Remember when federal officers with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) used tear gas on violent antifa rioters who set off fireworks at the federal courthouse in Portland? Legacy media outlets framed the issue as feds cracking down on “mostly peaceful protests.” A woke mob pressured The New York Times to retract Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed calling for law and order and got op-ed editor James Bennet to resign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called federal agents “stormtroopers.”
The antifa riots in Portland have continued into this year. On Friday, Portland Police detained 100 rioters and arrested 17 of them. On Thursday, March 11, antifa rioters set fire to the federal courthouse and the DHS under Joe Biden used tear gas to disperse them. Riots also broke out in Los Angeles and Seattle over the weekend.
Yet the legacy media TV networks appear not to have noticed any of this. On Monday, Newsbusters reported that the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts devoted a grand total of zero seconds — yes, not one solitary second — to the riots in Portland. On Friday, however, Fox News’ Fox and Friends covered the March 11 attacks.
That evening, antifa agitators who gathered to protest against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) burned American flags, broke glass, and set fire to the plywood at the federal courthouse in Portland. Agitators clad in the trademark antifa black bloc spray-painted obscenities and the indigenous “Land Back” slogan. Earlier that day, antifa agitators had attempted to break into a Chase Bank, apparently in order to stop the funding of an oil pipeline.
On Friday, a group of about 100 antifa rioters marched through the Pearl District of Portland, the wealthy neighborhood where Mayor Ted Wheeler once resided. The rioters blocked the street and police warned them to stop obstructing traffic. Rioters began smashing windows and the cops moved in to address the violence, creating a perimeter. Rioters threw rocks and full cans of beer at the cops.
Police warned the crowd that they were being detained for investigation and that failure to comply could result in arrest or the use of force, including tear gas. Cops photographed and identified the rioters before releasing them. Police arrested the 17 who refused to comply.
“Officers discovered numerous items left behind by people inside the perimeter, including a crowbar, hammers, bear spray, slugging weapon with rocks, high impact slingshot, and knives,” the police report noted. Two suspects carried firearms, wearing body armor and helmets.
Rioters also smashed store windows and threw rocks at police in Los Angeles on Saturday, the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death. Police in Seattle arrested 13 people after rioters smashed the windows of a Starbucks and vandalized businesses. Portland rioters returned to the federal courthouse on Saturday, spray-painting “Police are murderers” on the plywood and creating a “no-go zone” for the public and police.
In Portland, #antifa returned to occupy the front of the federal courthouse they tried burning down again this week. They blocked the streets to create a “no go zone” for the public & police. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/5y3RWwAzWp
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) March 14, 2021
The violent riots did not end when Joe Biden entered the White House, but it seems the legacy media cannot be bothered to cover these riots.
After the January violence, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted that “President Biden condemned protests and violence on the far right and the far left before he was president.” Yet Biden often singled out groups like the Proud Boys while only once explicitly condemning antifa. “Peaceful protests are a cornerstone of our democracy but smashing windows is not protesting and neither is looting, and actions like these are totally unacceptable,” Psaki said.
Not only has the DHS under Biden used tear gas on “mostly peaceful protesters” but Psaki has condemned the “mostly peaceful protests.” Where’s the outrage? Doesn’t this small step to maintaining law and order make Biden a “fascist” in the eyes of antifa radicals?
More importantly, these cities are facing endemic property destruction and lawlessness, and it seems local officials are determined to bow to the mob rather than stand up for citizens. Last June, the Portland City Council voted to cut at least $15 million from the police budget, eliminating 84 positions. Last month, when police faced three separate shootings and a violent antifa riot, the department’s resources were stretched too thin to protect private property and keep the peace.
Under Biden, the Department of Justice dropped 31 of the 90 remaining criminal cases linked to riots in Portland.
Perhaps if more TV networks actually covered the violence, Biden and other Democrats would have to condemn it, and pressure would build for local authorities to restore law and order. This blackout covers for antifa and abets the Left’s narrative that the only real threat comes from the Right.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.