PJ Media

The Appalling Media Double Standard on Reporting Political Violence

During the recent health care debate in Congress, the media was quick to latch on to every perceived slight or hurt, real or imagined, directed at Democrats. They offered wall-to-wall coverage of phoned-in threats of violence against Democratic representatives, even as they hastened to downplay the stray bullet that crashed through an office belonging to Republican Eric Cantor.

These same media outlets were quick to pounce on reports that a handful of Democratic offices were vandalized, and they seemed to relish in discussing the glory-hound, former militia leader who sought to claim credit for the handful of broken windows.

The message from the media was clear: any violence against their liberal allies will be broadcast far and wide, and any threat or slur will be published as fact, no matter how dubious the claim.

The reverse, sadly, is not true, and that is not a recent development.

While the media is all over the recent bombing attempt in Times Square, they quickly swept the 2008 bombing of the Times Square military recruiting station under the rug. The hometown New York Times relegated the terror attack to regional news, even as experts suspected it was the work of a repeat bomber.

When left-wing Indymedia writer Andrew Mickel ambushed and killed a Red Bluff, California, police officer in 2001 in hopes of triggering an insurrection, he was caught and sentenced to death, but his story was all but ignored. A solitary Washington Post story chronicled his saga of murderous left-wing rage.

Carlos Hartmann is another left-wing kindred spirit of Mickel’s. A soldier-hating radical furious over the war in Iraq and the NATO commitment to send troops in support, Hartman left his home in Michigan and flew to the Netherlands in 2007, hoping to murder U.S. or allied soldiers. Unable to find a soldier to ambush, he instead decided to kill a defenseless Dutch student at the Roosendaal train station — with an axe.

Once again, the mainstream media in the United States all but buried this sensational story even though it was freely available on the AP wire. Hartmann’s militant soldier-hating mindset was too eerily similar in tone to those of the left-wing anti-war protesters the media has continually championed for the past half-century. It was (and is) better for their narrative to pretend that left-wing political violence is an anomaly instead of a constant theme.

This blind eye continued recently as left-wing radicals in New Orleans chased down and beat up a Republican campaign staffer for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in New Orleans after a April 9 fundraiser. Allee Bautsch and her boyfriend were attacked from behind by protesters organized by the leftist/anarchist Iron Rail Collective as they left Brennan’s Restaurant in the French Quarter. Both Bautsch and Brown were hospitalized with multiple broken bones after they were jumped by a group of three to five thugs. Another group leaving the restaurant nearly suffered the same fate, but escaped in a taxi.

If a gang of right-wing extremists isolated and ambushed campaign staffers for a Democratic governor, you can rest assured that national media attention devoted to the case would be sensationalized. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would undoubtedly issue another warning about right-wing extremists that would be echoed by Barack Obama himself and Democratic leaders. But Bautsch is a Republican staffer who was attacked by left-wing radicals — so you can count on the media’s silence.

Last weekend the world was exposed to another May Day, or as left wing groups worldwide prefer to call it International Worker’s Day. It is perhaps best remembered by older generations of Americans for the lavish military parades in Russia, Cuba and China.

Communists, socialists, and anarchists all demonstrate on May Day, and unlike the thousands of peaceful tea party protests held across the nation in the past year, these May Day events are almost always “celebrated” with calls to revolution and violence. In many instances, these calls to violence are heeded with senseless attacks against private property and businesses that are put down quickly by police agencies who have learned to prepare for the violent tendencies of leftists.

And yet the same national media that trumpets the broken windows of three Democrats for days on end cannot be bothered to bring attention to far more recent and severe acts of vandalism carried out by their anarchist and leftist allies on May Day.

The Associated Press reported that the May Day crowd of communist and anarchist protesters in San Francisco was “mostly peaceful,” utterly ignoring the fact that they assaulted at least three counter-protesters.

The May Day violence carried out in Santa Cruz was harder to ignore, as rioters did at least $100,000 in damage to 18 businesses. Despite the fact that the violence there was so bad that city officials felt the need to hire eight additional full-time police officers to deal with the growing threat, the vast majority of the coverage of the story was local in nature. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center did not make the rounds of network and cable news shows after the Santa Cruz riots to denounce the violence committed by leftists and anarchists as he typically does when threats of right-wing violence suddenly grab the media’s attention. It isn’t worth discussing.

Likewise, the anarchists that rioted during the May Day event in Asheville, North Carolina, had to attack the local newspaper to get noticed. Precisely zero national news outlets reported the outbreak of violence by left-wing affiliated anarchists and socialists in Asheville on May Day, even though 11 of the protesters managed to get arrested after causing an estimated $20,000 in damage.

One of those arrested is a graduate of Sidwell Friends School, where the Obama daughters are currently being educated.

Again, the progressive media turned a blind eye to real violence because the source of that violence was a bit too close to their ideological home. It was no mistake that MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer hoped that the Times Square bomber was a tea party protester; it is a view that is common among a media that is a symbiote of the Democratic Party. Progressive media have spent the last decades turning a blind eye to the depravity, violence, and terrorism that mark the radical fringe of their beliefs.

Never mind the stench of the smoke and the steady fall of ash. The media refuse to report, because they refuse to believe that their allies are capable of such actions.