Inciting violent riots should have consequences.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Marty Baron lives in a $1.7 million condo in Logan Circle. It’s seven blocks away from the headquarters of the Washington Post. And a 12 minute drive away from the FBI’s J Edgar Hoover Building.
His paper’s latest contribution to wrecking this country is an editorial titled "Charlottesville showed that liberalism can't defeat white supremacy. Only direct action can."
It concludes with, “Start throwing rocks."
"Resistance, be it forceful or clandestine, threatened or explicit, stands as our 'rock.' Rocks can look like armed self-defense or nonviolent direct-action campaigns," N.D. B. Connolly, a history professor at Johns Hopkins who specializes in racism writes.
"In April 1968, amid a flurry of other 'rocks,' riots shook American cities following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It took that rolling unrest, not the promise of further economic growth, to spur President Lyndon Johnson and Congress to action."
Incitement to riot is a crime. And it’s about time that the Washington Post along with other media outlets was held accountable for the violence that is tearing apart our cities and our campuses.
Free speech covers a multitude of ugly expressions. But as Brandenburg v. Ohio established, it doesn’t cover speech "directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action" if it is “likely to incite or produce such action.”
Running an editorial in one of the most powerful papers in the country that concludes with, “Start throwing rocks" meets both tests. Even when it’s masked in metaphors and disguised with dog whistles.
The Post’s writers and editors should know that better than anyone.
Vox’s Emmett Rensin, an editor at a spinoff site founded by a former Postie, had tweeted ,"Advice: If Trump comes to your town, start a riot." Vox suspended Rensin because “direct encouragement of riots crosses a line between expressing a contrary opinion and directly encouraging dangerous, illegal activity.” Except at the Washington Post where encouragement of riots is just another day at the office.
But it’s not okay. It is, as ex-Postie Ezra Klein pointed out, illegal. And there should be consequences. Even for wealthy and powerful media insiders living in historic Logan Circle townhouses.
During President Trump’s inauguration, the Antifa violence that the Post celebrated and celebrates hit close to home with a limo being set on fire outside its headquarters. But the left-wing activists at the paper don’t appear to have been dissuaded by the fire outside. Nor has Marty Baron taken stock of just how close to the violence he lives. History suggests that radical left-wing violence doesn’t stop where its rich lefty patrons think that it should. Instead of taking stock, Baron’s paper celebrated the rioters.
Shortly before the Commie-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Baron’s paper ran an article that excused and justified the behavior of the left-wing rioters to the point that it was almost indistinguishable from their own propaganda. The thugs are described as a “community.” While only one of their victims is mentioned, the Washington Post found it necessary to list the menus of their potluck meals.
Radical chic has its priorities.
“What the court documents call ‘malicious’ and ‘violent’ acts, the anarchists see as a necessary way to draw attention to poverty, racism, educational inequality and other problems,” one paragraph read.
DisruptJ20, the radical Soros funded hate group celebrated by the Post, is under Justice Department investigation. Hundreds of left-wing thugs associated with illegal and violent protests have been indicted on rioting charges.
But the Washington Post let one of the left-wing thugs have the final word to make a recruitment pitch.
“The main principles of anarchism is solidarity and the importance of solidarity within society,” Petrohilos said. “So I think it’s incredibly important that people are showing up for each other when we are seeing the harshest state repression in a generation.”
Celebrating leftist thuggery is nothing new for the left-wing press. And the Washington Post has made no secret of its sympathies for the thugs before. Its ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness” rebranding positioned it as the voice of the “resistance.” And it didn’t limit that to non-violent protests either.
When Senator Claire McCaskill condemned the inauguration riots that the Washington Post would later celebrate, it was another Post reporter who defended them.
“Nothing is more unAmerican than protesters who are not peaceful. Disgusting,” McCaskill tweeted.
“The participants in the Boston Tea Party would likely beg to differ,” Wesley Lowery retorted.
Lowery covers “law enforcement” and “justice” for the Washington Post. One of his recent Post articles claims that black people are buying guns to protect themselves in the “age of Trump”. He fantasizes about a world where "Native Americans had halted the advance of whites at the Mississippi".
Post people also have a habit of getting really close to the violence. Washington Post video reporter Dalton Bennett made headlines when he was thrown down by riot police during an Antifa march. On Twitter, Bennett admitted to visiting the DisruptJ20 site under DOJ investigation. His social media feed is full of the rhetoric that you would expect from one of the left-wing activists rather than a reporter.
But the distinction between activist and advocate, between journalist and thug, is swiftly being erased. And the Washington Post is at the forefront of that erasure in the name of its own power and profit.
Washington D.C. is a big government city. And Trump’s victory was the biggest threat to its usual way of doing things since Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. And the Post rose to the challenge. As it churned out “scoops” powered by dubious anonymous sources, its numbers rose.
The Washington Post claimed a traffic increase of 50% at the end of last year with a 75% increase in new subscribers. It hit $100 million in digital revenues and added hundreds of thousands of digital subscribers. It's a huge change from a few years ago when the paper was losing $50 million a year.
But holding out the endless promise of Watergate isn’t enough for many left-wing readers who want “direct action.” They want to throw rocks. And so the Post has sympathetic puff pieces about violent anarchists and barely coded incitement to violence to satisfy their uglier impulses.
The frisson of radical violence isn’t new. Reporters have gushed over the Weathermen and the Black Panthers. Not to mention Lenin, Castro and Che. But unless we want to revisit the full terror of the riots that destroyed cities and plunged the country into despair, there must be consequences.
And those consequences should not only be suffered by innocent bystanders who have rocks hurled at them, who are punched in the head or showered with broken glass by left-wing thugs because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It’s the funders and inciters of the violence who must be held accountable. Those consequences must resonate even in a pricey townhouse in Logan Circle or in George Soros’ Bedford Hills estate.
We cannot go on living in a country in which powerful elites are free to destabilize democracy for their own power and profit while blaming everyone else for the destruction that they unleash.
Arresting the editor of the Washington Post will send a message that there are limits to the abuses that the democratic institutions of this country will tolerate from the undemocratic institutions of the radical left. It’s time to show those who would destroy our country that our laws are more than paper.
Our nation is not, as the Post’s editorial dismissively mocks it, mere “paper.” It is the parchment of our founding documents, but it is also the stone of our great buildings, the bronze of our statues, the steel of our industries, the blood of those who died fighting for our freedom against thugs like these, and our determination that our nation will not fall to stone throwing thugs and their propagandists.
Arrest the editor of the Washington Post. And send a message that rocks will not break us.