Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
In 2018, the media was writing up glowing stories about the hundreds of Women’s March members who were engaging in “direct action” to disrupt the Senate’s Kavanaugh hearings.
Hundreds of members from the radical leftist group had invaded the hearings and were arrested. Their travel expenses and bail for the disruptions were covered by the Women’s March. Radicals from the March and other leftist groups blocked hallways, shouted down Senate members, and draped protest banners from balconies. Democrats cheered them on.
When a leftist mob assailed the Supreme Court, pounding on the doors, MSNBC called it an “extraordinary moment” and praised the crowd, “besieging the Supreme Court” and “confronting senators”.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them,” Rep. Maxine Waters had urged earlier that year.
Later, the Democrat House member told MSNBC, “They’re going to absolutely harass them”.
In 2020, Black Lives Matter rioters vandalized the Lincoln Memorial and the WW2 Memorial, along with statues of Gandhi, General Kosciuszko, and Andrew Jackson. The racist thugs marched through the city starting fires, including at a historic church, and tried to besiege the White House. Attempts by federal law enforcement to fight BLM terrorism were falsely denounced as a brutal attack on “peaceful protesters”, and as “militarism” and “fascism”.
Democrat House members took to proposing bills to protect the racist mobs from law enforcement. Meanwhile the BLM mob besieged the White House and battled Secret Service personnel, allegedly forcing the evacuation of President Trump and his family to a bunker.
This was the new normal enthusiastically supported by Democrats and the media.
A bail fund backed by Senator Kamala Harris and Biden campaign staffers focused on helping the rioters and looters get out of prison. Along with any other criminals along for the ride.
Violent protests, including those targeting public officials and legislative bodies, had been championed and normalized by Democrats and their media over the last four years. That included the harassment of officials, property destruction, and assaulting law enforcement.
Now, as the Democrats expect to take power, they suddenly decided that rioting is bad.
Before the Save America protest even began, the same Washington D.C. authorities who had championed and protected the Black Lives Matter riots, prepared for a crackdown.
“We want the military, we want troops from out of state out of Washington, D.C.,” Mayor Muriel Bowser had ranted when BLM was attacking national memorials and the White House.
“We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city,” Bowser now insisted, demanding that the National Guard come out to stop the protests.
Unless they’re Democrats, she failed to mention.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine had responded to the Black Lives Matter assault by condemning law enforcement. He had issued a statement falsely accusing President Trump of “responding to nonviolent demonstration with war-like tactics”.
“We —the Mayor, the Council, OAG, and MPD—must commit to standing in between our community and the boot of tyranny. And we must act on this commitment. We must start by promising to defend our residents from harm while they engage in peaceful, nonviolent protest.”
“My level of anxiety is high. My preparation is even more intense than that,” Racine was telling the media before the pro-Trump Save America rally now.
The double standard was obvious and blatant. The Democrats and media had cheered Black Lives Matter violent protests. They had colluded in previous invasions of Congress and the harassment of elected officials. But now they wanted a violent riot they could condemn.
And such a riot would helpfully put to bed any further questions about a rigged election.
After a massive peaceful rally by Save America protesters, who had been addressed by President Trump, a smaller group marched on Congress. The MPD however reacted very differently than it had to previous Black Lives Matter and four years of leftist rallies.
In the resulting confrontation, a number of fringe elements, Neo-Nazis, Groypers, Boogaloo Bois, a leftist-libertarian anarchist group that collaborates with Antifa and Black Lives Matter, took the opportunity to cause damage and stage photo-ops for the media. Unfortunately some legitimate conservative protesters who had entered the building were caught in the violence.
But the media stars of the confrontation were not conservatives and were anti-Trump.
One photo showed Tim ‘Baked Alaska’ Gionet, a former Black Lives Matter supporter and BuzzFeed employee, who has a history of going back and forth between the alt-right and the Left, and has circulated at Groyper alt-right events. Another appeared to show Matthew Heimbach, formerly with the National Socialist Movement, an alleged Neo-Nazi leader, who had previously argued in court that his actions were President Trump’s fault and that Trump should be held legally liable.
Much as in Charlottesville, marginal figures who were hostile to President Trump, to Republicans, and to conservatives, had taken center stage at the behest of the media.
The purpose of the entire circus was to provide a propaganda opportunity for the Left.
The outrage over the protests is a farce coming from a political movement that advocated terrorizing Republican elected officials, that aided invasions of Congress, and that supported the Black Lives Matter riots which, aside from terrorizing D.C., also wrecked much of the country.
Why is broken glass on Capitol Hill so much more precious than the broken glass that ended the dreams of store owners in Kenosha? Where was all the outrage, the tears wept for our country when Black Lives Matter thugs were prying open shops around the country, looting them, and assaulting their owners on a scale so vast it racked up $2 billion in damages?
“Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo had barked while his news network showed rioting and looting in New York.
Riots are obviously wrong. Except that Democrats and the media decided that wasn’t true.
Martin Luther King’s infamous quote, “a riot is the language of the unheard”, popped up in Time, USA Today, and on CNN. “Violence was critical to the success of the 1960s civil rights movement,” a Washington Post op-ed argued. The AP urged reporters to use “uprising” instead of “riot” to describe the violence, while suggesting that protests can be violent and that reporting should not focus on the “property destruction”, but instead on the “underlying grievance”.
A subsidiary of one of the big 5 publishers put out a book titled, “In Defense of Looting.”
You can’t normalize political violence and then expect it to be a one-sided affair. After months in which BLM mobs attacked a federal courthouse in Portland, throwing fireworks and shining lasers in the eyes of law enforcement personnel, toppled statues across the country, and injured hundreds of police officers, the Democrats and their media are suddenly outraged.
How, in the midst of all this rioting, could anyone get the idea that rioting is okay?
Laws only work when they apply to everyone. When violence is okay for some, but not for others, then a violent struggle ensues until a totalitarian monopoly on violence is achieved.
Or until we come to our senses.
There’s little question as to which side of the political spectrum has championed and mainstreamed violence for over a century. The very different fate of Kluxers and the Weathermen, trailer parks for the former and academic careers for the latter, show which side finds political violence not only acceptable, but praiseworthy. And this is no different.
Contrary to the media’s spin, Republicans have never normalized violence. And Republican political power doesn’t depend on political terror and violence. Leftist power invariably does.
The Left began a new age of political violence in 2016. It can turn it off anytime it wants to.
The problem is that it won’t, and an illiberal partisan media and accompanying cultural establishment will never dare to suggest that maybe there should be fewer riots and threats.
And that means the violence will escalate. Opportunists will seize the moment to play agent provocateurs, creating memorable images for media propagandists to justify a crackdown.
The protesters in D.C. had a legitimate grievance. And they still do. The outrage over stolen elections won’t be suppressed this way. The mass movement in D.C. is the true resistance.
There is a great deal of irony in quoting “a riot is the language of the unheard” to describe the race riots of a movement with unlimited political and corporate backing, whose message is heard all the time, but not to address a movement that is genuinely unheard. Before the fighting started, there was virtually no media coverage of President Trump’s speech and the rally.
Press conferences that mention election fraud aren’t aired. Articles and videos questioning the election are censored. That is the true voice of the unheard who are more so than ever.
Democrats and the media normalized violence when they were in the opposition and now want to normalize the suppression of political protests and speech as they expect to take power.
But media spin isn’t real life. And it’s a lot easier to break a country than to put it back together.