Salem communications, co-owned by Winston-Salem’s Conservative media mogul Stu Epperson, has purchased Twitchy, a “Conservative” Twitter aggregation site, from pundit/ideologue Michelle Malkin. The deal was for an undisclosed amount.
Jonathan Garthwaite, general manager and editor-in-chief of Townhall.com, confirmed the news to the media site, BuzzFeed on Tuesday, telling the site he was “excited” to be folding Twitchy into existing Salem news properties.
“Media Matters types would like to paint conservatives as boring, old white guys,” Garthwaite said. “Twitchy ads more fun and humor to our platform, which will appeal to totally different generation and break that stereotype.”
Stu Epperson is known to many in Winston-Salem as the owner of The Truth Radio. It is an interesting acquisition and partnership as Malkin has made her career by making extreme comments about Islam, targeting young women with accusations of being prostitutes for not agreeing with her, and spreading discredited conspiracy theories with her blog and appearances on Fox News. How Malkin’s aggressive deceit and cruel comments dovetails with a radio station dedicated to the tenants of Christianity is anyone’s guess.
Launched in March 2012, Twitchy was the brainchild of Malkin, who until now served as owner and chief executive officer. The site is unique in the conservative media landscape for its native social aim, acting as a “Twitter curator” and timelining social media wars between pundits, politicians and celebrities. Malkin formerly sold Hotair.com to Salem Communications in 2010.
Epperson founded Salem Communications in 1972 with his brother-in-law, Edward G. Atsinger III. In both 1984 and 1986, Epperson was the Republican nominee for the fifth Congressional district of North Carolina and lost to incumbent Democrat, Stephen L. Neal. Epperson attended a still segregated Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he received a bachelor’s degree in radio/television broadcasting and a master’s degree in communications. Time Magazine has named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. Epperson has funded efforts to label Winston-Salem’s Richard Burr as a RINO, an effort some local political watchers have said is because he would like to see his son, Stu Jr. in the US Senate. Epperson already funded a failed campaign by his son-in-law Will McBride in 2006 for one of Florida’s Senate seats.
Professional Character Assassin Malkin will no longer be CEO of twitchy, but will still be active in promoting the Twitchy brand. He said the nine Twitchy staff writers, disparately located around the country, will not be asked to relocate to the Townhall news offices in Arlington, Va.
With the acquisition, Salem Communications will now operate a consolidated block of three major properties in the conservative media landscape in diversified areas. Garthwaite told BuzzFeed that folding in Twitchy will boost the cumulative traffic of the overall property up to 11 million uniques a month. The company’s properties have also had success on television in the last couple years with Townhall’s political editor Guy Benson and news editor Katie Pavlich becoming Fox News contributors.
Malkin has a history of making controversial and sometimes vicious statements about the First Lady, the President of the United States, and other women who do not subscribe to her far-right world view. Among highlights:
- Called the Affordable Healthcare Act “Floozycare” and implied that young women who sign up for Obamacare are somehow also promiscuous.
- Malkin has pushed a discredited conspiracy theory about national retail chain “Forever 21″ which she refuses to back off of in spite of evidence that she is lying.
- Malkin stated that fellow Conservative Sen. Marco Rubio is “serving the agenda of a tyrant” in reference to the democratically elected President of the United states.
- Lied about state abortion legislation in Texas in the face of overwhelming evidence that she was spreading misinformation.
- Malkin defended Rush Limbaugh’s implication that college student Sandra fluke was a prostitute.
- Malkin pushed a phony “New Black Panther” conspiracy theory and called Thomas Perez as “racebaiter” because he dared to stand up for human rights.
- Malkin attacked Michelle Obama for shopping at an Alexandria, VA, Target store, writing that Obama went “about as ‘incognito’ as Lady Gaga’s outfit at her younger sister’s graduation.” Malkin went on to call the first lady “the glamour queen” and further stated that Obama’s Target visit was “to counter the negative diva buzz” and that it “looks like she left the bling at home.”
- Malkin called Michelle Obama the president’s “bitter half” and the “bitter half of the Obama administration.”
- Malkin called the President of the United States Barack Obama “thug-in-chief” and accused his administration of having “boots on the necks of American small business owners.” She had no evidence to back up any of these claims.
- Malkin asserted that with the contraception rule, the President sided with “femagogues” and “tramplers of religious rights.”
- Malkin called Richard Trumka “thug-in-chief at the AFL-CIO” and accused him of a “bloody legacy” with no evidence at all to support her claims.
Apparently, Salem Communications has no problem with overt deceit, public viciousness, or fostering religious hatred. What that has to do with Epperson’s “Christian” brand remains to be seen.