The New York Times’ coverage of the rioting after the killing of George Floyd has been an exercise in running interference for the violent left-wing anarchists of Antifa. On the front of Tuesday’s Times Business section under: “‘All of It Is Toxic’: A Surge In Protest Misinformation," reporter Davey Alba focused on three alleged bits of misinformation being passed around the web about the rioting.
But one bit that wasn’t “misinformation” at all? That the loose affiliation of violent left-wing-anarchists are not provoking violence in the streets:
And conservative commentators are asserting with little evidence that antifa, the far-left antifascism activist movement, coordinated the riots and looting that sprang from the protests.
Untruths, conspiracy theories and other false information are running rampant online as the furor over Mr. Floyd, an African-American man who was killed last week in police custody in Minneapolis, has built. The misinformation has surged as the protests have dominated conversation....
Alba blamed Trump for having “stoked the divisive information” and actually referring to the terrorist organization as such:
The unsubstantiated theory that antifa activists are responsible for the riots and looting was the biggest piece of protest misinformation tracked by Zignal Labs, which looked at certain categories of falsehoods....
The antifa narrative gained traction because “long-established networks of hyperpartisan social media influencers now work together like a well-oiled machine,” said Erin Gallagher, a social media researcher.
The paper also ran a pathetic explainer/defense of Antifa by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Sandra Garcia (click “expand”):
Supporters generally seek to stop what they see as fascist, racist and far-right groups from having a platform to promote their views....
Conservative publications and politicians routinely rail against supporters of antifa, who they say are seeking to shut down peaceful expression of conservative views. These critics point to moments during which purported antifa members have been accused of sucker-punching Trump supporters.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history at New York University who studies fascism, said she was worried that antifa’s methods could feed into what she said were false equivalencies that seek to lump violence on the left with attacks by the right, such as the killing of a protester in Charlottesville by a man who had expressed white supremacist views.
“Throwing a milkshake is not equivalent to killing someone, but because the people in power are allied with the right, any provocation, any dissent against right-wing violence, backfires,” Professor Ben-Ghiat said in an interview last year.
Independent journalist Andy Ngo, beaten and “milkshaked” by Antifa, may have something to say about that.
The Times actually felt sorry for the unjustly vilified group.
Militancy on the left can “become a justification for those in power and allies on the right to crack down,” Professor Ben-Ghiat said. “In these situations, the left, or antifa, are historically placed in impossible situations.”
(Journalist Lara Logan also slammed the paper’s ridiculous defense of Antifa on Fox News.)