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NYT apologizes, says didn’t mean to ‘normalize’ white nationalism

Tony Hovater, a white nationalist and Nazi sympathizer based in Ohio, is seen in front of his home. (Photo via The New York Times)

The New York Times has apologized for giving platform to a white nationalist, asserting that it did not mean to “normalize anything.”

The American newspaper based in New York City issued an apology on Sunday over publishing a profile on a Nazi sympathizer, identified as Tony Hovater.

"We regret the degree to which the piece offended so many readers," wrote Marc Lacey, the paper’s national editor, after the piece was published on Saturday. "We recognize that people can disagree on how best to tell a disagreeable story. What we think is indisputable, though, is the need to shed more light, not less, on the most extreme corners of American life and the people who inhabit them. That’s what the story, however imperfectly, tried to do."

Hovater, a white nationalist and Nazi sympathizer based in Ohio, attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter protester was murdered in August.

"We described Mr. Hovater as a bigot, a Nazi sympathizer who posted images on Facebook of a Nazi-like America full of happy white people and swastikas everywhere. We understand that some readers wanted more pushback, and we hear that loud and clear," Lacey said. "Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article. The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.”

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US President Donald Trump has also been under fire due to his failure to immediately condemn the tragedy in Charlottesville, in which a driver plowed into demonstrators protesting against white supremacists, killing a young woman and injuring nearly 20 others.

Instead, he blamed both sides for the clashes that took place on August 13.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and some 20 others were injured.

A 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer, identified as James Alex Fields Jr, was said to have been behind the wheel.

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