Updated 10/18/21 | On Sept. 9, 2021, Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV network announced the debut of the show You Are Here with co-hosts Sydney Watson and Elijah Schaffer. Watson, a far-right Australian YouTube personality, once appeared on a notorious white supremacist podcast where she accused Australians of “selling [their] souls” to immigrants.
In late Aug. 2018, Watson was a guest on Radio 3Fourteen, a white supremacist podcast hosted by Lana Lokteff for the media outlet Red Ice. Lokteff has likened interracial relationships to “mass murder,” claimed that America “can never, ever, ever be too white,” and once boasted that it was “women that got Hitler elected.”
In an Aug. 24, 2018 tweet, Lokteff’s husband and (and oftentimes co-host) Henrik Palmgren promoted the episode. “How ‘Right Wing’ Is Australia? Lana interviews @sydney__watson New show out now,” he wrote.
Early on, Lokteff asked Watson whether Australians “get a lot of the same blame when it comes to colonialism, you stole the land, and genocide of the natives.” Watson said that “anything that you say in the States about the American Indians is exactly what we get here in regards to the Aboriginal populations.”
Watkins also complained about “liberals” who “take days that are special to Australians, for instance like Australia Day” and “try to move it to a different day because they say that it’s representative of a genocide that happened against the Native Australians or the Indigenous Australians.”
(In a Jan. 26, 2021 tweet, Watson asked “If it had been aboriginals coming to settle and colonize the lands of indigenous white people, would it still be a problem? Asking for a friend.”)
She also told Lokteff that Australia is “taking in far too many people” and that “we’re selling our souls to the immigrant base.” “And it makes me really sad because people say things like ‘Oh there’s no such thing as an Australian culture,’ but there is, and multiculturalism in Australia … it doesn’t really work that well,” she added.
Lokteff brought up anti-immigrant, ultranationalist parties in Europe and Australia, and claimed that the “parties that just come out and say ‘repatriation,’ ‘close the borders’ — they’re actually starting to do well” in Europe.
“I think Sweden’s ahead of the curve there now,” Lokteff said.
“Sweden was ahead of the curve with taking people in and open borders policies, and so they’re sort of quicker down the road, and now you have a true nationalist party that’s talking about repatriation and stuff and they’re actually second most popular right now. So it might catch up in other European nations, I hope, in the colonies.”
Watson replied that she hopes that would be true of Europe because, she claimed, Europeans are “selling their souls.” She told Lokteff that she had “traveled around England” and concluded that “London has absolutely, really no sort of definitive culture anymore” because of immigration.
Toward the end of the interview, Watson told Lokteff about a recent article which labeled her a “misogynist” in response to her efforts to organize a men’s rights march in Melbourne. In response Lokteff recounted how one article referred to her as the “queen bee of white supremacy.”
Watson then expressed sympathy for Lokteff’s desire to protect so-called “white culture” and “Western civilization.”
“See, this is the problem is you talk about white culture and — I know where you’re coming from,” Watson assured her. “You wanna retain the way that things are, and you want Western civilization to not crumble into oblivion. And apparently that’s such a bad, terrible thing and it’s just ridiculous.”
Lokteff explained that she doesn’t “feel guilty about being white,” that she believes “white countries” should exist, and that there is a “war against” white people. As she did, Watson indicated that she agreed with Lokteff on these points.
During a separate discussion about having children and families, Watson explained that she opposed the government “rewarding” people “with money to have babies.” Lokteff, however, called this a “great” policy for “nationalistic” countries like Poland and Hungary, but said she opposed monetary incentives for Muslims.
“The system should be for the founders, really,” she said.
Watson then pivoted to discussing patriotism, which she said is frowned upon in Australia. She claimed that people who create patriotic groups are often called “Nazis or white supremacists.”
“I don’t know what else might be causing that sort of distinction between actually loving your country and then becoming a Nazi — like at what point do you become a Nazi because you love your country?” she asked. “But it’s definitely, definitely peddled by the media.”
Lokteff used this as an opportunity to complain about the lack of majority-white nations. “Yeah, I mean so many times I’ve heard the reason against having white majorities is because the Holocaust,” she said.
“I mean isn’t that the weakest argument ever? Yeah it’s gonna — automatically everyone’s gonna wanna build gas chambers. … And they’ve been guilting that over our head over and over. The entire world, actually — white world — they’ve been guilting us over the Holocaust.”
Following the interview Watson and Lokteff appeared to still be on friendly terms. In a Sept. 14, 2018 tweet, Lokteff joked that “If you drink water, you are just like the Nazis.” Watson replied with a series of laughing emojis and wrote “Girl.” In fact, Watson continues to follow the Twitter accounts for both Lokteff and Red Ice:
This is unsurprising given that Watson has a history of racist and xenophobic rhetoric on social media. In an Oct. 7, 2020 tweet, Watson peddled the false claim that there is an “extermination of white farmers in South Africa.” On Aug. 29, 2020, Watson tweeted that the media has an “anti-white bias.”
And in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attack — in which a white supremacist murdered 51 worshipers in two mosques — Watson didn’t blame the ideology that motivated the shooter. Instead, she blamed the people who “marginalized” anyone with anti-immigrant views.
However, this is unlikely to be problematic for BlazeTV, which regularly amplifies extremist content.
In Jan. 2020, BlazeTV host Chad Prather promoted the “white genocide” conspiracy theory. And Watson’s co-host, Elijah Schaffer, interviewed Holocaust-denying white nationalist Nick Fuentes for his show Slightly Offensive in Aug. 2019. On Jan. 6, Schaffer was one of hundreds of people who entered the Capitol building during the pro-Trump insurrection.
While the insurrection was still in progress, Schaffer called it a “revolution.” Schaffer also tweeted a photo he claimed was from Nancy Pelosi’s office, and referred to the violent insurrectionists as “revolutionaries.” Schaffer later deleted this tweet.
On Oct. 10, 2021, Schaffer tweeted an image depicting Mark McCloskey — a Missouri lawyer who pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters last year — wearing a skull mask and standing in front of the Schwarze Sonne (“Black Sun”), a Neo-Nazi symbol:
Schaffer deleted this tweet as well.
Watson and Schaffer also provided conspiracy theorist Alex Jones with a platform with which to spread misinformation during a recent episode of You Are Here. Three default judgments were recently issued against Jones in defamation cases brought by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.
[This piece has been updated to include the fact that Elijah Schaffer recently tweeted Neo-Nazi propaganda.]