This is yet another story among many exposing the ugliness at the heart of the “resistance” and the increasingly fascist American Left…and, as the night follows day, another story that the mainstream news media is attempting to minimize.
Andy Ngo, a conservative journalist and pundit with the emerging online opinion and news website Quillette, attended a Portland, Oregon “Him Too” rally over the weekend. “Him Too” is a counter #MeToo movement that focuses on false rape and sexual assault allegations. It was a small rally, with only a few dozen attending; heck, there are probably only a few dozen non knee-jerk progressives in Portland. The left-wing/Anfifa/Trump Hate mob that showed up as a counter-protest (aka. “organized effort to constrain free speech by intimidation”), however, was much larger.
That group generated masked thugs who attacked Ngo, a recognized anti-Muslim critic, a hate-crime skeptic and a foe of the Antifa itself. Proving his assessment correct, the Antifa beat him and threw what the news media is calling “milkshakes” at him, a description that is literally a lie designed to trivialize what occurred. Several of the missiles were cups full of quick-setting cement, not dairy products. Bloody and battered, Ngo began livestreaming on his phone after the attacks, and could be heard asking a police officer, “Where the hell were all of you?” He was admitted to a local hospital for treatment, and at last report, was still there.
While this was occurring, Portland’s finest did nothing to intervene; the police just watched, even as some of them were struck by eggs thrown by the Antifa and the Left’s counter-protesters threw trash cans, newspaper stands, and patio furniture into the streets. . Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, is also the police commissioner, so media accounts that he cannot be said to have encouraged this dereliction of duty are also partisan, misleading spin.
Wheeler avoided commenting on his police force’s disgraceful performance until yesterday, when he tweeted some insulting boilerplate:
But “we” didn’t stand against the violence, not when a journalist whose political positions are anathema to the hard left views of Wheeler’s city was in the process of being beaten. Note also that the Mayor slyly blames the victim, who, like the group that dared to rally against a popular progressive cause, “incited violence.”
The last two tweets concluded,
How hard is the “real time” decision to stop a mob from beating up a journalist?
You would think that the reaction of journalists, even in a sick age where the news media has firmly chosen to be on the same side as the Antifa, would be overwhelmingly supportive of Andy Ngo. (Actually I wouldn’t think that, because I have decided that placing any trust and faith whatsoever in the current U.S. journalism establishment to act ethically or responsibly is folly. YOU might still expect them to be ethical and professional, however.) But while many journalists, like CNN’s Jake Tapper, expressed outrage, other took the position more or less subtly that Ngo was “asking for it.”
The trend began with the Oregonian’s “Oregon Live,” whose online account of the incident included as its largest paragraph an explanation of what made Ngo “controversial.” This, of course, is irrelevant. CNN’s revolting “media critic” Brian Stelter used the pitifully diplomatic adjective “unacceptable” to describe the attack, and said that “even critics” of Ngo’s work should agree. Oh, even critics of his work, eh, Brian? What a revolutionary sentiment. The correct term for the attack is illegal suppression of free speech, and there should be no equivocation.
The Washington Examiner compiled the disgusting comments of some of the journalists who engaged in “Of course…but” rationalizations for Ngo’s beating. Standing far above his colleagues was progressive journalist Jesse Singal, who wrote in part,
It’s insane that in this, the Year of Our Lord 2019, there is any controversy over whether or not it is acceptable to physically assault a journalist, sending him to the emergency room. But that’s where we are!…The reaction online from a disturbingly big subset of the left was glee, rationalization, or both. Endless memes, endless jokes. Plus a lot of silence from those too scared to weigh in on the apparently controversial question of how one should react to masked vigilantes assaulting a journalist.
This extended pretty high up the progressive hierarchy….Ngo is a conservative journalist whose goal is to document what he claims are the violent excesses of antifa — an argument progressives tend to reject. In the course of filming antifa, which he does regularly, some members of antifa physically assaulted him, and not for the first time, which would certainly seem to lend credence to his claim.
To respond to this with “He was asking for it,” which is what a lot of fairly big-name progressives and leftists did, is insane. Insane!
Insane? I’d say that such behavior is typical and signature significance. It is rich irony that this same weekend the New York Times’ chief leftist troll, Paul Krugman, issued a column arguing that the Republican Party was fascist. “Oh, and isn’t it remarkable how blasé we’ve become about threats of legal persecution and/or physical violence against anyone who criticizes a Republican president?” he writes as part of his brief.
Krugman’s own party and its ideological allies have been engaging in actual violence against conservatives for over three years, as well as harassing, intimidating and abusing supporters of the President and his staff in public places. Trump’s juvenile bluster against critics is indefensible, but for Krugman to highlight verbal threats while ignoring genuine brown-shirt tactics from the end of the political spectrum he calls home is spectacular hypocrisy.
But, again, typical.
Moderate conservative columnist Rod Dreher writes:
What is not a problem — or should not be a problem — is condemning without hesitation or qualification physical assaults on journalists and peaceful protesters. (And yes, I defended the odious white supremacist Richard Spencer when Antifa attacked him, and I condemned CBS when they staged a version of this assault and framed it in a justifying way.) It would have been wrong had this happened to Spencer, but what’s especially galling about the Left’s response (including the silence of the major media) is that Andy Ngo isn’t any kind of white supremacist, or white anything: he’s a gay Vietnamese-American journalist and editor at Quillette who has made a habit of filming Antifa’s violence, and publicizing it in a critical way.
He’s in a Portland hospital with his brain bleeding now, but certain well-known progressives — with Jesse Singal an honorable exception — are saying he deserved it, and other mainstream media figures who were very quick to report on the Covington Catholic non-story remaining restrained, even silent, on the Ngo beating.
It is yet to be seen if this episode will provide any tipping point in the public consciousness. As Draher points out, only Fox and conservative outlets are treating it as a national story. Meanwhile, the Democratic Presidential candidates (except for Andrew Yang, who is a candidate only in his own mind) have signaled their cowardice by remaining silent; after all, their base LIKES to see conservatives beaten and intimidated. Don’t annoy the base! Senator Ted Cruz tweeted,
“To federal law enforcement: investigate & bring legal action against a Mayor who has, for political reasons, ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists.”
Maybe that will get some attention. For a conservative journalist to be viciously attacked by a masked mob in a major Democratic city as the police stand by is res ipsa loquitur for a serious problem for our democracy and a dangerous trend.
One of my favorite ethics quotes comes from the 1966 Western, “The Professionals.” A group of mercenaries has been recruited to oppose an old ally, who has kidnapped their client’s wife. Musing on the shifting loyalties among revolutionaries, explosives expert Bill Dahlworth (Burt Lancaster) says,
“Maybe there’s only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?”
The jury is still out on Burt’s question. I think its becoming pretty clear who the bad guys are, though. My question is, “How much clearer does it have to be?”