Members of the hard left, who routinely criticize President Donald Trump for his rhetoric against the press, have made clear their definitive position on the subject of violence against journalists. Many progressives have gone through scores of broken necklaces from all of the pearl-clutching in which they engage when Trump excoriates the news media. However, this incident reveals that their concern over freedom of the press is rather selective.
Journalist Andy Ngo was recently assaulted by members of Antifa in Portland, OR, during a demonstration. The attack itself is not the story here; unfortunately, political violence from the left has become the norm. But the progressive media’s response to this incident is telling, revealing a disturbing truth about today’s political discourse.
Antifa Attacks Journalist
Ngo, an editor for Quillette who regularly covers Antifa, was beaten viciously by members of the hard-left group. It wasn’t the first time the journalist has clashed with the organization; activists with the group already have attacked him physically. But it appears that this incident was far more egregious.
Afterward, Ngo tweeted: “Attacked by antifa. Bleeding. They stole my camera equipment. No police until after. waiting for ambulance . If you have evidence Of attack please help.”
Later, the journalist posted pictures of himself in the hospital showing his injuries:
In the ER. pic.twitter.com/spe5N4nzVl
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2019
Antifa members struck Ngo repeatedly with their fists and hurled milkshakes, which has become a popular far-left method of assault. However, this “milkshake” case was different: The Portland police department released a statement on Twitter revealing that some of the cups thrown at Ngo “contained quick-drying cement.”
The journalist sustained several injuries and was kept in the hospital overnight due to a brain hemorrhage. One would think that members of the press collectively would condemn attacks on a fellow journalist, even if he espoused different political beliefs. But it appears they have decided to go AWOL in this matter.
As of this writing, CBS News and ABC News are the only left-leaning news outlets that have reported on the encounter, each giving Ngo’s attack only a short mention. CBS News’ piece on the assault brings up Ngo’s attack only at the very end of the article. So why would the legacy media ignore such a brazen assault on a journalist? Perhaps we can gain some insight from the remarks of left-leaning reporters.
Charlie Warzel, a contributor to The New York Times opinion section, tweeted a thread all but blaming Ngo for the assault: “Thread from a great journalist who routinely embeds w/ hate groups,” he wrote. “This doesn’t discount that the situation is f—– and that violence should be unacceptable. But there are also serious risks involved with putting yourself in volatile situations. Any journalist should know that.”
Later in the thread, Warzel implied that Ngo intentionally might have become the victim of a beating:
“it’s not ‘both sides-ing’ to note that both parties…& many of the ppl who cover them (journalists, provacateurs, activists) know what’s going on. They know the risks & they know how it can be weaponized. Which is why talking about this like it’s a 20th century protest is stupid”
Dan Sullivan, a contributor to Rolling Stone and Vice, also weighed in, expressing a similar opinion. “Andy Ngo is not a journalist, and in any event he went there hoping for exactly that outcome and for tweets like this,” he tweeted.
But it wasn’t just members of the media who lashed out at Ngo. Nathan Bernard, who ironically claims to be a free speech activist, wrote, “After relentlessly baiting and harassing antifa, far-right provocateur Andy Ngo finally got his wish of being milkshaked. Far-right simpletons like Tim Pool will milk this ‘victim’ story for the next week at least.”
Apparently, Bernard isn’t too familiar with his online conservative personalities; journalist Tim Pool is actually a leftist.
Left-wing activist and race-baiter supreme Tariq Nasheed speculated that Ngo might have pulled a Jussie Smollet and staged his attack. “Ppl suspect Andy Ngo could’ve possibly staged the ‘antifa attack’ against himself,” he tweeted. “There have also been rumors of alt-right types getting insurance policies on themselves before these rallies and filming themselves get beat up so they can get a payout.”
Of course, Nasheed did not indicate who else believes Ngo orchestrated his own beating, but being on the left means never having to back up your claims, right?
To his credit, CNN’s Brian Stelter gave an unequivocal condemnation of the Antifa members who put Ngo in the hospital. “Even @MrAndyNgo’s critics should have no trouble saying this: The assault against him was unacceptable,” he tweeted.
The Hard Left’s Line
Anyone with a brain can see how the legacy media have all but abandoned objective reporting in the age of Trump, and this incident provides a blatant example demonstrating that the press is more interested in supporting a political side than informing the American public. One would think that a physical assault on an American journalist would elicit an outpouring of outrage from the establishment media regardless of political affiliation, but this seems no longer the case.
Far leftists have made their position crystal clear: They care only about victims of political violence who share their views. If a right-leaning individual is assaulted and hospitalized, they will either ignore or downplay the incident, meaning that unless individuals diligently consume news from both sides, they will be led to believe that most of the political violence comes from the right.
This tendency sets a dangerous precedent. If conservative victims of violence receive less attention, it emboldens the few people on the left willing to use physical force to promote their ideology. Brown-shirt tactics such as these warrant exposure, but it is clear that much of the American press is content to sit back and let them happen.
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