From peace activists to black-clad attackers in under a week

From peace activists to black-clad attackers in under a week
Antifa surrounds a journalist (red shirt) recording scene, shout ‘Take his camera, take his phone.’ (Image via Twitter)

The headline reads “Black-clad antifa attack peaceful right wing demonstrators in Berkeley.” This summary of the events of the weekend in a park in Berkeley is measured and unemotional, as news coverage should be.

The lede follows suit:

Their faces hidden behind black bandannas and hoodies, about a 100 anarchists and antifa — “anti-fascist” — barreled into a protest Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.

Jumping over plastic and concrete barriers, the group melted into a larger crowd of around 2,000 that had marched peacefully throughout the sunny afternoon for a “Rally Against Hate” gathering.

Shortly after, violence began to flare. A pepper-spray wielding Trump supporter was smacked to the ground with homemade shields. Another was attacked by five black-clad antifas, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself. A conservative group leader retreated for safety behind a line of riot police as marchers chucked water bottles, shot off pepper spray and screamed “fascist go home!”

So what is the source of this report? A better question: How would, say, The Washington Post describe the same confrontation? Last week, in its description of a similar clash in Phoenix, the Post labeled Antifa demonstrators peace activists. So would the Post approve of the above column?

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Surprise: The Post did! The article is from the WaPo.

What gives? Did Editor Marty Baron find religion overnight?

A more reasonable explanation can be found in the byline: Kyle Swenson. The name may not be familiar unless you’re from Florida. Swenson was a reporter for The New Times Broward-Palm Beach until June, when he was hired as a writer for the Post’s “Morning Mix” team. Maybe he hasn’t received the paper’s stylebook.

Or maybe they’re just getting careless.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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