by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It’s a simple fact that all too many members of the mainstream media have a soft spot for left-wing radicalism even as they remain convinced that right-wing violence represents a mortal threat to public safety. Since the rise of Black Lives Matter and the emergence of Antifa after Trump’s election, the riots and acts of political violence are almost too numerous to count.
We’ve seen buildings burn, cars burn, speeches blocked, and physical assaults, even against the most innocent bystanders. …
… It’s part of human nature, but all too often when people believe that anger is justifiable, they see violence is excusable — or at least understandable. A member of the media may feel deep sympathy with protests against police violence or against family separation. They can therefore understand the rage of the protester. And that sympathy may lead to soft-pedaling or ignoring acts of violence, out of concern that reporting the facts — or especially reporting them with remotely the same prominence that they report riots or attacks from the other side — might make the movement suffer.
Contrast that with the response to right-wing violence. There is no sympathy for the underlying cause. Not only is there no disincentive to downplay violence for the sake of the larger cause, the incentives operate in reverse. One of the fastest ways to discredit any political movement is to associate it with threats and disorder. To broadcast the violence is to defeat the movement.