Paul Gray, a white supremacist originally from Tyler and active in Austin during the Trump presidency, is being lauded by Fox News after volunteering to fight Russian invaders in Ukraine. During a March 1 appearance in a segment titled “Former American paratrooper joins fight in Ukraine,” Fox reporters praised Gray as a veteran volunteering to fight on behalf of Ukraine but neglected to mention his violent history.
Despite Fox protecting Gray’s identity by using only his first name, he was easily recognizable to extremism researchers like Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “They elect not to report his full name and don’t even stop to ask why he might already be in Ukraine,” Hayden told the Chronicle. “They just hope that the audience doesn’t ask any questions because then Fox will be forced to dig deeper into an uncomfortable story about our problems with radicalization here at home.” Reports published by KETK, Tyler’s Fox affiliate, did use Gray’s full name and further identified him as an American citizen who’s owned a gymnasium and reportedly “been an influence on the Ukrainian community.”