You’ve got to love this guy. The ineffable Robert Reich, 70, who served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997, is now a professor of public policy at UC-Berkeley. Sadly, he seems to have succumbed to the strange stupor that’s been sweeping so much of the left in the last few months. Whatever affliction it is, it causes sufferers to needlessly retail falsehoods that are bizarrely, epically easy to demonstrate.
On CNN Thursday night, Reich disappointed far-left Antifa radicals everywhere by hypothesizing that the violent protest at Berkeley this week, mounted against the scheduled appearance of gay right-winger Milo Yiannopoulos, was a con job by right-wing plotters. The purpose, in Reich’s view, was to “delegitimize liberals.”
Reich got one thing correct: the violent thugs were highly organized, and brought in plenty of help from outside.
“I was there for part of last night, and I know what I saw and those people were not Berkeley students,” Reich said. “Those people were outside agitators. I have never seen them before.”
“There’s rumors that they actually were right-wingers. They were a part of a kind of group that was organized and ready to create the kind of tumult and danger you saw that forced the police to cancel the event,” Reich insisted.
Reich evidently isn’t down for the correct struggle, however, because he goes off on this “right-wingers did it to discredit us” tangent.
“You think it’s a strategy by [Milo Yiannopoulos] or right-wingers?” asked host Don Lemon.
“I wouldn’t bet against it,” Reich said. “I saw these people. They all looked very– almost paramilitary. They were not from the campus. I don’t want to say factually, but I’ve heard there was some relationship here between these people and the right-wing movement that is affiliated with Breitbart News.”
CNN probably won’t be correcting this impression any time soon. (It seems the Young Turks gang on YouTube has also been flogging the “right-wing false-flag op” canard as well.)
But Antifa took great pains to advertise its protest plans against Yiannopoulos, and no one who bothers to look into it is in doubt as to which group was actually behind the disruptive violence. (As long as the Antifa Berkeley Facebook page remains up, you can see the celebrations there of all the fire-setting, paramilitary-attire-wearing, glass-smashing, property-destroying, innocent-bystanders-punching, free-speech-silencing events Antifa has been sponsoring across the fruited plain.)
If you don’t like Breitbart as a source, Medium writer Trent Lapinski, with avowed leftist (and some libertarian) leanings, may be more congenial. Other non-Breitbart sources identifying Antifa with the violence at Berkeley include the UK Guardian and IB Times.
It isn’t necessary to guess who was behind the violent action on Wednesday night at Berkeley. If you look in the right places, Antifa is quite anxious to take credit for it — and for similar disruptive protests elsewhere, as featured at the Antifa Berkeley Facebook page.
(Note as this goes to post: just a couple of hours ago, ZeroHedge picked up on the discovery of an overseas blogger that one of the Antifa attackers on Wednesday night may have been a UC-Berkeley IT employee. The guy’s social-media run as an Antifa hero is a priceless slice of, um, culture.)