The Washington Post’s selective outrage over harassment of public officials

As John discussed here, the National School Boards Association retracted and apologized for urging federal authorities to target unruly school board meetings. That letter spurred (or was the coordinated pretext for) the Justice Department’s decision to call in the FBI.

The apology was reported by the Washington Times, among other outlets. However, I’ve seen no mention of it in the Washington Post.

The Post, though, has published a piece by a member of the Brevard County, Florida school board describing how angry parents “came after me.” She complains that her “progressive” stances caused her to be called names and “subjected to months of threats, harassment, and intimidation.”

The school member, Jennifer Jenkins, does not assert that she has been the target of violence. In fact, much of what she describes as harassment and intimidation is legitimate, albeit zealous, protest activity. For example:

Protesters became regulars outside school board meetings. Trump flags waved in the parking lot. Young children, accompanied by their parents, shouted into megaphones, “Don’t touch me, pedophiles!” LGBTQ students tried to speak while adults chanted “Shame!” Meetings were packed, and those who couldn’t get in banged on the windows and doors.

Some of it is mere name-calling, e.g., Nazi, pedophile, and wicked witch. The average conservative blogger with a medium-size audience is similarly abused on a regular basis.

Some of the conduct Jenkins claims to have experienced is plainly inappropriate. I’m thinking in particular of crowds assembling in front of her home and allegedly saying things like “we’re going to make you beg for mercy” and “if you thought January 6 was bad, wait until you see what we have for you.”

This sort of behavior happens all over America and typically is directed at conservatives. It happened to Tucker Carlson, for example.

It also happened to the chief of police in Seattle, hardly a conservative, because she wasn’t sufficient compliant with the demands of Black Lives Matter.

Rep. Maxine Waters advocated harassing officials of the Trump administration at restaurants, department stores, and gasoline stations. Joe Biden considers this sort of thing “part of the process” for office holders. However, non-office holders — ordinary citizens — were harassed by the BLM protesters as they tried to enjoy outdoor dining in D.C. restaurants.

These efforts at intimidation and/or exercises in venting are disgusting. But they don’t warrant federal intervention.

That’s true even if they spill over into illegality, such as the minor property damage Jenkins says she experienced. That’s a matter for the local police force (assuming it hasn’t been defunded), not the FBI.

To be fair, Jenkins doesn’t call for federal intervention. She doesn’t take a position one way or the other on Merrick Garland’s absurd memo.

I don’t blame Jenkins for wanting to complain to as large an audience as possible about the abuse she has received. I do question the Post’s decision to provide her a forum for her grievances. It amounts to selective outrage by the Post, which generally fails even to report on instances of harassment of conservatives, including at college campuses all over America.

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