A conservative Florida media outlet that’s been given special access to Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration recently hired a far-right writer who, among other things, openly defends the Confederacy and supports “Old Stock” traditions.
Grant Holcomb, a Tallahassee-based former writer for the Florida Chamber of Commerce and account executive for iHeartMedia, on Monday began working for the Florida Standard, a digital outlet that popped up in August 2022, just months before DeSantis launched his presidential run.
Prior to being hired, Holcomb wrote frequent op-eds on far-right websites and social media posts arguing that non-Christians should not be able to participate in American democratic institutions, that the Confederate States of America were not traitors and that immigration is ruining Anglo-Saxon or what he describes as “Old Stock” American traditions.
The Florida Standard has a close relationship with DeSantis and his administration. The outlet launched with a one-on-one interview between the governor and former PragerU conservative media personality Will Witt, the site’s editor-in-chief.
DeSantis’ office also has coordinated with the outlet on some stories, giving them pre-written public records requests to submit for stories about issues important to the administration, such as the suspension of Democratic prosecutor Andrew Warren.
Requests for comment are pending with The Florida Standard and Holcomb. Another request is pending with a DeSantis administration spokesperson on whether Holcomb’s hiring will affect its relationship with the outlet.
This is the second time in a month where an employee of a DeSantis-connected enterprise has been tied to far-right beliefs or causes.
DeSantis’ presidential campaign fired speechwriter Nate Hochman last month after he created and retweeted a video with Nazi imagery. Prior to working on the campaign, Hochman praised a fascist leader and cited fascist writers in essays he wrote on conservative sites.
In several essays penned for the Rogue Review, a fringe conservative website, Holcomb admits to being a Christian nationalist; to him, that means believing that America should be run under a specific version of Christian law.
“And if God ordains all government and the civil magistrates are God’s deacons on earth, then why shouldn’t the civil spheres proclaim the risen Savior as Lord? Rather, ‘shouldn’t’ is not even the right question. It is a command. They must proclaim Christ over Washington D.C., state capitol buildings, city councils, county commissions, and everything in between,” he wrote.
He said in another essay that he believes non-Christians should not be trusted to run any area of American government.
“Muslims would not be able to govern justly, especially in an English Common Law society, when they worship a false god. The same can be said for Hindus, Buddhists, secularists, etc. Only Christians can rightly judge legislation, judicial interpretation, and enforce upright laws,” Holcomb wrote.
In another essay and across several social media posts, Holcomb defends the Confederate States of America, which broke from the Union after disagreements over states’ rights and other factors, though the sides were mainly divided over slavery.
Holcomb’s essay, “Traitors They Were Not,” says the Confederate States were not traitors, describes the war as the North invading the South and forcing people to take up arms to defend their families, and defends Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the Klu Klux Klan.
“It’s nonsense to refer to Southerners who fought to defend their farms and families as traitors,” Holcomb writes. “Just imagine you’re a local farmer in 1863 with a wife and kids living in North Carolina. You hear that there’s an army that’s marching through town burning all farms and homes of your neighbors. I think most sane people would be grabbing a rifle.”
On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Holcomb also posted a self-created alternative history flag of what would have happened if the British empire sided with the Confederacy and defended them as a protectorate.
In several other posts, Holcomb argues using rhetoric associated with the “Great Replacement” theory, or the idea that “there is an intentional effort, led by Jews, to promote mass (non-white) immigration, intermarriage and other efforts that would lead to the ‘extinction of whites,’ ” according to the American Jewish Committee.
In one tweet, he wrote that America needs to stop all immigration for three generations to “figure out who we are.” In another, he says that “Old Stock” Americans, a term to describe the original free white western European immigrants to the American colonies, are being undermined by immigration.
“Unfortunately even many Anglo-Americans have no sense of rootedness in their own particular political tradition. Consumerism has separated Old Stock Americans from our inheritance, along with mass migration and the liberal global order,” he wrote.