Florida paper publishes then deletes op-ed praising the Proud Boys — written by a Proud Boy’s wife

Florida paper publishes then deletes op-ed praising the Proud Boys — written by a Proud Boy’s wife
Portland, Oregon/United States-August 22, 2020: Conservative people from the far right movement, Proud Boys, and Boogaloo join for a "Back the Blue" rally, image via Shutterstock.

Sarasota, Florida’s Herald-Tribune over the weekend published an op-ed praising the Proud Boys, written by a woman who describes herself as a “God-fearing Christ follower,” a “mother of two beautiful children,” a “patriot,” and the “wife of a man who defends his family and their freedoms.” What the paper and the author neglected to note is she is married to one of the Proud Boys, Mediaite reports.

Based on a quick search of the Herald-Tribune, NCRM was able to identify another opinion piece, published just a few weeks ago, that makes clear the paper should have known the op-ed praising the Proud Boys was written by one of their spouses. It clearly refers to “Proud Boy Nicholas Radovich, and his wife, Melissa Radovich.”

Melissa Radovich is the author of Sunday’s op-ed, which was titled, “Attacking Proud Boys does a disservice to caring school parents.” It also appears in a Google search under the headline, “Don’t vilify Sarasota Proud Boys for caring about their children.”

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“When I think about the Proud Boys,” Radovich writes, “I think of fathers, business owners and veterans. These fathers have spoken at many School Board meetings. They are concerned about the direction that their local schools are heading in, and I commend them for coming to School Board meetings.”

The Proud Boys have been designated a terrorist group in at least two other countries – Canada and New Zealand – and have been described by New York lawmakers as a “racist, neo-fascist” group that promotes “white nationalist, neofascist rhetoric,” and “racist, misogynistic, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ bigotry.”

In fact, Radovich not only misses every opportunity to disclose she is married to one of the Proud Boys, she goes out of her way to do so, closing with this:

“I am simply a mom who will do what is best for my kids. If I have to speak at School Board meetings, fine. If I have to deal with smear campaigns, so be it. My passion will not be stifled, and my stance will not waver. I am for God, family and freedom – no matter what.”

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Mediaite criticizes the paper’s “poorly-executed attempt to tell both sides of the story,” and notes “the paper failed to disclose the author was married to a Proud Boy herself.”

On Sunday many on social media criticized the op-ed for its content, but a few also noted Radovich’s spousal relationship with one of the Proud Boys.

Joe Jervis adds that the op-ed has since “disappeared” from the Herald-Tribune’s website, but one quick social media user posted screenshots before the piece was pulled.

NCRM was also able to find the full op-ed in syndication at Yahoo, but we will not link to it.

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Mediaite on Monday also offered this primer on the Proud Boys:

“To be clear, the Proud Boys have a documented history of criminal activities and violent altercations that dates back several years. Along with the Oath Keepers, multiple members of the group have been charged with serious felonies related to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and an FBI informant testified to the House Select Committee that Proud Boys had plans that included occupying various federal buildings and assassinating Vice President Mike Pence during the attack. Members of Proud Boys have caused turmoil in various Republican circles across Florida, including contentious squabbles over leadership of local party organizations and even physical brawls.”

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