People often uphold that news sources should remain impartial, only presenting the facts of the story. While I generally agree that facts should be central to news coverage, how does that translate when news sources, say, do a profile on a far-right figure? In the case of The New York Times’ coverage of Gavin McInnes, founder of the far-right organization Proud Boys, this “impartial” story only served to give his racist, Western, chauvinistic views a platform on one of the most well-known news sites in the world.

The Proud Boys are characterized as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Founded in the midst of the 2016 presidential election by McInnes, co-founder of VICE Media, the leader has a track record that boasts anti-Muslim, anti-women, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic rhetoric, among other forms of bigoted beliefs. The group appeared at last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which famously resulted in the murder of antifascist activist Heather Heyer. In fact, former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler was actually an organizer of the event.

Now that you have a taste of what the Proud Boys really stand for, let’s see how their leader was described by The Times. Just look at the headline: “Proud Boys Founder: How He Went From Brooklyn Hipster to Far-Right Provocateur.” Immediately, McInnes is given quirky descriptors of “Brooklyn hipster” and “provocateur,” which are undoubtedly instant clickbait material, but also downplay exactly who the leader is.

While the article does make limited mention of McInnes’ bigoted views, it does so by calling upon others to make those claims. The Times states that he “may be Islamophobic” and is “something of a sexist,” but relies on citing the Southern Poverty Law Center to point to the Proud Boys’ proximity to white nationalist, anti-Muslim and anti-women rhetoric. Writer Alan Feuer carefully tiptoes around directly calling McInnes racist or sexist, despite these being easily verifiable facts about him.

“Provocateur” is the lightest, most forgiving way to put it. McInnes routinely uses racial slurs, has defended Holocaust deniers and is a self-proclaimed anti-Semite who throws up the Nazi salute, was barred from Twitter for violating its rules against “violent extremist groups” — these are only a few instances of McInnes’ clear bigotry. The Proud Boys also often engage in violence, as it is “a really effective way to solve problems,” in the leader’s words. Likewise, the group’s official magazine often praises members who win fights, naming them “Proud Boy of the Week.”

The New York Times simply presents McInnes’ words and views at face value, without substantially challenging anything he or the Proud Boys stand for. You would think The Times learned its lesson after a profile of the “Nazi sympathizer next door” drew similar criticism last year. At the end of the day, media outlets — which have a huge following and a significant impact on how people receive their news — simply allow those views to be amplified to a wider audience. That exposure then lends itself to greater recruitment for these groups. If there’s one thing the far-right does well, it’s using recruiting tactics. But that’s a discussion for another column.

Writer Issie Lapowsky summarizes it well: “At its core, the mainstream press is grappling with this conundrum: Ignore these groups and risk allowing a potential public threat to go unreported; shine too bright a light on them and risk amplifying their message—or worse, attracting new acolytes to the cause.” She concludes: “The press has erred on the side of overexposure.”

I understand the complexity of reporting on extremist views, but there is a fine line between simply sharing those views and sharing those views while showing why they are unacceptable. McInnes and the Proud Boys are misogynistic, xenophobic, racist anti-Semites — among other, more accurate descriptors over “provocateur” — and it should not be difficult to say so. The New York Times and other news outlets need to learn this. We must stop giving far-right extremist groups a platform, unless we do so with fierce opposition and condemnation.

Sarah Molano is a senior double-majoring in English and philosophy, politics and law.