Renaissance Man

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 10 2011 8:08 AM

Renaissance Man

I'm mostly with Matt Welch when the New York Times writes this about the connection between Jared Loughner and American Renaissance .

Law enforcement officials said they suspectedthat Mr. Loughner also might have been influenced by such things as American Renaissance , a conservative monthly magazine thatdescribes itself as "America's premiere publication ofracial-realist thought."

... [ AmRen Editor in Chief Jared] Taylor said that his organization had searched its subscriber list going back 20 years and lists of those who had attended the group’s conferences since 1994, but that there was no record of a Mr. Loughner.

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Yes, this really is unconvincing -- right now, at least. The only sources linking Loughner to AmRen are unnamed officials. Nothing revealed so about Loughner suggests any white nationalist sympathies, and the only AmRen content that looks anything like his own words are the occasional pieces about government errors. "Even for those who are skeptical of government," Taylor told me in an e-mail, "this appears to be a new low." Taylor also put up a long statement about Loughner's lack of connections to the publication and its conferences. That's not definitive, because anyone can access the magazine for free online. But two days in, there's no connection between Loughner and hate groups.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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