The inexcusable rioting and looting in the halls and floors of the U.S. Congress this week has cast a shameful pall over the country But the New York Times inevitably went beyond justifiably calling out the rioters and those who egged them on. The paper overreached, making accusations of racial favoritism among police and alleging a double standard on riots, while ignoring liberal hypocrisy.
Reporter John Eligon made the front page Friday with “Black Activists See Double Standard In Police Handling of Whites at Capitol.”
Black Lives Matter activists across the country expressed outrage on Thursday at what they said was a tepid response from law enforcement officers to mostly white protesters, saying it stood in stark contrast to the aggressive tactics they have endured for years -- officers in full riot gear who have used tear-gas, rubber bullets and batons. It also underscored the country’s uneven system of justice, many said, and lent credence to their insistence that Black people are devalued and viewed as inherently dangerous.
Tear gas was in fact also deployed during the Capitol Hill riots.
Reporter Jeremy Peters was typically obnoxious and divisive Friday: “Denying and Deflecting, Loyalists Defend Trump.”
This was one mob they found a way to excuse.
Even as scores of President Trump’s usually unfailing loyalists condemned him for moving too slowly to call off the swarm of demonstrators that stormed and ransacked the Capitol, many of his most vocal and visible allies in Congress, the media and conservative politics still could not bring themselves to fault him for the surreal and frightening attack carried out by people he had just urged to “fight like hell.”
They downplayed the violence as acts of desperation by people who felt lied to by the news media and ignored by their elected representatives. They deflected with false equivalencies about the Democratic Party’s embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Is it really a reporter’s job to flatly declare a political argument a “false equivalency”?
“To any insincere, fake DC ‘patriots’ used as PLANTS -- you will be found out,” wrote Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2008, who demanded that the media look into the allegiances of the people who smashed their way into the Capitol.
Ms. Palin’s surfacing amid the fury was a reminder that no matter how many Republican officials speak out against Mr. Trump’s reckless and dangerous insinuations, the party has often looked the other way as grass-roots activists and far-right leaders used militant language and imagery to rally their followers. An early figure in the Tea Party movement, Ms. Palin often summoned Revolutionary War metaphors and other phrases in her speeches and social media posts that led critics to accuse her of glorifying violence, like “Don’t retreat, reload.”
Does the Times really want to remind people that Palin filed a lawsuit when the Times falsely tied her to violence in an editorial on the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords?
Saturday’s front page featured Astead Herndon’s “news analysis,” “Riot at ‘People’s House’ Bares Old, Internal Rift.” Herndon played on racial division right from the start while flattering Democrats:
The day after Georgia elected a Black descendant of sharecroppers and a young Jewish filmmaker to be U.S. senators, underscoring the rising political power of racial and religious minorities, the forces of white grievance politics struck back.
Ultra-liberal California Rep. Maxine Waters made a surprise cameo as a…peacemaker?
Representative Maxine Waters of California, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the images should be a jarring reminder of the country’s bloody struggle against injustice….Ms. Waters, the congresswoman, was a teacher in Watts, Calif., in the 1960s. She played a pivotal role in restoring order in Los Angeles after the rebellion in 1991, after city police officers beat Rodney King.
Herndon employed the left-wing nomenclature “rebellion” to describe the riots.
This is the same Maxine Waters who according to the May 1992 New York Times:
….scared some people and angered others by focusing on justifying rather than condemning the violent reaction to the verdict….She concluded by leading the crowd in a chant: "No justice, no peace."
On Saturday, the Times reported “Familiar Fears as Immigrants See ‘Blackest Day for Democracy.’” The interviewed Carla Miranda, who fled Venezuela and “the Chavistas” -- supporters of dictator Hugo Chavez. They quoted Miranda in a photo caption: “It reminded me of the Chavistas. They look a lot like the Chavistas. They followed all these conspiracy theories.”
Good to see the Times recognizing the menace posed by the followers of the late Venezuelan Communist dictator. A shame the paper praised Chavez and his socialist tyranny over Venezuela at the time.