Leave it to the left to come up with a scientific study to show that Antifa is not real. In an article labeled “analysis” in The Washington Post on June 24, Curd Knüpfer worked long and hard to convince readers that right-wing websites are responsible for demonizing Antifa – which he says may not even exist.
In his opening salvo, Knüpfer writes, “But no substantial evidence suggests that dangerous antifa terrorists are threatening public safety, or even that any antifa ‘organization’ exists.” The assistant professor of political science at the Freie Universität Berlin need look no further than the newspaper for which he writes. Therein he will come across headline after headline – with accompanying photographs – of this right-wing construct known as Antifa. Here are but a few:
August 28, 2017 – The Washington Post outlines the violence meted out by an Antifa mob.
August 30, 2017 – Antifa is described in an article published in WaPo as equivalent to Nazis.
Also in the evidence pile is an article from The Washington Post dated August 16, 2017, which was primarily devoted to defining this mythological organization:
“But what is antifa? Where did it come from? Militant anti-fascist or “antifa” (pronounced ANtifa) is a radical pan-leftist politics of social revolution applied to fighting the far right. Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville.”
Newsflash: Right-wing websites did not create Antifa.
Of late, The Post has been working diligently to distance itself from the unpleasant reality of Antifa. However, it has proven a bit of a challenge to airbrush much of what has been written – not to mention the violent imagery associated with Antifa.
When logic or reason fails to support your narrative, why not turn to science? Enter Mr. Knüpfer, who specializes in digital and right-wing media research. Within his study, the professor claims the demonizing of Antifa lies with the political right. “These right-wing websites use a variety of terms to characterize antifa, even some we might consider mutually exclusive, using ‘organization’ or ‘movement’ interchangeably — and using the vague term ‘group’ most often,” writes Knüpfer.
The horror of it all – calling this apparition of the right a “group.” But wait, within the very pages of Mr. Knüpfer’s chosen vessel, The Washington Post, comes the following: “Earlier this month, another potential clash was defused in Washington when a group of antifa activists planned a counterprotest against a conservative group. D.C. police turned out in force to prevent any conflict [emphasis added].”
On August 14, 2018, in yet another article in WaPo, titled, “Antifa protesters couldn’t find any fascists at Unite the Right – and harassed the press instead,” Avi Selk wrote:
“Again, and again, small groups of antifa members harassed, threatened and occasionally jostled reporters. The activists demanded not to be photographed as they marched down public streets — even as many of them hoisted their own cellphone cameras and staged their own photo ops.
‘At least they’re all going to get likes, right?’ someone said as a group of masked antifa members posed for photographers during one of the afternoon’s more serene moments [emphasis added].”
Could this perchance be another instance when “free speech for me, but not for thee” applies? In sum, it seems the purpose of Knüpfer’s research is to label alternative news sites like Liberty Nation (specifically cited in the WaPo article) part of a “right-wing media ecosystem” which is engaged in “conducting a coordinated and deliberate disinformation campaign.”
Liberty Nation board member and founder of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell, reacted by saying:
“The job of the ‘news’ media is to provide air cover for the radical left that wants America destroyed. They cannot win the war of ideas. They have no honor. They have no shame. Their chosen weapons are character assassination and censorship. These are the hallmarks of cowards.”
Liberty Nation has no interest in playing David against The Washington Post’s Goliath. However, for the record, we wholly reject the label of right-wing news site. In print, video, radio, and podcasts, we have been critical of the many transgressions of law enforcement, including the war on drugs and its onerous criminal penalties. We have published copious articles on free trade, which counters the typical right-wing protectionist stance. In our obituary of Nat Hentoff, a columnist at The Washington Post for over a decade, a quote from the man himself exemplifies the LN philosophy: “Whenever I see that kind of story, where everybody agrees, I know there’s something wrong.” At Liberty Nation, people can disagree, and as Legal Affairs Editor Scott Cosenza says, “We are interested in compelling arguments, rather than pushing out a single narrative.”
Read more by Leesa K. Donner.