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VICE Media Wrongly Tied to Militant Extremist Group

About VICE Media

In 2015, when Barack Obama became the first sitting president to visit inmates at a federal prison, VICE Media was selected to be the media group to produce a video of the visit. [View]

Journalists with VICE Media have been given exclusive access to people and places that other media agencies are not able to access either because they aren’t trusted or the dangers are considered too great.

VICE Media reporters, many of them young women, have gone into active war zones and at ground zero for violent riots. Reporting while surrounded by explosions and gunfire, they keep their cool and continue covering the news. VICE reporters have met with dangerous heavily armed militant extremists for interviews.

VICE reporting provides factual information and does not attempt to moralize or judge the subject of their reports. This style of raw objective reporting is extremely valuable.

VICE news coverage is mostly void of reporter opinion, similar to C-SPAN coverage. Even so, the respected and frequently referenced Ad Fontes Media Map positions VICE Media as slightly skewed left.

VICE Media Wrongly Tied to Proud Boys

In late 2020, a viral news story attempted to connect VICE Media to a militant right-wing group called the Proud Boys. This claim is based on the fact that an early co-founder of VICE, Gavin McInnes, who left VICE in 2008, is credited for founding the Proud Boys eight years later, in 2016.

A widely circulated Change.org petition further disseminates this message that, to a cursory reader, would result in a perception that there is some connection between VICE Media and the Proud Boys group.

VICE Media Response

In response to the attempts to link VICE Media with the Proud Boys, VICE Media CEO ​Nancy Dubuc sent an email to her staff to reassure them that the media company has no current connection with McInnes.

“I’m sure we’re all still trying to make some sense of what was said in last night’s U.S. Presidential debate, but I wanted to write to you to make one thing clear: Gavin McInnes has no affiliation with VICE,” Dubuc said in her email, which was obtained by CNN Business.

“While the legacy of his role in founding the company swirls up from time to time – I want you all to be assured that any association he had with the company ended more than a decade ago in 2008. What he did after that – including founding the Proud Boys in 2016 – had nothing to do with VICE, our values or our people.”

[Source: CNN, 1 Oct 2020]


One wonders why anyone focusing on the Proud Boys group would attempt to invoke the name of VICE Media, and confuse readers regarding any connection between the two.

It’s likely the reasoning is to get further attention.

If Gavin McInnes is a person who seems to have little notoriety, no significant accomplishments, was never on America’s Got Talent, and has no affiliations with any well known groups or companies, then any story about him will be of little interest.

However, if we can produce a photo of Gavin McInnes with a well known celebrity or politician, or mention some well-known group that he belonged to, even if it was years ago, now the story can have traction and generate greater interest.

In this case, there’s really no relevant present-day connection between Gavin McInnes and VICE Media. Mentioning one or more past employers is irrelevant and confusing.

If Gavin McInnes still worked with VICE Media, or sat on the board, or served in some advisory capacity, then maybe there could be a reason to mention that relationship.

Because VICE Media offers objective raw reporting from the middle, and stories relevant to the full spectrum of political and social views, some enemies have been created. It’s not inconceivable that someone they have upset would want to spread misleading information about VICE.

VICE Media will continue to win the trust of those who rely on their reporting, and their consistent lack of bias, and unique stories will be valued by the many people who appreciate that kind of journalism.

For more information about VICE Media, read “MEDIA REFORM – Here’s how VICE Media is helping save journalism and independent news reporting.” [View]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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