Last Saturday a group of angry liberal anarchists took to the streets of Portland, Ore., took to the streets to “direct” traffic. That’s the most logical way of explaining the group’s otherwise inexplicable actions, which included ordering drivers to turn at one particular intersection rather proceed straight on the road they were on. If the drivers protested, as was the case with one elderly man, they were greeted with a hail of obscenities.
By any definition of the word, these people constituted a mob, which according to Merriam-Webster is “a large and disorderly crowd of people especially : one bent on riotous or destructive action.”
Yet when Matt Lewis, a senior columnist for The Daily Beast and CNN contributor, used the word mob to characterize the behavior of demonstrators like the ones in Portland, anchor Brooke Baldwin bristled at the notion, responding, “Oh, you’re not going to use the ‘mob’ word here.” (I believe she meant to say the ‘m’-word.)
“It’s totally a mob,” Lewis shot back. “Without a doubt. There’s no other word for it!”
“Matt, Matt — a mob,” said Baldwin. “Stop. Stop. A mob is what we saw in Charlottesville, Virginia, two Augusts ago.”
“What about the people who were at the Supreme Court banging on the wall?” Lewis pressed on. What do you call that? Civil protest? Or is that a mob?”
The Federalist’s Mary Katherine Ham, who was also on the panel, added “Pretty mobby.”
Get ready to roll your eyes…
CNN's Brooke Baldwin is offended that the left's angry mob was called… a mob.
Would she rather them be called violent harassers, vandals and criminals? pic.twitter.com/hW9GWvZx5I
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) October 9, 2018
Notice the distinction Baldwin attempts to make. If the violent protesters identify as right-wing — a claim that is only partly true of the riots in Charlottesville, where leftist counter-protesters physically engage a white supremacist group — then those protesters are a mob.