As I discussed here, the Washington Post wanted its readers to believe that President Trump was responsible for the rioting in Portland, and that things were fine once he removed troops guarding the federal courthouse. However, the Post could not sustain this absurd line once, after a couple of days, rioting resumed in a Portland devoid of federal troops.
On August 9, the Post finally acknowledged, in a story buried deep in the paper’s news pages, that “after a brief lull following the Trump administration’s partial retreat from the city last month, the late-night protests have been ratcheting up this week with a renewed focus on the Portland Police Bureau.”
Right. They quickly “ratcheted up” to rioting. And the “lull” occurred when protesters decided to change their tactics and move from the downtown area, where the federal buildings are, to a different part of the city.
Although it abandoned the “blame Trump for riots” narrative, the Post continued to show solidarity with the rioters. Reporter Katie Shepherd leads her August 9 story by turning the floor over to Robert Dorris, a random witness to the riots who is identified only as a 63 year-old Black man. Here’s the quote from Dorris:
You can’t control people’s anger. Black voices have been silenced. We’ve been screaming for years and years about police violence. Every other week it seems like they’re here. I love it. Our voices were ignored. They’re being heard.
The Post cites no evidence that Black voices have been “silenced” in Portland or that there is any recent pattern of unjustified “police violence” in the city. It relies on the say-so of Dorris, whoever he may be.
The Post could have led off its story simply by presenting the facts — people in a mostly White crowd set fire to police union headquarters. It could have quoted the mayor (see below) or someone from the police. Maybe it could have quoted one of the rioters.
By choosing instead to quote a random guy spouting a pro-violence line (“I love it”) with no evidence, the Post made clear where its sympathies lie. They lie with the rioters whose “voices” are being heard.
Only at the end of its story does the Post quote Ted Wheeler who, somehow, is both the mayor of Portland and its police commissioner. Wheeler points out that some protesters have committed attempted murder by starting fires in a police building and barricading the exits:
When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder. You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during his campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.
Attempted murder is bad enough. Helping the Trump campaign is beyond the pale.
“[Wheeler’s] comments riled many people,” the Post observes. Whether “many people” were “riled” by the attempted murders, the Post did not say. Perhaps Robert Dorris could no longer be reached for comment.
BY THE WAY: The “protesters” have returned to the federal courthouse area. Last night the police declared a riot there. If the police can’t stop the rioting promptly, Trump should send troops back in.