Thursday, August 23, 2018

HOLMAN JENKINS: The Media Fesses Up: “After weeks of hype, white supremacists managed to muste…


HOLMAN JENKINS: The Media Fesses Up:

“After weeks of hype, white supremacists managed to muster just a couple of dozen supporters on Sunday in the nation’s capital. . . .”

This column has not always praised the New York Times, but let’s belatedly credit its lead sentence (to which we’ve added emphasis) in its story about the sparsely attended Aug. 12 white-power rally in D.C. As the paper made clear, the “hype” it mentions was supplied by the media itself, working off what the Times called a “template.”

Here’s how it goes: “A group like the Ku Klux Klan announces a rally. Next comes news coverage, fevered and intense. That prompts a huge number of activists, police officers and everyday people to turn out, dwarfing what is often a pathetically small band of extremists in hoods or armbands.”

Bingo. And the top practitioner of this left-right symbiosis is Jason Kessler, a 34-year-old University of Virginia graduate. He began as a Barack Obama supporter, then shifted into promoting white identity politics. As well as being the permittee for this month’s tiny D.C. rally, he was the permit holder for last year’s highly instructive debacle in Charlottesville, Va.

Those Charlottesville events, as a painstaking official report would later document, got out of hand when local police deliberately allowed a violent confrontation to develop between a small group of neo-Nazis and a large number of counterprotesters. The goal was to create a pretext for the state police to declare an emergency and unleash riot forces while local cops stood on the sidelines. A woman would later be killed when a mentally ill neo-Nazi (almost a redundancy) drove his car into a crowd.

The reality of what happened in Charlottesville remains lost on much of the media, but it wasn’t lost on the people of the overwhelmingly liberal city. They got rid of the police chief, the mayor and the town manager. It also was not lost on cities elsewhere. Witness D.C.’s successful effort to keep its tiny number of legally sanctioned white nationalist demonstrators (about 20) isolated from thousands of peaceful antiracism demonstrators, and, most important, from hundreds of helmeted, masked “antifa,” or antifascist, militants adorned in black.

The absurdity was apparent even in less knowing press accounts. “Thousands of counter-protesters struggled to even catch a clear glimpse of the white nationalist rally,” noted the Associated Press. With nobody else to oppose, the mostly white counterprotesters turned their free-floating rage on D.C.’s predominantly black police with chants of “cops and Klan go hand in hand.”

If neo-Nazis didn’t exist, the left would have to invent them. And to some extent have.