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A New York Times profile on a white nationalist has drawn criticism from those who say the feature normalised his beliefs.

The piece titled A Voice of Hate in America's Heartland focused on 29-year-old Tony Hovater from Ohio, who is described in the piece as a Donald Trump supporter, a "far-right extremist" and a "Nazi sympathizer next door."

Although the article doesn't condone his lifestyle choices, the article has been lambasted for potentially making Hovater's views appear more normal and everyday.

Hovater is a founding member of the Traditionalist Worker Party, one of the groups that were involved in the violent clashes in Charlottesville in August and has also taken part in a "White Lives Matter" rally.

Given the uneasy political climate of 2017 and the rise of racism in America, people have taken exception to the New York Times piece.

Many high-profile Twitter accounts have condemned the tone of the feature which was published on Saturday.

One of the most vocal was policy analyst and essay writer Sean McElwee, who shared a side-by-side comparison of the piece with another NYT feature on shooting victim Michael Brown.

McElwee's criticisms were then picked up by comedians Kumail Nanjiani and Paul F. Tompkins.

A follow-up piece in which the reporter Richard Fausset admitted he failed to get the story he wanted has also been published, but it has failed to quell the criticism from the online masses.

indy100 has contacted The New York Times for a comment.

HT AV Club

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