In Month After Charlottesville, Papers Spent as Much Time Condemning Anti-Nazis as Nazis

"Local College Professor in Altercation with Alt-Right Serviceman"
Hashtag not all newspapers

Since the Charlottesville attack a month ago, a review of commentary in the six top broadsheet newspapers -- the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post -- found virtually equal amounts of condemnation of fascists and anti-fascist protesters. [...]

While most "both sides" columns added a qualifier clarifying that there was no moral equivalency between antifa and neo-Nazis, this framing could not help but imply that there was. And a few explicitly argued that, yes, anti-fascism was just as bad as fascism: [...]

The Washington Post and New York Times published markedly more critiques of neo-Nazis than of antifa: the Post by five to two and the Times 13 to five. This was in contrast to the coverage in the Wall Street Journal -- five antifa condemnations and no anti-Nazi ones -- and USA Today, which featured seven anti-antifa pieces and only three opposing white supremacists or calling on Trump to do so. The LA Times and Mercury News were basically split down the middle, with the former publishing six anti-antifa and five anti-Nazi takes, and the latter publishing three against antifa and two against Nazis.

The Wall Street Journal felt compelled to publish five pieces on the resistance to resurgent white supremacy -- without publishing a piece criticizing the resurgence of white supremacy itself.

The Wall Street Journal seemed particularly averse to calling out Trump for soft-pedaling and dog-whistling white supremacists. A recent Guardian expos documented how dozens of writers have left the Journal in response to corporate pressure to "normalize" the Republican president -- an effort evident in the uniformly positive takes on Trump's response to Charlottesville.

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5 Responses:

  1. k3ninho says:

    Agnatology was the word used in the 1980's for thae doubt inculcated by 'fair and balanced' journalism when it shows both sides. When you show both sides, people don't follow the data that's presented and pick the better one -- instead they give up on the data presented and go with their gut feel. The show looks and smells like news, but you're less informed for having watched it.

    This comment inspired by: hashtag-on-many-sides


  2. nikita says:

    "Local College Professor in Altercation with Alt-Right Serviceman"
    alt="Drunk liberal gravedigger with a history of abusive behaviour attacks helpless war veteran"

  3. Web Guy says:

    Summer is a slow season for disaster porn, so nazis. But don't worry, it's hurricane season now. Antifa can take a break now and touch-up their roots.

  4. Thomas Lord says:

    Sorry, this is not so hard to parse out.

    In one corner of the "alt-right" are overt white supremacist nationalists. These are useful idiots because they can be counted on to say really provocative things yet they are not organized enough or numerous enough to "win", per se.

    Although they are useful idiots, they are also pro-fascist-capitalism. They are reactionaries who seek a return to the kind of state-oriented capitalism that took the world by storm(!) in the 1930s and 1940s and that prevailed for much of the 20th century.

    The vast majority of the political establishment and financial elites regard themselves as being spread along a spectrum from what I would call right-center-fascism to left-center-fascism. Like the literal nazis, these are nationalists who have a reactionary nostalgia for 20th century state-oriented capitalism.

    Even loyal opposition like "democratic socialists" are really squarely in that "left-center-fascism" camp. They believe in wage labor. They believe in controlled borders. They believe in private property and accumulation. They believe in trade agreements (as opposed to open borders). Sure, they want phat foodstamps or universal income or whatever, but these are technocratic bells and whistles on what is basically a state-centric-capitalist platform -- fascism with a friendly face.

    Agin' all this is a semi-righteous mess that at the very least is utterly intolerant of literal nazis, and that frankly has a growing if still incoherent skepticism towards capitalism in general, including the fascist (state-oriented) form of capitalism.

    That last "miscellaneous" category of the "population" is what, lately, everyone from the Grey Lady to Nancy P. to Berkeley Mayor ArreguĂ­n, to Donald fucking Trump -- all of them -- are now calling "an-TEE-fa".

    Which is simultaneously ridiculous and correct.

    The vast territory of center-fascists has two concerns in this spectacle / drama:

    a) that the right-fascists who believe in pseudo-scientific eugenics or cultural supremacy not actually take over

    b) that an-TEE-fa - everyone with some doubts about this whole capital-cum-fascism society we live in - be utterly scattered, crushed, rendered confused, not be allowed to get anywhere.

    Among (a) and (b), I'm sure, as the saying goes, there are good people on both sides.

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