootboys, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)—the watchdog organization that monitors extremist and hate groups—
24- The left wing “watchdog” group. Ask John Stossel or Dennis Prager about the history of the SPLC. Ask my lawyer Ron Coleman why we’re suing them!
as “an ultranationalist far-right skinhead crew,” fought alongside members of the Proud Boys after a McInnes speech in New York City in 2018, singling out left-wing protesters and assaulting them.
25- WHAT!? This is the problem with some pussy in Montreal writing about something in New York he was six hours away from. “Singling out”!? Antifa were screaming at everyone who came to see my talk. They attacked them as they came in and got even more serious when they came out. They hurled bottles of piss. Are you “singling them out” if you respond? Antifa mobbed a journalist, beat the shit out of him, and stole his equipment. Finbarr Slonim, Kai Russo, and Caleb Perkins were arrested for the attack but got away with it because antifa is the paramilitary wing of the DNC and can do no wrong (Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance was funded by George Soros). It’s not hard to “single out” someone who is whipping a bottle of piss at you.
“It’s more of the media’s desperate need for Nazis,” he insisted over the phone. “We don’t allow any Nazis or any kind of racism…. We take in these people and we say, ‘We don’t care what race you are—as long as you think the West is the best.’ ”
They don’t include these rebuttals to be fair. They include them because they know I’m litigious and including my side of this particular argument indemnifies them.
He kept saying we instead of they. “Gavin,” I interjected, “are you still part of Proud Boys?”
“No, sorry,” he replied. “They do this. They do this.”
After Europe, McInnes moved to Montreal to become a comics illustrator. The city in 1994 was suffering an
Oh, forfuckssakes, we’re back to the early 90s again.
economic downturn, and cheap rent led to a thriving arts scene as well as a strong underground comics movement. McInnes started making his own zine—a photocopied mini-comic called Pervert—about some of his life experiences. I tracked down back issues at Arcmtl, a nonprofit that preserves independent Montreal cultural artifacts. (Their archival team was debating what to do with works by McInnes, whom one of them described as “the embodiment of smoldering ratshit.”)
Not bad Arcmtl, not bad.
When other publications wrote negatively of Pervert, McInnes sent reviewers threatening letters splattered in his blood. Contemporaries in the comics community tried to reason with him. “You need to learn that there is a fine line between humor and offensiveness,” explained Ariel Bordeaux, of Deep Girl, encouraging him to “grow up.”
Oh, I remember her. She couldn’t draw but everyone tolerated her because she’s female. I just looked her up. She’s still completely devoid of talent.
Even so, Pervert brought McInnes to Voice of Montreal’s attention. Alvi had started recruiting contributors. Local scenester Rufus Raxlen thought McInnes could help curate a comics page for the paper. “I introduced Suroosh to Gavin, unfortunately,” Raxlen told me from his home in Texas. “I knew people who [Suroosh] bought drugs with.” He emphasized that ’90s McInnes had little in common with the person he’s become: “But even back then, Gavin made an art out of getting on people’s nerves. He got off on it.”
Oh, that doesn’t sound like 2021 AT ALL.
One respected cartoonist from that circle described the Montreal McInnes as already going out of his way to be mean or disruptive: “That’s why he’d always get punched in the face.” He recounted one episode in particular. Standing at a busy intersection at rush hour, the cartoonist noticed McInnes across the boulevard. “All of a sudden, to make his friends laugh, he pulls his jacket completely over his head, hockey-fight style, and runs blindly into the traffic. Cars in both directions go screech, screech! I thought for sure I’m gonna see this guy get hit. Luckily, the drivers braked in time and swerved, honking and screaming. His friends were doubled over laughing.”
“That rings a bell,” McInnes commented when I asked him about it. “You’re not committed to the joke unless you’re willing to die to make people laugh.”
I met Alvi just after turning 18. He was looking for
Are we reading this guy’s diary? Is there a point to this?
contributors, and when he learned that I wrote for my college paper, he asked me to bring clips to the office. My published output consisted of a political think piece on fascist tendencies in Quebec’s separatist party and music reviews, including a write-up of a new album by Hüsker Dü’s frontman. At our meeting, Alvi asked if I’d cover his upcoming concert. He couldn’t pay for the review—but he could get me in for free, and he offered a token amount to stick around after the show and hand out flyers for Voice of Montreal’s launch party.
On the night of the performance, I filled my backpack with the rocket-shaped leaflets. Outside the auditorium, a friend told me he’d gotten me a gift to celebrate my first writing assignment.
“Close your eyes and open your mouth,” he said. He then placed a tab of LSD on my tongue. I’d never done acid.
I started peaking during the band’s set. The only notes I took were about a made-up song they didn’t play called “A.C.I.D.” During the encore, I felt something land on my head. Looking up, I saw what looked like thousands of starry birds fluttering through the concert hall. I soon realized: The origami sparrows twirling from the rafters were actually the fliers from my backpack. Someone had opened it—the friend who’d dosed me?—and tossed the contents into the air. The fliers got swept up and dispersed over the crowd.
It seemed appropriate; after all, what does a rocket ship do? But as high as I was, I never imagined that Alvi’s zine would one day take off too. Afterward, he said it hadn’t been a bad way to promote the party—as if God had handed out the fliers. He suggested I write about all of this in my review.
Hey editors, this is a good example of some paragraphs that can go. As Charles Murray says in The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead, “A good writer kills his darlings.”
WATCHING THE CAPITOL RIOT ON TV, MCINNES THOUGHT, WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU IMBECILES DONE NOW? THEY’RE NOT THE BRIGHTEST BULBS IN THE TREE. THEY’RE NOT EXACTLY SOPHISTICATED.
Strange pull quote and likely used so I don’t sue them. The subtext to this entire piece is that my “hateful rhetoric” led to the insurrection. However, I was against Jan 6 way back in December and begged everyone not to go. I clearly said “it’s a trap” and have video of me on my show saying exactly that to a Proud Boy they call Noble Beard. So, instead of rectifying the subtext, they keep it in and stick in that pull quote to avoid a lawsuit. Though this strategy is legally sound, it makes for a hypocritical article that leaves the reader scratching his head. “Is this guy a bigot or just a goofball? Is he behind the insurrection or was he against it?” You gotta kind of have these questions answered BEFORE you write the article.
It ran in issue one, November 1994, as did a feature on LGBTQ+ cinema; a write-up of a playwright exploring immigrant experiences; and an essay on white privilege which noted that, though advances had been made in multiculturalism, “the potential for more insidious racism is nipping at our collective nose.” The cover story consisted of a Black perspective on the use of the N-word in hip-hop. Over half the issue’s writers were women or people of color. At its inception, this was not the “lad mag” it would one day morph into. Instead, the publication had a clear emphasis on diversity and inclusion. And only one editor was listed on the
26- This is total and utter horse shit and I have the magazines to prove it. I’m the only person in the world that has every issue from the debut to when I left in 2008.
masthead of the debut issue: Suroosh Alvi. For his part, McInnes contributed cartoons and a record review. “I couldn’t write,” McInnes told me. “I didn’t know what writing was; I’d never done it before.” Still, Alvi soon hired him as assistant editor. To qualify, McInnes too had to be on welfare.
Shane Smith didn’t join the team until 1995, around the time he wrote a screed celebrating the violence of war: “War is the shit; as addictive and consuming as heroin.
27- Wait, dude, read your own article. The magazine started in 1994 and was some hippy rag about diversity and in 1995 it was glorifying war? So, it was PC for one year? Even if that were true, it’s totally irrelevant when discussing a magazine that was around for decades.
War is an invitation to the greatest party of all.” The story’s moral seemed to hint at things to come: “You should fear this. This is the heat of a conflict that burns everything it touches.”
God his articles were insufferable. I think he was trying to be Hunter Thompson. At least they weren’t 10,000 words long. Is this thing going to wrap up soon? I have to put my kids to bed.
He’d come to Montreal at the urging of McInnes—they needed help selling advertising, and “Bullshitter Shane,” as McInnes was known to call him, seemed like a solution. In Ottawa, Smith had been a waiter in a fancy restaurant. “He was always a great hustler,” McInnes told me. “He was either broke or he’d have like 3,000 bucks from tips.”
The night he was introduced to Alvi, at a local dive bar, Smith dropped LSD. He kept trying to tell Alvi that they were “going to take over the world,” but he was tripping so hard that the words would only come out garbled: “I was going, ‘I can’t get it out, I can’t get it out.’ ” On acid, Smith could already see how their magazine would lift off—the vision for global domination was clear—he just couldn’t articulate it yet.
Upon Smith’s arrival, they shortened the magazine’s name to Voice in order to sell ads in other Canadian cities. The masthead soon listed Alvi as editor in chief, McInnes as office manager, and Smith as business manager. The three were running things self-sufficiently, so they decided to cut ties with their Haitian publishers, changing the magazine’s name yet again by dropping the o.
This is all on Wikipedia and in my book. Is this why people buy Vanity Fair, to discover “secrets” available EVERYWHERE? Hey editors, here’s another big chunk you can lose.
The name Vice didn’t simply mirror its creators’ appetites. It also got them press. The founders made up a tale that they’d been forced to switch names because The Village Voice had threatened to sue. The story got picked up by Canadian media. “We were in every local paper, every national paper,” McInnes has written. “The lie just snowballed…. Lying became part of who we were.” Though they were still essentially a culture zine, Smith brought a focus on “good story-telling ability (i.e., being able to lie through your teeth),” as one early feature story formulated it. “We were all about making up shocking stories,” Smith would later explain.
Yeah, yeah. We know.
It’s hard to unravel the truth of Smith’s own backstory. He has said, for example, that he grew up “dirt poor,” but both his and McInnes’s father worked at Computing Devices of Canada, a military engineering firm. Their dads helped design a ballistic computer for the M1 Abrams tank used by the U.S. Army. “The truth of it is I always thought I was going to die, because when I was young I was in a kind of quasi-gang,” Smith remarked in an interview with filmmaker Spike Jonze, then the creative director of Vice. “There [were] 12 of us, and then by the time I was 18, nine had died.”
It’s funny how I’m sitting here proving my “gangs” weren’t gangs and Shane is insisting his non-gangs were actually gangs.
This much is certain: Smith attended one of Ottawa’s top-ranked high schools, Lisgar Collegiate Institute, as did the late news anchor Peter Jennings and actor Matthew Perry. Smith was already blurring things then: In the school yearbook, he described himself as a “real real rumcullie.” (Rumcully is an arcane pirate word for “a rich fool.”)
Smith started enlisting Alvi and McInnes to help with ad sales. He did the same with me.
Wow, crucial detail. You helped out your boss.
(Alongside writing pieces and selling space and distributing the magazine, I also played guitar in Smith’s swamp-rock band, Ultraviolet Booze Catastrophe.) An immense amount of work went into producing each issue, but there was a DIY spirit, with everybody pitching in.
In 1997, Vice took on a new editor: Robbie Dillon, a bank robber and loan shark who had just been released from Bordeaux Prison for drug trafficking. He was enrolled in journalism night classes, where he wrote an article called “How to Survive in Prison,” which got him the editor gig. Even Dillon was taken aback by Vice’s journalistic standards, as he told me recently: “Gavin might have been making stuff up, but Shane was making up the rules. I’d say, ‘Shane, you can’t write an article about smuggling guns into Ireland—you were never in Ireland. You can’t say that this guy said this—he’s not even a guy.’ He’d go, ‘Well, can we be sued?’ I’d go, ‘Not if it’s not a real guy.’ And he’d go, ‘Okay, we’ll do it!’ ”
I’m still close with Robbie and know he spoke to Adam for hours about this article. Robbie watches my show and knows the truth but Adam just threw out anything he said that was remotely positive. That’s not journalism. It’s activism.
Despite his criminal background, Dillon was a solicitous editor who wanted verifiable stories that took readers inside places they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. In McInnes’s words, Dillon “wrote the only serious content in our magazine for months.” The publication became a blend of outright fabrication and almost confessional sincerity—“Whatever bile oozes from the hissing bag of snakes inside my skull,” as Dillon wrote in one editorial. They started to find their voice by doing, as they often said, stupid stories in a smart way and smart stories in a stupid way. An interview with a piece of pasta, for example, might explore the philosophical realities of inanimate objects; an article purporting to help readers “get laid” would be written in binary code.
Robbie was seminal in helping me write the most popular article I ever wrote, “The Vice Guide to Eating Pussy.” That’s how I met Tucker Carlson, actually. He read it and insisted we have dinner. See? This life is interesting. Don’t let this loser bore you to death.
While McInnes and a small coterie wrote the lion’s share of the pieces, an array of contributors shaped it, including Amy Kellner,
Amy is the brains behind the Adderall theory which is coming up…
Bruce LaBruce, Lesley Arfin, Derrick Beckles, Lisa Gabriele, Thomas Morton, and photographer Ryan McGinley (who shoots on occasion for Vanity Fair).
Their combined voice was a combustible mix. “I thought of it as like a hyperintelligent teenaged Valley Girl from the ’80s who’s read Michel Foucault,” explained Jesse Pearson, a former Vice editor. “There was a lot of, like, barf-me-out kinda slang but also a certain intelligence hiding behind it.”
28- Wait, I thought it was cool in 1994 but by 1995 had become toxic and pro-war. Is it cool again in the 2000s? Is this article written by 100 different people?
Side note: Imagine writing about Vice in the early aughts and not mentioning Dash Snow. Adam was clearly not part of the story and is writing himself into it for clout.
There was also something else hiding behind it. And that duplicity is what got them to New York when, in 1999, McInnes, Smith, and Alvi pulled off their biggest con to date. During a Montreal newspaper interview, they claimed that a local multimillionaire software entrepreneur named Richard Szalwinski wanted to buy Vice. As they tell it, he read the ensuing article and ended up investing $1 million for 25 percent of the company.
Yeah, yeah. Ancient news. Is this article meant to be published AFTER an apocalypse when all other sources of information has been burned to the ground? Is this Mad Max talking to that tribe of children in Beyond Thunderdome?
Then came the thunder, McInnes told me. Two years after relocating to Manhattan, he was standing on his roof on the Lower East Side when he saw the second plane hit the south tower of the World Trade Center. That moment, he said, changed everything for him: “9/11 made me a nationalist and made me a Western chauvinist.” Until then, he claimed, he hadn’t really cared about politics. But the idea of pinning some newfound chauvinism on 9/11 is inaccurate.
So, I’m lying about my own feelings? Do I love my wife? What else do I not know about myself?
He’d already been churning out provocative, race-baiting content before the attacks, even if there was a marked shift in his approach soon after he moved to the U.S.
Looking back on his output from that pre-9/11 period, two articles stand out as harbingers. The first is a photo shoot from the fall of 1999, shortly before I became the editor, that shows a multicultural array of male and female models hugging a man in a KKK robe. The section, which billed itself as “a nine page fashion shoot that single-handedly stops all racism forever,” was intended to troll readers—it “lampooned racism,”
It’s called a joke, Adam. Calm down.
McInnes told me—but the concept behind it stemmed from a supposed weakness that McInnes immediately detected in his new homeland: America’s sensitivity around race. Just as he had done with the Monks, he set out to mock what he perceived as a vulnerability, prodding at it in hopes of creating laughs or havoc.
What’s wrong with that? That’s the point of satire, you fool.
The second piece dropped the following year. Written by McInnes, a recent immigrant, it called for closing the borders of the U.S. With lines like “Everything from deformed frogs to the allergy epidemic can be attributed to overpopulation,” it may have seemed like another one of his freaky jokes—but there was nothing funny about it.
Correct. Mass immigration – which is almost exclusively ILLEGAL immigration – causes a myriad of problems including environmental problems. This is why the Sierra Club split into two. One side recognized this and the other thought it was offensive as did their donors. The writer would know all this if he genuinely cared about the subject but anything that sounds offensive IS offensive to the incurious so BOOM it’s proof I’m a racist.
(He had inserted it into the magazine without me having seen it; I was the editor then, but he made many of the final decisions about the magazine’s content.)
Dude, I was the editor. I was ALWAYS the editor. We called managing editors the editor because it made them feel special. There was never a word printed I didn’t approve and every word I wanted printed got printed. You were my EMPLOYEE.
Asked about that story today, he claimed that his anti-immigration stance then came “from an environmental perspective.”
It did. Now it’s more of a cultural perspective but same stance. Strong borders. You know, like Obama and the Clintons were for back in 2004?
In retrospect, none of us, including myself, were innocent bystanders. Some were even enablers. Smith, for his part, would tell Wired in 2007, a year before McInnes’s departure: “Gavin liked to push buttons, and he got a lot of personal notoriety for dealing with race issues. This is not what we’re about, it’s never what we’ve been about.” Though the organization’s complicity
29- Wait, how is saying I am “not what we’re about” “enabling” me? Can you read?
Also, Shane said this as we were negotiating my buyout and it was a tactic to hurt my position. So, it doesn’t just contradict your hypothesis, it’s part of a much bigger picture you missed.
during McInnes’s tenure can’t simply be waved aside, there’s also no way that Vice’s management and staff could have seen all that was coming. Part of the failure may be that nobody understood his tactics, even if his politics were hiding in plain sight. In that regard, the circle of people who worked with McInnes—and avidly read Vice in that era—might be compared to, say, the parts of the culture that long celebrated Woody Allen or Louis C.K., two humorists who achieved fame and fortune even as they openly told us, through their work, who they were all along. (In McInnes’s case, he also told us through the work of Vice’s contributors, whose words he sometimes changed freely, adding entire paragraphs to writers’ articles, according to several sources.) He was my boss and the de facto editor in chief; looking back now, I deeply regret not pushing back, especially during my year at the helm.
30- Ha ha ha ha. “Deeply regret”! Why don’t you get in a time machine and pretend I ever gave a shit about what you had to say? These outsiders rewriting history and injecting themselves into the story like they were some kind of seminal piece of the puzzle that could have “prevented it all” is comical. Dude thinks he’s Marty McFly.
Until that point, McInnes had been, above all, a trickster—“a mean clown,” as two former associates put it. But with 9/11, many culture critics began to assert that irony was in retreat, and irony, after all, had been Vice’s primary register.
31- Hold on, you said saying it started with 9/11 is a lie. Hey writers, before you submit an article to your editors, read it and check to see if you changed your mind somewhere along the thousands and thousands of words.
A change came over the magazine. McInnes too became more hawkish. “Politically correct words are the result of liberals trying to shape fear and guilt into meaningless syntax,” McInnes wrote in 2002.
32- I also wrote “In Defense of Hate” in the late 90s. It was basically a ripoff of a similar article in the New Yorker. This was back when people could think outside the box.
In an unhinged New York Press interview that same year, he uttered homophobic and racist slurs, using the N-word and denigrating Puerto Ricans. Regarding Williamsburg’s gentrifiers, he said, “At least they’re white.”
33- Minor detail (sarcasm): For this interview, I was dressed as a Nazi skinhead, Shane was dressed as a soccer hooligan, and Suroosh was dressed as the victim of a hate crime, complete with bloody bandage on his head. The article ran with that picture so the edgy humor was apparent. This is in my book and the author said he had just finished reading it therefore this detail was knowingly left out. That’s activism, folks!
With his partners busy expanding the brand—and seeking wealth (“I was willing to sacrifice happiness for greed,” Alvi admitted in 2002)—McInnes became increasingly influenced by the writings of Jim Goad, author of The Redneck Manifesto.
34- You fucking idiot. Talk to Suroosh. Goad’s zine Answer Me! was basically the template for Voice of Montreal. Suroosh and I learned to write from reading Goad. Also, no mention of Goad working at Censored.TV? His show is on right now!
“The greatest writer of our generation,” McInnes has said of him. (Goad attended the Proud Boys’ election night party in 2016; the organization’s now-defunct website described a book of his as “Proud Boy Holy scripture.”) Another writer who made a lasting impression on McInnes was paleoconservative Pat Buchanan,
Holy shit! An accurate detail, in context, with the correct date!
from whose book he has often read aloud at Proud Boys events. In January 2003, Vice did a “The West is the Best” issue, inspired by Buchanan’s The Death of the West. In that issue, McInnes ran an interview entitled “The Merits of War” with Scott McConnell, executive editor of Buchanan’s magazine, The American Conservative.
35- For the record, McConnell is an anti-war paleoconservative isolationist which is why he was editing Buchanan’s magazine. “The Merits of War” is a clickbait title for a debate with a neocon and a paleocon. Writers are now taking misleading titles and pretending they were totally literal. I’m assuming my “How to Fight a Baby” video is next.
That August, McInnes himself published an AmCon piece about his efforts to convert Vice readers to conservatism: “I felt like Dr. Frankenstein,” he wrote, of his red-pilling campaign. “‘IT’S ALIVE!’ ”
Correct. Which is why they ban me. I red pilled a generation and will never be forgiven.
When other media outlets confronted him about the monster he was creating, he brushed it off—“I did it for a laugh”—telling Gawker that he’d fabricated facts and nobody had caught on.
Yes, this is the pussy out I described earlier. It’s one of the few things I wish I could take back.
The New York Times ran a feature describing McInnes’s views as “closer to a white supremacist’s”—a characterization he bridles at today. “I love being white…. It’s something to be very proud of,” it quoted him as saying. “I don’t want our culture diluted. We need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life.”
36- Again, context. This quote has been used against me 100 times and I’ve explained it 100 times. Here we go again: Vanessa Grigoriadis was having trouble with her Times piece on us. I wanted it published and was trying to help her out. I suggested she juxtapose Suroosh and I. He’s a Pakistani nationalist Muslim who opposes Israel, thinks the West is deeply flawed, and is “proud to be brown.” I’ve been sitting next to him for ten years and I’m basically the opposite. I regret saying “white” and making it racial but you couldn’t get anything published back then without the race card all over it. The Times took out the Suroosh part, left in my side, and added the “white supremacist” part. I was furious with Grigoriadis before she explained it wasn’t her. She also told me she’d never write for the NYT again. Not sure if she stuck to that.
For the record, one of the best things about Western culture is it eschews identity politics. If you come here legally and embrace our values, you’re one of us. No other cultures are like that. Try getting Japan to accept you as Japanese. Yes, the West is predominantly white but chess masters are predominantly Russian. If you think the chess is the best are you a Russian supremacist?
I remember how upset Alvi was whenever we spoke about that article. For him, the son of Pakistani immigrants, the situation seemed particularly noxious. Smith too was allegedly furious. Even so, it would take five more years for his partners to cut ties with McInnes—which is when things got truly Shakespearean.
37- Five years? That’s a long time to “fire” someone for a bad quote. Are you sure your hypothesis doesn’t suck balls?
On meeting the three witches, Banquo wonders whether he has consumed some “insane root / That takes the reason prisoner.” McInnes certainly took a prodigious amount of drugs, especially cocaine, as he’s often bragged. Under his leadership, the magazine openly discussed ways to “max out your coke high.”
38- Cocaine was an integral part of many businesses before the rise of the nerd. Check the Tower Records documentary All Things Must Pass.
But the intensification of his far-right views coincides with the time that he started taking another psychotropic drug: Adderall, an amphetamine-based stimulant that helps with focus and is prescribed for ADHD.
39- Yaay! It’s time for “How’d he become a Nazi?” theory #342. “It was Adderall.” Here, our old pal Amy takes over the article and gives her two cents. Can I add a #343? Maybe I’m not a Nazi? Can we at least include that in this hodge podge of babbling theories?
It can be taken recreationally or to boost productivity—but there are serious consequences if abused. (Donald Trump, it is worth noting, has himself weathered unproven allegations of hearty Adderall use.)
McInnes, who has spoken publicly about taking Adderall to help him write, has dated his use of the drug back to the early 2000s.
Wait, I thought we were cool back then.
“I didn’t take more or less than anyone else,” he wrote in an email, “and NO it did not effect [sic] my writing.” But those around him took notice. “Adderall is a really big part of the story,” alleges a former colleague. “He was using a lot of Adderall—a lot lot…
This is patently false. I’ve only ever done a quarter of the 10mg pill. The kids today will have FIVE of those in a day, which is basically the same as a San Francisco tweaker in the 1970s.
We know what the side effects are: It can lead to grandiosity, to feeling like you are right and the world is wrong. It can include elements of paranoia. And all those psychological phenomena are wrapped up in Gavin’s transformation.”
Amy was a brutal cokehead by the way.
In one episode of his podcast, McInnes has described procuring Adderall from a Park Avenue doctor.
Yeah, it was the Jezebel.com doctor. He hooked up every writer there. That entire site was fueled by the drug. Did they all have “delusions of grandeur,” you fucking nerd?
He continued taking the drug after having children with his wife, Emily Jendrisak, whom he married in 2005. The way he describes his stag party, held in upstate New York, gives a sense of how altered his worldview had seemingly become. As relayed in his autobiography, he got upset at his father “for not doing cocaine with us.”
Uh, that was at my 30th birthday five years before and it’s a funny story. Readers, if you know me and we see each other, ask me about it.
Then, he claims, 10 of his friends dressed up as Klansmen, “hoods and all,” as they burned a 15-foot wooden cross. (Nobody I spoke to would confirm whether this actually happened; McInnes insists in the memoir that its contents are true.)
40- You know it’s true because it’s in my autobiography. It’s quite telling that you neglected to mention the guys who participated in this ridiculous stunt were black (Derrick Beckles), gay (Benjamin Cho), Asian (David Choe), Jewish, Indian, etc. etc. He also left out that we took off the hoods and began French kissing each other while laughing our heads off. It was the kind of hilarious stunt you’d see at a Hell’s Angels party and the satire was over-the-top obvious. Do you honestly think anyone from the Klan would be excited about a bunch of drunk men of all races smooching each other and jumping over fires and throwing beer at each other? If the Klan would have hated it, it’s not pro-KKK. We took partying to performance art levels.
This article is starting to sound like a bitter geek who never got invited to anything fun.
By that point, McInnes, still at Vice, was also contributing to VDARE.com, a site that promoted “the work of white supremacists,” according to the SPLC.
41- Nice source. Google “The SPLC is a hate group” to see how ridiculous it is to use them as a source. Did you know VDare is suing the NYT for calling them white supremacists? They are an anti-illegal immigration site run by an immigrant. Fuck you.
Smith attended the wedding. “I remember him standing there, surveying,” Eric Digras recalled. Smith, according to former Vice employees, seemed to know that something, somehow, would need to change. “There was a kind of rivalry there that I think was mainly coming from Shane,” said Jesse Pearson, the editor at the time. “That’s when it became like a Shakespeare play: These two power-hungry lords fighting for the kingdom.” Added another colleague from this period, “The defining aspect of the relationship was their rivalry. They were two trashy dudes in spandex trying to out-guitar-solo each other every night.”
It’s at the point where seeing something accurate in this article jumps out and kind of slaps you in the face. I’m like, “Holy shit! That part is actually true!”
A decisive turning point came five months after the wedding, when McInnes attended the 2006 American Renaissance Conference, a “racial realist” meetup that attracted hundreds of white nationalists.
Here we go! The smoking gun!
According to an article from The Forward, posted on American Renaissance’s website, “attendees are united by a common belief in black intellectual inferiority, opposition to non-white immigration and ardor for maintaining America’s white majority.”
To be clear, this is The Forward’s (a far left, Jewish site) interpretation of American Renaissance.
While there, McInnes noticed former KKK leader David Duke at the bar. “I texted my friends: Just hanging out with my old pal David Duke,” he explained in our interview. “That became like, I’m at a Klan rally…. I think some people used it as an excuse”—meaning a reason to link McInnes to the KKK and, perhaps, get rid of him.
42- Yeah, I sent the message to a few people. Some said, “Stab him.” Kenny Hotz thought it was hilarious. I miss Kenny. Duke was ultimately booted from the conference as Jewish attendees hollered, “You fucking Nazi, you’ve disgraced this meeting.” I sent Adam all this information. He ignored it because it didn’t fit the narrative.
I’m not defending American Renaissance but the way they are portrayed is insane.
Though he never actually wrote about the gathering, he characterized it as a reporting assignment. “It was just me doing my job,” he claimed.
“Aw shit, there goes the whole impetus for this article. Maybe the Adderall theory will stick. Whatever, I gotta get this in. I’m way past deadline. I know, I’ll just send in all my notes and pretend it’s just a really long exposé. The editor is a retarded affirmative action hire who won’t even read it.”
Those around him weren’t so sure. This was, after all, the same McInnes who’d written in 2002 that a liberal spotted at a strip club “would either deny it was happening or claim it was some sort of research project.” However one chooses to interpret McInnes’s presence at the conference, it pretty much ended his relationship with Vice. “That became the moment,” noted Pearson. “That forcing-out-of-the-company thing.”
Could be that particular straw that broke the camel’s back, sure. Could also be that I had proposed to my girlfriend and was ready to start a family while they were still vacationing together. We were no longer the three amigos. It was two plus one. Could also be that real money was being floated around and I was still determined to keep the content on the fringe. It was our brand, after all. “Offensive” is listed as “words associated with vice” in the dictionary.
The separation with McInnes took time, a period during which he and his wife had their first child. “One day,” McInnes recalled, “corporate built a closed office for the top brass and I was not in it.” His desk, instead, was in the bullpen, from which he worked—as well as working remotely—until he and the company parted ways. Lesley Arfin, a magazine contributor at that stage, who went on to be a writer on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Girls as well as cocreator of Love, believes that McInnes, to this day, may be “stuck in trauma”
Stuck in trauma for what, fifteen years? That doesn’t sound a little weird to you? Go interview someone who lost a family member fifteen years ago. They’re usually doing pretty good. I lost a job. Oh, and I’m rich and apparently relevant enough to be talked about for INFINITY WORDS Vanity Fair. I think I’ll survive.
over what happened. “I don’t think that he ever recovered from that humiliation,” she insisted. “You lose your best friend and your job, that is like your entire fucking personality—and you just had a baby, like boom! Three life-changing things right in the same [stretch of time].” (“I was not fired,” McInnes clarified. “We split because I wanted to keep it offensive and they wanted to get serious.”)
Following McInnes’s departure (the company completed its separation agreement with him in 2008), Vice started to experience phenomenal growth. By then, the company had pivoted toward online video, which would become one of the main sources of its success. In time, Vice Media, led by Smith and serving a lucrative millennial audience, would launch new digital video platforms and expand into film, music, and news, joining forces with partners such as MTV, HBO, Showtime, and Snap Inc, while attracting investors ranging from 21st Century Fox to Disney to George Soros. The office environment, however, was marred by allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying behavior as well as outright sexism. (Two years ago, the company agreed to a $1.87 million payout to women employees who had been compensated less than their male counterparts. A heavily female leadership team is now in charge, with women currently accounting for more than half of Vice Media’s global workforce.)
Again, I’m no fan of Vice and had no contact with anyone there after I left but my gut tells me this was PC bullshit and was just the radical left demanding more and more the more and more they got.
McInnes’s deepening radicalism can be tracked
Oh good, he’s going to actually give examples. It only took him 7,000 words.
online in a weekly column he wrote from 2008 to 2017 in Taki’s Magazine,
Fun fact: Taki used to write for Vanity Fair before they went woke. He did a whole article on why you should wear your Rolex outside your cuff. The fact he is now included as an example of bigotry shows how far VF has strayed.
the at times far-right-fomenting webzine published by the Greek journalist and socialite Taki Theodoracopulos, cofounder of The American Conservative. Sample titles: “The Myth of White Terrorism,”
43- This is a well-documented fact. Despite pearl-clutching liberals insisting the “Insurrection” (on my show, we call it the “Jan 6 Meandering”) was the worst thing since 9/11, any boob with a brain can see the BLM / antifa riots of the past year have been exponentially worse. They have caused $3 billion in damage which is the most in American history. Every state has had riots and every city has had statues torn down. About thirty five people have been killed (mostly black by the way). ONE person was killed at The Meandering and she was MAGA. So, spare me the looming threat of the white militia. It’s not a thing.
“Rioting: The Unbeatable High,”
See? This is what I was saying about journalists ignoring misdirects in order to feed their narrative. I’m obviously against the BLM / anitfa riots. If he had read the article he would see that. Also, please know I have no intention of literally fighting a baby.
and “What’s the Matter With Blackface?”
44- This was an incredibly well-researched article I’m quite proud of. Turns out only a small percentage of it was mean-spirited. Reason.org ran a similar story with a lot of the same sources and it caused zero controversy.
The thing I hate about this kind of outrage is it is anti-nuance. Devil’s advocate thinking is what makes our world colorful. I’ll never forget Peter Brimelow’s pro-cigarette article “Thank You For Smoking.” I don’t agree with it per se but I had never read that angle before. If your pilot was a smoker, would you rather get into his plane before or after he had a cigarette? Smoking improves alertness and dexterity, Peter pointed out. In Adam’s world, we don’t have controversial opinions such as that. They’re too dangerous. What a gray planet these people want. So drab.
McInnes was recruited to write there by Richard Spencer, who has since become one of the country’s most reviled anti-Semites. “People change and movements evolve,” McInnes told me in one email. “Richard Spencer said ‘Hail Trump’ at that conference and the whole thing went careening off a Nazi cliff…. Spencer was a cool guy. He got me my job at Takimag in 2008 after I left Vice. Back then, he was just some paleoconservative who was obsessed with the founding fathers. The Spencer of today has nothing to do with the guy I knew 10 years ago.”
Again, this is why you talk to people writing a hit piece. It hadn’t occurred to the writer that people change. This paragraph would have looked really bad without me pointing that out.
For his part, the McInnes of today describes his position as “basic dad politics.” He sent me a list outlining his views, saying, “They’re the same views as any rational person.” It included his thoughts on subjects such as “Racism is not a thing,” “America was not built on slavery,” and “Gay marriage is a scam.” His views were openly Islamophobic, transphobic, anti-feminist, and discriminatory toward a variety of groups.
Says the person writing a discriminatory article about a Trump supporter. “Hate Has No Home Here” except for Trump. They hate him with a passion.
One through line: his underlying preoccupation with other people’s bodies, identities, and their realities or personal decisions.
What the fuck is he talking about here?
When I asked him why he dwelled on that theme, he deflected, as usual: “Proud Boys are unique Americans in the sense that they eschew identity politics.” But as described by the SPLC, “McInnes plays a duplicitous rhetorical game: claiming to reject white nationalism while espousing a laundered version of popular white nationalist tropes.”
“You’re a Nazi” No, I’m not. “Oh, you’re a liar too?”
McInnes is someone who apparently concluded long ago that white male privilege was imperiled.
What the fuck?!
Come 9/11, believing that his reality was literally under attack, he’d embraced the notion that conservatism was essentially about upholding the status quo for those in power, meaning white men like himself.
What the? This is a common liberal trope I have NEVER heard a conservative reiterate. We don’t believe in white male privilege in the first place, moron. I see plenty of brown privilege but being a white male in 2021 is to be deemed a sinner. Yes, this is a real headline.
By 2016, in founding the Proud Boys, he tried to turn his ideologies into political action. Beyond that, McInnes’s overarching philosophy seemed to be that free speech included hate speech.
45- It does, you absolute dunce. Imagine not knowing this and being a guy who tells people stuff. How did the editors not catch this?
“When you hate someone,” as he once said, “it’s because you recognize something that you hate about yourself.”
“I always thought he was a narcissist,” Arfin mused.
“He’s definitely profoundly narcissistic,” Eric Digras stated, while other members of his inner circle didn’t hesitate in using stricter diagnostic labels. Regardless, Digras still maintains ties with McInnes as an old friend in hopes of keeping him “tethered to his humanity.”
In terms of my own reportorial interactions with McInnes, when I contacted him after a break of two decades in our communication, he offered to “just jump ahead of all” my questions and essentially interview himself so that I wouldn’t need to interrupt with cardboard-people words of my own. Among his concerns: that nothing he’d said be linked with Nazism. “Everyone keeps coming back to, ‘Are you a Nazi?’ ” he huffed.
Turns out my “huffing” was totally justified.
Nothing could be further from the truth, he insisted.
“I can only imagine it just seems like an unfortunate misunderstanding?”
“It’s not a misunderstanding,” he retorted. “It’s a weapon that people use to try to silence someone else.”
Great point, me!
Why, then, did he think that he’s perceived to be the founder of a hate group? “I am the most misunderstood person in America,” he emphasized in a follow-up email, again deflecting—and sounding not unlike one of his icons to whom he owes his recent notoriety: Trump. “At no time in history has someone this reasonable been this misrepresented.”
He believed his predicament stemmed from the fact that in 2018 the SPLC classified the Proud Boys as a hate group, based on group members’ violent conduct, “their associations with white nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations, and statements disparaging women, minorities, and other marginalized groups.”
To date, he claimed,
46- What do you mean, “Claimed”? Look it up. The complaint is online for all to see. Talk to the lawyer, Ron Coleman. DO YOUR JOB!
he has spent $200,000 after raising it to sue the SPLC for defamation. “The left set out to destroy my reputation and they did a great job,” he said. His latest opponent is the Canadian government, which has listed the Proud Boys as a terrorist neo-fascist entity; McInnes’s association with the group could render him inadmissible if he attempts to return to the country.
Yeah, because of the Meandering which happened in another country. The KKK isn’t on this list. Don’t you think that’s fucked up? Is anyone sane on this planet?
Although he served as its leader during its first two years while the group became more formalized and militarized, he may have stepped down just in time. In Trump’s America, the idea of the Proud Boys caught on and “very quickly accelerated out of control,” explained Jared Holt, resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab in Washington.
Ha ha ha. Look at that title. Imagine asking Jared Holt for information about anything. What an absolute joke. Again, where is ONE non-leftist source? I’d take a libertarian at this point. Anyone.
“It went from a gaggle of street brawlers
Horse shit. It went from a group of guys who stood up to antifa at conservative talks. They tried to kill Ann Coulter. Proud Boys protected Michelle Malkin and Roger Stone. They never went looking for a fight or “singled out” anyone. As we always say, “We don’t go to their things. They come to our things.” In modern America however, fighting back is a crime. Remember the Covington Catholic school boys who were told “standing their ground” is “somewhat aggressive”? That’s where we are right now.
If you’re looking for wanton violence. Check in on the left. Check in on the DNC. They’re unhinged and examples of their “violent rhetoric” are endless.
into something able to earn the buy-in and the respect of massive portions of the GOP base.” Holt, who has been monitoring the group since the start, told me, “It’s really just a few steps removed from white genocide conspiracy theories.”
It’s weird how they’re so obsessed with “white genocide.” I don’t talk about it but is it so horrible to be concerned about? What if Japan had so many white immigrants they were becoming a minority. Would “Japanese genocide” be tisk tisked? What about the white farmers of Rhodesia? Are they allowed to complain? I don’t get it.
Also, it’s interesting to note, the writer avoided mentioning my Native American wife and children or the absolute terror liberals have put my family through. Doesn’t fit the narrative I suppose.
Throughout our conversation, McInnes came across as unwilling to take full responsibility for his situation. In his words, he’d simply wanted to “fuck shit up.” He didn’t appear to recognize that statements he has made outlining his ideology are at the root of his troubles.
Yeah, Superman! Kneel before Zod or face the consequences.
McInnes’s views have affected his home life. In 2018, ABC’s Nightline interviewed him and his wife, Emily, at their house in New York’s Westchester County, where residents put up signs vilifying him. On ABC, McInnes drank beer as his wife told him, “Your politics having evolved this way in the last few years has been a challenge.” He looked away. Asked whether he was willing to apologize for what he’d created, he said no, firmly. Would he take any of it back if possible? He thought about it, stroking his face roughly. “Yes, I guess, well…. I don’t know.”
Well, the Gawker thing.
Then he made a final, dismissive wave. “Nah,” he said, as conclusively as he could muster. It was too late for all that.
“It’s a very chillax day,” McInnes said when I called him around midday on a Friday in March. “Trying to avoid the bar for as long as possible. If you go there at noon, you’re kinda fucked for the day. At night, you’re slurring.”
McInnes, an avid boozer, has consistently maintained that he started the Proud Boys as an outlet for harmless fun: an Animal House-style drinking club for male
Is anyone still reading at this point? It’s like a senile old man going back over his whole life on his porch. Does he even notice that we fell asleep?
buddies. But even he could see that what began as an extension of his brand had spiraled into something much more nefarious. He’d watched the Capitol riot on TV like everyone else. “I thought, What the fuck have you imbeciles done now?” he said. “They’re not the brightest bulbs in the tree. They’re not exactly sophisticated.” At one point he mentioned that he had warned his cohorts, “You’re gonna get shot; someone’s going to die; do not go”—insisting a march on Washington was an “obvious trap,” just as he had cautioned marchers attending the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was organized by a then Proud Boy.
47- False. Jason Kessler was an infiltrator (likely a Fed) who told each chapter he was NOT alt-right. He got in twice and both times he was sussed out THAT DAY and booted. I gave him shit for this on my show. The footage is available to anyone who asks. Adam never asked. Being incurious is not a good character trait for a writer.
Of all the pro-Trump outfits that broke into the houses of Congress, more Proud Boys have been arrested than those affiliated with other groups, such as the Oath Keepers or Three Percenters.
48- Factually incorrect. There are 15 Proud Boys facing trial right now as opposed to 30 Oath Keepers. There are over a hundred facing trial including old ladies.
The media wanted this to be a Proud Boys thing so badly. The New York Times said they had evidence of me being there and included a picture of some old dude with a beard and my glasses. I refuse to concede that Proud Boys were there – as Proud Boys. They very purposely did not wear the Fred Perrys. They were there as civilians. When Proud Boys are at an event, they bring flags and the black and yellow uniforms. Proud Boys decided NOT to go to this and the members who insisted were there on their own behalf. If 15 of the people arrested were also Knights of Columbus did the Knights of Columbus storm the Capitol? Obviously not.
Even so, McInnes contended that the group is being demonized. “The media wanted it to be a Proud Boys event so badly,” he argued in March. “There were 30,000 people there that day, 250 arrested for storming the Capitol.” Only a handful, he said, “happened to be members.” (More than 100 Proud Boys
This is a theory pushed by the NYT with zero proof.
from across America traveled to Washington for the riot. To date over two dozen purported members have been charged;
This is false. Your sources suck. I talk to the lawyers involved on a regular basis.
prosecutors also allege that some of them coordinated their efforts with Oath Keepers.)
At the same time that FBI indictments of Proud Boys were being released publicly, a number of reports described McInnes’s former company, Vice Media, as seeking to close a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company at around half its peak valuation of $5.7 billion four years ago. (It wasn’t clear, given Vice’s outstanding debt and investors, where this would leave Smith, the company’s biggest individual shareholder.)
49- I think this is the writer assuming I’m crestfallen about Vice’s enormous wealth. “Yeah, it sucks being a mere multi-millionaire. Fuck first class. I want my own jet.” Do you realize how retarded that sounds?
Maybe if I was broke and had no job, I’d be pissed. However, if I hadn’t negotiated a strong settlement (and knew I’d make plenty more in the future) I never would have allowed the split.
Censored.TV has 25,000 subscribers paying $10 a month. Why was this left out of the article? Why not mention we had Candace Owens debate Cornell West on the site and it’s all about free speech? This was omitted because it hurts the narrative of me being a bitter old man who wishes he could be back at Vice writing about cum cocktails in Brazil.
Through the years, McInnes seemed to have adhered to the first half of his magazine’s principles, by living the stupid young part of his life smartly. Now well into his Gen X dotage, his current reality is another question.
I genuinely have no clue what this person is talking about.
Either way, Vice alum Arfin noted, “Vice will always be tied to this alt-right shit, and Gavin will always have this hipster-liberal phantom cell phone vibration buzzing in the back pocket of his khakis.”
In our conversation, McInnes struck a genial tone. He said he hadn’t changed much since the time I knew him: “I hated the government; I still hate the government. I want to burn it to the ground.” I asked if he thought the government has him under surveillance. “Oh, they absolutely do,” he replied. “This call’s being listened to right now by the feds. The FBI and the NYPD monitor all my calls and follow all my texts. I’m banned from all social media…. I’ve been de-personed.”
He had a theory on how he’d ended up this way; it went back to eighth grade. “They put me in a special class, even though my grades were okay, because I was just a lot to handle,” he confided. “Eventually, if you keep being provocative, they’ll try to separate you from the rest of the students. And that’s what’s happened on a much grander scale: I’m in the special class right now. That’s the fate of someone who keeps being a class clown.”
See? The only good parts of this article is when he let me talk. This is a profound observation.
I wondered whether he could see the difference between being a clown and inciting violence.
How did I incite violence, you clown? Choke a tranny if they spit in your face? Ooh, how sinister!
Did he know that his actions led him here, that the words he’d uttered had consequences?
Ok, so the writer is very concerned about violent rhetoric because it could lead to people getting hurt. I assume he is equally flumoxed by…
Eric Holder saying “When they go low, we kick them.”
Tim Kaine saying “We’ve got to fight in the streets” (his son is in antifa BTW).
Ayanna Presley saying, “There needs to be unrest in the streets.”
Nancy Pelosi saying, “We got to be ready to throw a punch” and “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be.”
Kamala Harris saying, “Protestors should not let up.”
Maxine Waters saying, “I will go and take out Trump tonight.”
Jon Tester saying, “I think you need to go back and punch [Trump] in the face.”
And that’s just mainstream politicians. In modern America, “Punch a Nazi” is common parlance and “Nazi” is defined as anyone who supports Trump. Apparently, it’s violent to want to fight back.
“I’m not going to deny any culpability here,” he admitted. “I’ve always wanted to kick the hornet’s nest and keep things exciting. But the most recent developments are insane.
Exactly. When I said, “There’s no such thing as trans. It’s just mentally ill gays” they shut down my ad agency. They didn’t attack my kids. They didn’t vandalize my house. They didn’t get my brother fired and my in-laws attacked. The mob in 2010 was nothing. Today, they are rabid puritans who want to murder those who stray from the path.
I didn’t know the hornets would be doing that.”
Some sources I interviewed wondered if McInnes, instead of playing the victim, might take this opportunity to repent or reverse course, no matter how cynically. He did neither. Others were curious if perhaps his parents and loved ones were in a position to help put him on a better path.
50- What the fuck? Do you see how liberalism is a religion. “Original Sins” indeed. This guy sounds like a priest trying to cure a man of blasphemy. He’s a childless tool with no future who wrote two books and has accomplished nothing in his life. Sorry, squirt, I’m not looking for a path to redemption.
But when I called his father, Jim McInnes, he was adamant that everything his son had done was a joke, that the media simply didn’t get it. In fact, he said, he’d been writing a book about the whole thing. He even had a title. He was calling it Proud of My Boy.
Right on, dad. Right on.
This story has been updated.