This week a woman in Louisville, Ky. was assaulted by armed rioters. The rioters blocked her car, and after a short conversation, tore out her dreadlocks and pointed a gun at her. The woman quickly drove backwards before they could shoot, then sped off, striking one of the assailants moving towards her.
The events were thankfully captured on a city crime camera, and police arrested two of the attackers after the victim reported the incident to law enforcement. It was three days later that she was marked as the new face of “far right extremism” by NPR.
NPR took the crime camera footage of the woman striking the rioter, and used it as the cover for an article. The article claims there are endemic attacks on peaceful protesters by right-wing extremists. Thankfully for the victim of the assault, The Spectator writer Stephen Miller quickly realized what NPR had done.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) June 21, 2020
NPR eventually admitted the mistake, but not before the image had been up for four hours for NPR’s 8 million followers. While the outright falsehood was retracted, it is not the only dubious information in the piece. The article claimed, with scarce evidence, that murdering protesters with cars is increasingly supported by “mainstream Republican and conservative spaces.”
It also included a deceptive count of the number of actual far-right attacks. NPR tweeted that “Right-wing extremists are increasingly turning cars to weapons, with reports of 50 vehicle ramming incidents since protests began nationwide in late May.” Yet the article could only cite one incident where the driver was connected to a extremist group. Furthermore, the majority (32) of the 50 cases cited have had no charges, with the collisions being confirmed or considered likely accidental.
NPR also included a Minneapolis semi incident in its “50 vehicle ramming incidents.” There, a truck driver was named a murderous white supremacist by the media and politicians for days after nearly striking demonstrators blocking a highway.
A later investigation revealed the incident had been entirely an accident. The man was no white supremacist, and was trying to get fuel to one of the last gas stations open in the city. As of writing, the article, and the count, remain up on NPR.
NPR was created by Congress in the 1960s, and receives public funding for its news articles and reporting.