Any time violent leftists ravage a city, we the people are treated to charitable news stories about mostly peaceful protests. Whenever Donald Trump supporters host enthusiastic rallies, the media depict them as deadly superspreader events rife with racist conspiracy theorists.
The Washington Post this week included both in the same article. It lumped a small, antagonistic, left-wing counterprotest into a story that should have been about an exceptionally huge right-wing demonstration of peaceful Trump supporters at our nation’s capital.
The piece, titled “After thousands of Trump supporters rally in D.C., violence erupts when night falls,” was leftist spin from start to finish. As former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer noted, an accurate account of real-life events would have been titled “After Peaceful Pro-Trump Crowds Gather, Left-wing Opponents Use Nightfall to Attack.” But who needs factual headlines? Everyone knows democracy dies in darkness, and accuracy dies at the Washington Post.
A Reality-based, alternative headline would have been: “After Peaceful Pro-Trump Crowds Gather, Left-wing Opponents Use Nightfall to Attack” https://t.co/TF1t1Gweb9
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) November 15, 2020
The authors of this rally rundown hurled every insult imaginable at the pro-Trump crowd. Even when they were relaying true events — Trump supporters demonstrated peacefully until leftist opponents descended on the capital and clashed with them at night — they took every opportunity to run cover for attacks from the left while demonizing those on the right.
The Washington Post Is a Spin Machine
For instance, why were these peaceful and patriotic Americans gathering in the nation’s capital? According to the Washington Post spin machine, it was “to falsely claim that the election had been stolen from the man they adore.”
Why did the leftist agitators, or, as the Post called them, “the people who oppose their hero,” show up? Not to stir up strife and division, of course. No, leftist demonstrators were simply on-site to communicate truth to those right-wing nuts. According to the authors, the left showed up simply to deliver “a message the president’s most ardent backers were unwilling to hear: The election is over. Trump lost.”
Not only did the Post writers grant equal legitimacy to the two gatherings, although the Trump crowd boasted tens of thousands of demonstrators throughout the day while the left’s agitators numbered about 300, according to the paper’s estimate, they conflated the tenor of two different events. The authors highlighted isolated instances of incivility among the gigantic pro-Trump crowd to downplay the criminal assaults of the leftist counterprotesters in the dark of the night.
“While much of the day unfolded peacefully, brief but intense clashes erupted throughout,” the authors wrote, failing to distinguish from whom exactly these “intense clashes” originated. “Activists spewed profanity and shouted threats, threw punches and launched bottles. On both sides, people were bloodied, and at least 20 were arrested, including four whose allegiances remain unknown on gun charges. The chaos also left two officers injured.” Note that it wasn’t bad actors who hurt law enforcement personnel. It was “chaos’s” fault.
BLM activist filmed sucker-punching man is a child sex offender recently released from prisonhttps://t.co/HOHlkjDM2a
— Barrett Wilson (@BarrettWilson6) November 16, 2020
The Washington Post writers were careful to mask the identities of the violent demonstrators in vague language and passive voice. For instance, “a man in his 20s was stabbed in the back.” They describe an “argument that exploded” in the middle of the night between a man holding a Trump flag and a group of agitators. “Suddenly,” the Post says, “police tackled two people in a crosswalk,” whom they failed to identify. Rather than attributing actions to the counterprotesters, the Post went for, “the appearance of counterprotesters sparked bursts of conflict,” implying strife materialized out of thin air when leftists were simply present.
Left Good, Trump Supporters Bad
It wasn’t just about the physical confrontations, however. The Post’s framing of Trump and his supporters, absent any counterprotest, was also egregious. It first failed to communicate the magnitude of the pro-Trump event, opting instead only to bash White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for “vastly exaggerating the crowd size.”
Then in just two paragraphs, the Post managed to smear the right over four distinct things:
The daytime demonstrations were urged on by Trump, who refuses to concede to Joe Biden or allow a formal transition to begin. On Saturday morning, as the president’s devotees remained in D.C. to fight for him, he headed to Trump National Golf Club in the Virginia suburbs for a round.
After a week in which more than 750,000 Americans were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, almost none of his backers wore masks. Among their ranks were white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and far-right activists carrying signs demanding action that was already being taken: ‘Count the legal votes.’
First, Trump is an authoritarian who “refuses to concede to Joe Biden” (although litigation is ongoing across the country). Second, Trump cares more about golfing than his job or his supporters (although the media never cared much when Obama or any other president engaged in leisure activities).
Third, Trump-supporters are science-denying grandma-killers (although the media and Democrat COVID-19 hypocrites have lost all credibility related to masks and science). Fourth, Trump supporters are ignorant, deranged, radical racists (a pervasive trope among leftist politicos and media elites). While it’s true that some fringe, alt-right types attended this gathering, they never turn out in numbers even close to Trump’s populist MAGA base — yet the minority of extremists get the majority of the Post’s coverage.
Dropping any facade of objectivity, the Washington Post showed its hand with its blatantly partisan framing. Rest assured then that if the aforementioned violent instigators had been Trumpians, journalists this eager to drag the right would have been delighted to let us know. After all, the Post was happy to include not any photos of left-wing provocateurs, but action shots of MAGA-wearing folks with gritted teeth responding to agitators, or Proud Boys marching in a line.
Americans Aren’t Buying What the Post Is Selling
Meanwhile, the authors described the left-wing counterprotesters as Trump’s “black-clad detractors, many of whom had participated in racial justice rallies throughout the summer.” This is where the media’s utter disconnect from reality and lack of touch with ordinary Americans shines through. For anyone who has paid an ounce of attention since the beginning of the summer, this “racial justice rallies” descriptor for the mob violence, looting, and arson that ravaged our major cities, snuffed out a number of lives, destroyed minority-owned businesses and robbed their livelihoods just doesn’t work.
It’s this major disconnect that makes one line of the Post article ring true: “On stark display in the nation’s capital were two irreconcilable versions of America, each refusing to accept what the other considered to be undeniable fact.”
This idea of “two irreconcilable versions of America” describes the chasm between those who want to “Make America Great Again” and the politicians who call their gatherings “Klan rallies,” between those who want law and order and those who want to defund the police, between the 73 million Americans who voted to keep Trump in the Oval Office and the nearly 79 million who would stop at nothing to get him out. It describes the insurmountable discrepancy between the America its citizens see with their own eyes versus the one the media tell them is true.
Ironically, this sorry excuse for journalism is one of the reasons the anti-establishment Trump was elected in the first place — and it’s the reason the more than 73 million Americans who voted for him a second term and the tens of thousands who gathered peacefully in the capital aren’t going anywhere any time soon.