Scott McConnell, a founding editor of The American Conservative, writes that the media has been silent about Antifa, despite months of violence against Trump supporters. He gives Trump credit for a nuanced view of what took place on the ground in Charlottesville.
The allegation that the mainstream media disseminates “fake news” about the Trump administration often can seem overwrought, even a kind of caricature. Yet the nearly universal media response to President Trump’s news conference at which he addressed the Charlottesville violence can only reinforce it. One day this response make make a rich subject for future historians analyzing it as earlier historians probed witch-burnings, pogroms, and other outbreaks of mass hysteria. They likely will focus on the spectacle of sophisticated, experienced, well credentialed people—Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, Joe Scarborough, to name three of dozens—responding to Trump’s comments on the tragic weekend as if they were, say, undergraduate social justice warriors at Middlebury College.
There has been a huge upsurge in left wing violence during the past year. At one extreme, a Bernie Sanders volunteer recently tried to murder the GOP congressional leadership, severely wounding Congressman Steve Salise. Murders of police officers are accelerating, in some cases cold blooded assassinations by Black Lives Matter supporters. Right wing speakers such as Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray and Ben Shapiro are regularly prevented—by violence—from speaking on college campuses. Pro-Trump rallies have been cancelled under threat of leftist violence in “tolerant” Portland. Those attending a pro-Trump inaugural ball, “the Deploraball,” were pelted by batteries and bottles and chants of “Nazi Scum” by the same antifa who were protesting in Charlotte. (My wife and I were among those targeted). The Deploraball organizers had in fact gone to considerable lengths to bar white nationalists from involvement in the planning or speaking; it was a pro-Trump, multicultural, and multiracial celebration. But for the antifa, and the vast swarm of left wing social justice warriors, any kind of Trump supporter is “Nazi Scum” by definition, people whose First Amendment rights to speak and gather should be denied.
It was probably Trump’s awareness of this—an extremely important social fact sedulously ignored by vast legions of mainstream media—that prompted Trump to speak out against the violence of both sides. In doing so, he displayed a far more sophisticated understanding of the overall context of political violence in this country than the media mavens who ritually disdain him.
Read more from McConnell here.