Man wearing swastika hat and White Power T-shirt
Jon Minadeo, Jr. hosts a livestream on Goyim TV, an antisemitic video sharing site. (Screenshot)

‘Thanks Jews, for the publicity’: Is Goyim TV succeeding?

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Last Sunday morning, hundreds of families in the Berkeley Hills woke up to hate on their doorsteps.

Goyim TV activists had once again dropped antisemitic flyers in a Bay Area city. Folded up and stuffed into plastic sandwich bags, the leaflets read: “Every single aspect of the Covid agenda is Jewish.”

Even as cities from San Francisco to Danville had seen similar antisemitic flyer drops in recent weeks, the Berkeley incident surpassed the rest in scale.

It shocked and outraged people in a progressive city that prides itself on inclusion. But Berkeley isn’t alone — in the Bay Area, Palo Alto, Tiburon and Novato saw similar Goyim TV flyers, as did Miami Beach, Florida, and a neighborhood near Denver. Even Colleyville, Texas, was targeted, weeks after an antisemitic hostage crisis on Jan. 15, prompting a response from the FBI.

Map with 6 Bay Area locations pointed out
Source: ADL, local media. (Graphic/ Andrew Esensten)

According to the Anti-Defamation League, at least eight states reported almost identical incidents over the weekend. The flyers promote a conspiracy theory that holds the entire experience of the Covid-19 pandemic — including the vaccines, which Goyim TV considers to be dangerous — is the work of Jews. 

Meanwhile, the recent cascade of publicity has been cause for celebration for the fringe group.

Since Goyim TV began its campaign late last year to paper cities and towns with antisemitic propaganda, it has found itself awash in media coverage. Led by Jon Minadeo Jr. of Petaluma, the loose network of men known as the Goyim Defense League got attention previously for ostentatious stunts, like hanging antisemitic banners on highway overpasses, or shouting through a megaphone to pedestrians that the Holocaust is fake, or standing outside a Chabad center accusing Jews of being responsible for 9/11. 

Now Goyim TV organizers have found a way to get even more attention, all without leaders like Minadeo having to leave the couch.

The flyers are shared on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app, and are easily printed at home. It then just takes one person to stuff them into plastic bags and distribute them, usually in the dead of night. 

It all presents a conundrum for J. and other news outlets. Antisemitism is clearly an ongoing threat in the United States, evidenced by acts of violence targeting Jews from New York to Texas, by increases in antisemitic incidents tallied by anti-hate groups, and by the rise of fringe nativist groups that the FBI now considers our country’s chief terror threat.

Yet, it’s clear that media coverage has breathed life into Goyim TV’s propaganda campaign, giving it reach far beyond what it would ever have achieved without it. It has created a seemingly endless feedback loop.

Berkeley city officials released impassioned statements in response to the flyers, while the police department said it was actively investigating Sunday’s incident. News reports proliferated on public radio and in newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Mercury News.

“Berkeley has always supported people’s rights under the first amendment,” a joint statement from the Berkeley City Council and public safety officials read. “But let’s be clear — the Berkeley City Council and our community soundly reject and condemn ANY hate filled messages and any inference to discrimination of any kind to any person or group.”

Council member Susan Wengraf called the flyers “hateful antisemitic messaging” in a statement to constituents. And at a public meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Jesse Arreguín and council members Wengraf, Sophie Hahn and Lori Droste introduced an urgent resolution “condemning incidences of hate speech, anti-semitism and white supremacy.”

Goyim TV was co-founded by Minadeo, a former waiter, amateur actor and now full-time propagandist who monetizes his website with digital payments and by selling antisemitic, homophobic and pro-fascist T-shirts

His goal is to introduce as many people to his ideology as possible. And to earn money to fund his “activism.” Last year he incorporated as Goyim TV, LLC.   

Minadeo is skilled at courting media attention, and has seen a major boost from the group’s flyering campaign. A Google search for news articles related to “antisemitic flyers” turns up pages and pages of results covering Goyim TV drops, with more added daily. The flyers were even covered on a Jan. 25 episode of Jake Tapper’s CNN program “The Lead.” 

In short, Goyim TV’s latest campaign has proven wildly successful. And the group knows it. 

On Tuesday, two days after the Berkeley drop, a video streamer named Duey, a skinhead with a long gray goatee, hosted a live program called the “Duey Process” on Goyim TV. Like YouTube, the platform is designed for user-generated content.

In his program, Duey delivered a gleeful rundown of as many recent press clippings as he could find. 

He shared his screen, showing viewers reports from Fairfax County, Virginia; Sarasota, Florida; Colleyville and multiple Texas counties; Denver and San Francisco. 

“Thanks Jews, for the publicity,” he said, holding up a thank-you greeting card.

Duey’s program was chockfull of obscene ethnic slurs, celebrations of genocide and “heil Hitler” salutes. One of his viewers was Minadeo, who popped in under his moniker “Handsome Truth.” 

Duey welcomed “HT,” who wrote “Hail Hitler!” in the chat and shared a video clip.

Page filled with news clippings
Goyim TV streamer “Duey” displays recent news coverage of antisemitic flyer drops during a livestream on Feb. 22, 2022. (Screenshot)

Minadeo hasn’t streamed publicly in over two months. But behind the scenes, Handsome Truth has been actively encouraging the flyer campaign.

“Hey Home Goyz,” the account wrote in late January on Telegram in a message obtained by the Anti-Defamation League. “I’m Real Proud of all the people doing fliers and being completely SAFE & LEGAL. Your hard work is not going unnoticed. God Bless Brothers and Sisters!”

The ADL, which follows the hate group closely, warned against overestimating the size and strength of Goyim TV and the Goyim Defense League. In a tweet, the S.F.-based ADL office wrote that the group is “attempting to sow fear and project an image larger than the group’s fringe status.” 

Indeed. The group is made up of fringe actors scattered around the country — many are underemployed, poorly educated white males — who flock to the Goyim TV site in a hopelessly misguided attempt to make sense of their lives.

At J., we often discuss how to cover antisemitic antics obviously meant to generate publicity. As a community news organization, J. usually errs on the side of covering such incidents, though each is considered independently for its newsworthiness.

The coverage serves a few concrete purposes. First, it gives elected officials the opportunity to speak out — even if to affirm values considered morally obvious. This is even more important in places like rural Texas, or Idaho, where the flyers have also been found and where few Jews might live, giving the messages a different kind of weight.

Second, it instructs the public about the presence of antisemitic hate — even in our own midst — a responsibility J. takes seriously. Fringe antisemites and other lone actors can pose a danger to their communities. After Pittsburgh, Poway, Colleyville and other deadly incidents, that is clear. 

Finally, it gives communities the opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with one another in opposition to senseless hate, showing strength in numbers. 

In Danville this weekend, community members will be marching against antisemitism on the same walking path where flyers denying the Holocaust were discovered Feb. 2

These “anti-hate marches” might seem like an ineffective way to counteract deep-seated ethnic or racial hatred. But they build bonds among neighbors, who might not even know each other but who share core values. They help establish positive social norms.

As the main J. writer on this beat, when reporting about Goyim TV and others like them, I try to keep two adages in mind and apply them both, equally. 

The first is attributed to Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Supreme Court justice and a strong advocate for transparency, who wrote: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

The second is attributed to the writer George Bernard Shaw, who warned against wrestling with pigs: “You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

Gabe Stutman
Gabe Stutman

Gabe Stutman is the news editor of J. Follow him on Twitter @jnewsgabe.