Sometimes there's a problem when a far-left reporter admiringly covers a far-left political official or candidate. What occasionally happens is that items which would clearly be objectionable to sensible people make it to print or onto the airwaves because the lefty journalist doesn't recognize how problematic they are. If he or she did, it would be kept out of their reports.
At NBC News, former Salon.com columnist Alex Seitz-Wald's far-leftism is beyond dispute. Writing that conservative outlets ignored the Kermit Gosnell trial as much as liberal outlets did, claiming that cable news king Fox News is "a stable for journalists who have fallen on hard times," and gushing over the appearance of Hillary Clinton's "Scooby van" in Iowa clinch that evaluation. On Saturday, Seitz-Wald allowed a quote from Bernie Sanders' statement on Donald Trump's cancellation of his Chicago speech on Friday into his report on how the cancellation came about. Big mistake.
Seitz-Wald's report, overflowing with admiration, credits "Bernie Sanders Supporters" for the cancellation. He was clearly attempting to separate Sanders' supporters from the Sanders' campaign, and he almost did it, except for one thing — namely, as noted, quoting the Sanders' campaign's statement:
... what made Chicago different were its scale and the organization behind the effort. Hundreds of young people, mostly minorities, poured in from across the city, taking over whole sections of the arena and bracing for trouble.
And as the repeated chants of "Ber-nie" demonstrated, it was largely organized by supporters of Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who has struggled to win over black voters but whose revolutionary streak has excited radicals of all racial demographics.
"Remember the #TrumpRally wasn't just luck. It took organizers from dozens of organizations and thousands of people to pull off. Great work," tweeted People for Bernie, a large unofficial pro-Sanders organization founded by veterans of the Occupy movement and other leftist activists.
Sanders' campaign was not involved with the protest.
"As is the case virtually every day, Donald Trump is showing the American people that he is a pathological liar. Obviously, while I appreciate that we had supporters at Trump's rally in Chicago, our campaign did not organize the protests," Sanders said in a statement Saturday.
Sanders did NOT say that his campaign "was not involved," as Seitz-Wald sloppily claimed.
If that discrepancy were to go undiscovered for even a couple of days, that would leave wiggle room, after emotions have cooled, for Team Sanders to say that if any of his campaign people were there, they were present "on their own time" or some such nonsense, and to claim that "Well, we didn't say that people who work for our campaign by day weren't involved; we just said that the campaign didn't organize it."
Except that now, while the news is fresh, Seitz-Wald has inadvertently exposed Sanders' dissembling in real time.
What's more, since the reporter noted the existence of Sanders' statement, and despite his failure to provide a link, enterprising readers could go to the candidate's full statement and learn that he did not advise his followers to refrain from violence in the future:
Such an admonition was clearly necessary in the circumstances, given that the acknowledged predominantly pro-Sanders supporters engaged in at least the following forms of violence and assault:
- The protesters "harassed families at Trump Hotel."
- They "blocked ambulances from reaching the local hospital."
- They "Spewed Racist Hate" as they "harassed a black businessman selling swag outside the Trump rally."
- After the cancellation was announced, protesters who made it inside the arena "turned on the Trump supporters, saying groping the women was OK because 'they are racist white b*tches.'"
A candidate with any sense of decency would renounce such actions by people who claim they support him, even if his campaign wasn't involved in "organizing" them, and would tell them to refrain from violence in the future. But Bernie Sanders didn't. Thus, the default assumption has to be, especially since he professed his appreciation for the supporters' aka violent disruptors' presence, that he was satisfied with what they had done.
So now we know, thanks to Alex Seitz-Wald's failure to filter out damning information despite his otherwise sickeningly positive spin, that a significant contingent of Bernie Sanders' supporters, with the candidate's tacit approval and borderline endorsement, are bent on shutting down opposing views, and on doing so by violent means when considered necessary.
Thanks, Alex. Glad that's clear now. It won't be forgotten.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.