Here is the opening paragraph of the Washington Post’s account of a rally by a group called Proud Boys protesting the exclusion of some activists from social media:
Hundreds of D.C. police officers descended on the area around Washington’s Freedom Plaza on Saturday, preventing antifascists from clashing with right-wing demonstrators during dueling rallies near the White House.
Who were these “antifascists”?
Police on bicycles and on foot quickly broke up skirmishes and prevented black-clad, hooded leftist antifascists, known as antifa, from erecting barricades in streets with toppled newspaper boxes and chairs.
The ordinary reader would tend to sympathize with antifascists who clashed with right-wingers. But what is the Post’s basis for telling its readers that Antifa, thugs who go around beating up people whose views they disagree with, is antifascist? It’s probably the fact that the Post also disagrees with the views of those whom these leftist thugs beat up.
It’s true that Antifa claims to be antifascist. But surely the Post, chock full of crack, truth-seeking journalists, isn’t taking Antifa’s word for it.
Donald Trump says he’s making America great again. The Post doesn’t parrot that claim. Why does it parrot the claim of hooded goons that they are antifascist? Again, it’s probably because the Post thinks Antifa, if not exactly on its side, is at least the enemy of its enemies.
It took four Post reporters — Peter Hermann, Peter Jamison, Hannah Natanson, and Clarence Williams — to crank out this pedestrian story, which runs only a little over two dozen paragraphs. Which of these ace reporters decided to buy Antifa’s marketing of itself as an antifascist organization? Maybe it was a collective decision. Or maybe they simply followed an editorial decision made by the Post’s brass.
Speaking of marketing, it’s shocking that a newspaper that markets itself through the slogan “democracy dies in darkness” applies a heroic description to a gang whose criminal behavior constitutes a head-on threat to free speech and, therefore, democracy.
Shocking, but not surprising, given that the newspaper in question is the Washington Post.