Another week, another column, but this time in Commentary magazine: “The Curious Case of Andy Ngo.” I want to thank Commentary EIC John Podhoretz for asking me to write it, and The Federalist’s publisher, Ben Domenech, for hooking us up.
It’s longer than I usually write, but plenty got left out for space, and the piece does not contain my usual copious hyperlinks.
For example, my very first draft, which ran 50 percent over budget, noted this about Portland, where Ngo is based:
“By one estimate, Portland has 54 strip clubs, more than Las Vegas and second only to Houston (a city four times larger than Portland by population). Like San Francisco, Portland’s “smart growth” policies led to skyrocketing housing prices and an exodus of its working-class residents. Some of the city’s massive influx of newer residents are well-to-do; others, similar to the hippies drawn to Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love, are less interested in living stable lives.
“In particular, Portland has tolerated decades of sometimes violent conflict between gangs of the far-right and the far-left. In 1988, skinheads recruited and trained by the White Aryan Resistance murdered an Ethiopian immigrant with a baseball bat. In response, anti-Nazi skinheads in Portland formed a chapter of Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP) and similar groups. On New Year’s Day of 1993, the singer for a white-power band was killed by a member of SHARP. “
There’s even more about Portland in this 2017 piece in The Atlantic, “The Rise of the Violent Left.” I also cut an August 2018 incident in which Antifa brutally clubbed a man carrying an American flag among counter-protesters to a right-wing rally, leaving him in a pool of his blood; the man was a progressive Democrat who had supported socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries. There was also a more detailed breakdown of how the establishment press reacted to Ngo’s beating by apparent Antifa members.
Ngo’s seeming biases are a convenient excuse for the establishment press to dismiss the left-wing violence committed against him. But the article notes all of other cases in which left-wing violence got downplayed in the media, even absent absent Ngo. And in the currently toxic political environment, this double-standard is particularly corrosive of our political discourse, not to mention trust in the media.
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