The New York Times devoted an entire print page Thursday to the ongoing clashes between left-wing radicals and federal officers in Portland, under the rubric “‘Whose Streets? Our Streets.’” That headline is a chant from the Antifa anarchists occupying and setting fires in downtown Portland. It’s also a giveaway to which side the paper’s news staff is on.
Mike Baker and Thomas Fuller reported from Portland with affection for the street radicals: “Portland Protesters Employ Irregular Tactics And Protective Gear Scrounged From Home.”
Facing federal forces who came to Portland to subdue them, many of the city’s protesters have taken to the streets this week with items scrounged from home. Then they have assembled at the federal courthouse each night with sometimes starkly different visions of how to put their tools to use.
Baker and Fuller unleashed the mother of all euphemisms to describe protesters trying to burn down buildings:
With no clear leaders or blueprints, the demonstrators have largely embraced a strategy of spontaneous consensus, which follows the whims of the crowd and, sometimes, the resolutions of their internal disagreements -- such as whether fire is an appropriate addition to their protest.
“Whose streets?” they shout, in one of their signature chants. “Our streets. Whose lives matter? Black lives matter.”
The protests have drawn diverse crowds, including teenagers, grandmothers, longtime activists and those joining the fray for the first time.
The authorities have accused protesters of at times using dangerous methods, including launching projectiles from sling shots. In one of dozens of arrests during the demonstrations, a protester was charged recently with hitting an officer with a hammer.
This was a simply pathetic example of conservative "seizing":
The federal authorities have seized on the lighting of fires as further justification for their presence in Portland.
“Individuals trying to set fire to a building are no longer protesting,” Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, said at a news conference on Tuesday. “They are criminals.”
Early on Tuesday morning protesters had lit bonfires in the streets around the federal courthouse and tried to ignite the plywood protecting the building. There were fewer fires at the protests early on Wednesday morning.
“Fewer fires.” A sign of progress!
Meanwhile, media reporter Michael Grynbaum blamed right-wing media for fanning the Portland flames to benefit Trump in November: “From the Stars of Conservative Media Outlets: News Laced With Fear Fueled by the President.”
After quoting conservative hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, Grynbaum condescendingly summarized:
Right-wing outlets and conservative media stars have seized on the weekslong protests in Portland as a rallying cry for law and order, instructing their followers to fear for their safety and blaming Democratic leaders for failing to restore peace.
Again, the Times used its so-called news pages to accuse conservatives of misleading about the scope of the rioting (the same way the paper claims violent protests are "mostly peaceful.")
In fact, the scenes broadcast by channels like Fox News and One America News send a misleading portrait of the city, where daily life has been relatively calm outside of a small area downtown.
Some protesters hurl bottles and cans and set off fireworks; over the weekend, a group set fire to a police union headquarters. Others have marched peacefully, chanting and holding signs and trying to stop those throwing bottles.
Oddly enough, the Tea Party never had to stop its marchers from throwing bottles! Then Grynbaum whined that conservative media wasn’t being sufficiently "nuanced" in describing the fire-lighting, hammer-hurling anarchists.
The nuances of the Portland protests -- which reflect a diverse mix of grievances, including civil rights, anti-fascist causes and frustration with the president -- have not been noted by the conservative media world.
Instead, in an echo of Mr. Trump’s portrayal, right-wing media has presented the situation as an urban nightmare….