After a four-year investigation, The Atlantic has released their first feature documentary, White Noise: Inside the Racist Right. By the end of the film, however, one gets the distinct sense that a more accurate title might be The Rise and Fall of the Racist Right. The film is bookended by scenes that warn of a rising white-nationalist movement, but the documentary actually tells a different story — the tale of the alt-right’s brief moment of euphoria, their bitter sense of betrayal at Donald Trump’s presidency, and their disillusionment and collapse.
Interestingly, of the three figures followed by filmmaker Daniel Lombroso, only one of them is a self-described white nationalist: Richard Spencer, the alleged thought leader of the alt-right and one of the founders of AltRight.com. Mike Cernovich, a lifestyle coach-turned Trumpian conspiracy theorist, and Lauren Southern, the Canadian YouTube star who discovered the lucrative nature of being an attractive right-wing American troll, have been dubbed “alt-light” by the truly dedicated racists of America’s white-nationalist underground. Both were willing to flirt with the dark forces to build a following; neither fully took the plunge.