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If you keep up with politics in Southern California, you inevitably hear about so-called “parents rights” groups that spend their time protesting school boards—whether they have kids in the district (or even have children at all.) One such protestor is Jairo Rodriguez, a failed actor-turned COVID conspiracy theorist. Rodriguez is well-known in activist circles for filming and sometimes participating alongside other violent bigots in street brawls. Despite this, local outlet WeHoville allowed one of their opinion contributors, West Seegmiller, to platform him uncritically. Rodriguez got to lie about his recent activity protesting against a drag queen story hour without any pushback or background research.
To that end, here’s some fact checking.
The article names him as Jairo Marquez, despite his surname being Rodriguez. Seegmiller says Rodriguez is “known for his comprehensive coverage of events across the political spectrum on his channel RightNowViews.com.”
As a livestreamer, Rodriguez is without any semblance of basic journalistic morals. He once angrily ranted on camera that he couldn’t film someone jumping off a building to commit suicide because his phone died. He’s the kind of unexceptional provocateur LCRW has covered over and over in dozens of cities. Seegmiller, however, completely fails to mention Rodriguez’s promotion of right wing events, misgendering and misidentifying trans people, targeting leftist activists, anti-vaccine stances, spreading anti-homeless rhetoric.
Seegmiller continues by saying that Rodriguez “attempted to film the event through the library’s windows” which would mean he was trying to record children. While doing this, he was punched in the head by an activist who took exception to his behavior. It’s against LCRW’s policy to weigh in on whether such actions are warranted or effective, but Rodriguez’s framing of the incident is dishonest. Rodriguez portrays himself as an innocent bystander who was the victim of senseless violence, but the reality is he’s been the perpetrator of numerous violent assaults and regularly incites people online to target specific activists.
At one point, Rodriguez says, “They were saying that I’m a Nazi and all these crazy lies that are not true.” Rodriguez doesn’t explicitly endorse neo-Nazism, but his online activity enables it and his hateful content is perfectly in line with neo-Nazi goals—for example, dehumanizing trans people. Screenshots from his Telegram page show a litany of horrific comments by his followers, including explicit Neo-Nazism. Though Rodriguez himself does not post these things or react to them, he does post activists’ information, inviting his followers to flood their accounts’ comments and target them in real life. Other comments include violent homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism, and a desire to murder LGBTQ+ people.
“pls succed (sic) so we can gun them down on site,” one commenter wrote on an anti-trans post Rodriguez made.
Rodriguez has also been seen with Arthur Schaper, an activist for Mass Resistance, an SPLC-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group. He has posted threats of violence, saying that anti-fascist activists who counter-protested would “get their asses beat.” Rodriguez sent community members racist voice memos insulting African nations. He platformed Neo-Nazi Ethan Schmidt, known for his homophobic tirades in various Target department stores, by having Schmidt on his Rumble channel. He jumped in a getaway car with Aaron Simmons after Simmons assaulted a journalist with an iron bar. Rodriguez has also rallied alongside Adam Kiefer, a violent Proud Boy who posts his own assaults and brags about them.
LCRW reached out to WEHOville directly to get some clarification and learned that West Seegmiller is not a paid employee, but a “community contributor.” Seegmiller himself is an outspoken antivaxxer. He railed against mask and vaccine mandates at West Hollywood city council meetings during public comment in 2021 and 2022.
“There is nothing to retract, he’s entitled to his thoughts” editor Larry Block said, then admitted he “didn’t really read his whole thing.”
Block also confirmed WeHoVille does not fact check opinion pieces, despite their ethics policy saying their “reporting will be truthful and transparent, with the facts accurate, complete and fairly presented.” When LCRW told Block that community members expressed concern over Rodriguez being able to lie about his activity, our reporter was threatened with legal action and accused of “looking for drama and attention.”