by Ari Lieberman
When will the media decry the culture of violence of Clinton and Sanders' supporters?
The so-called “mainstream” national media has developed a penchant for focusing on violence originating from certain quarters while all but ignoring hooliganism emanating from others. The disparity in treatment is due primarily to an agenda being pushed by leftist elements within the media establishment, including, but not limited to, MSNBC and the New York Times.
Violence emanating from Trump supporters buttresses a false narrative that many within the establishment media wish to propagate; namely that Trump’s immigration and border policies are laced with racist undertones. The issue is not framed within the context of securing borders, protecting U.S. citizens from crime and terrorism and curtailing an already overburdened entitlement system for illegals. Rather, Trump’s opponents and their allies in the media have succeeded in framing the issue as one involving racial divisiveness and incitement.
That narrative, displayed over and over again in print as well as social media has succeeded in fueling extreme left-wing violence at Trump rallies far outweighing the violence exhibited by a very limited number of Trump supporters. Yet violence by Trump supporters is still given prominence despite its limited scope and scale. Isolated incidents involving violence at Trump gatherings are given disproportionate coverage far beyond their importance.
Consider the side-by-side contrast of media coverage in two separate instances of violence at Trump rallies. On March 10, a 78-year old senior citizen punched an anti-Trump demonstrator in the face at a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The action was inexcusable and the perpetrator was arrested and rightfully charged with misdemeanor assault while his victim required no medical attention.
On Thursday and Friday, a large unruly mob of anti-Trump hooligans, some of whom displayed Mexican flags, assembled at the Orange County Fairgrounds in California where a pro-Trump rally was held. The mob quickly resorted to violence, blocking traffic, throwing bricks, ransacking police cars and attacking policemen. One bystander, who had the misfortune of wearing a Trump T-shirt was slugged in the face, knocked to the ground and required several unsightly stitches to close his wound. Several police cars were damaged and a police horse was injured. The resulting damage will reportedly cost the fairgrounds tens of thousands of dollars.
The former case involving the pro-Trump senior citizen made headlines nationally. Video of the incident was shown in an endless loop. Elements within the establishment media made certain to frame the issue as one with racial overtones, since the perpetrator was white and the victim, black. Coverage of the incident – which involved a single punch and no real injury – lasted for weeks with MSNBC and other media commentators noting (falsely) how Trump rallies draw racist crowds. Trump’s supporters were unfairly painted with a broad brush.
In the latter case, while the incident received prominent local media coverage, it lacked the national staying power of the Fayetteville incident even though the resultant violence was far more extreme and damaging. CNN tried to “balance” its reporting of the incident by citing claims by the louts that they were merely there to demonstrate their angst against Trump’s “message of hate.” Vandalism and property damage was justified as a “mere symptom of hate speech.” CNN bent over backward to provide justification or at least understanding of the demonstrators’ baleful actions. No such slack is ever afforded to Trump supporters.
Of course, there was no justification for the violence in Orange County just as there was no justification for the violence in Fayetteville. But for some inexplicable reason, in the eyes of agenda-driven leftist media outlets, not all acts of violence are created equal.
Bullying and hooliganism of the sort that had been characteristic of the radical right has now become part and parcel of tactics employed by the radical left. Whether it’s a professor calling for “some muscle” to eject a student reporter at the University of Missouri or pro-Palestinian activists disrupting a peaceful gathering at San Francisco State University, the methods are becoming more violent and their use, more frequent.
These incidents of radical leftist hooliganism are given mere scant coverage by the leftist media. Often, they are entirely ignored by left-wing media and only belatedly covered after non-mainstream bloggers bring it to the community’s attention by creating a social media storm.
In the case of Trump, it is readily apparent that certain elements within the mainstream media have sacrificed journalistic integrity to advance a particular ideology. It is indeed a sad reflection of the present state of journalism.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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