An article published by the Washington Post over the weekend amazingly opted to praise the protest culture in Portland, Oregon, and honor the protesters who have attacked police and ravaged the city every night for over two months.
Law enforcement officers stationed in the city have been assaulted relentlessly by mortars, lasers, rocks, and bottles — some possibly left permanently blind from the assaults — yet the article barely makes mention of such violence and never, not even once, refers to the gatherings as “riots” nor the participants as “rioters.”
What are the details?
The article, titled, “Trump sent agents to quell unrest. But protest is what Portland does best,” paid tribute to several protesters by name, displaying photos of them in their regular clothing as well as in their Antifa-like “black bloc” protest gear, as if they were some sort of superheroes.
Trump calls them terrorists, anarchists who “hate our country.” He’s said the city is “worse than Afghanistan.”
— Marissa J. Lang (@Marissa J. Lang)1597006492.0
“In this waterfront city, protests are as natural as the salmon swimming in the Willamette River,” the article states before celebrating several accomplishments the protests have wrought.
“The unrelenting demonstrations have yielded real results: City officials have agreed to slash the police budget. An initiative to create an oversight board to review police use of force will be put on the ballot this year. And more than 100 federal agents recruited by President Trump to fortify the [Mark O. Hatfield] federal courthouse have retreated, turning over the task to the state police.”
“Still, the protests continue. Demonstrators say they’re not finished. Getting the feds out was just one item on a lengthy to-do list.”
Side note: The last bit is inaccurate. Rather than “retreat,” last month, the White House agreed to withdraw federal agents from the city if, and only if, according to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, the state stepped up law enforcement efforts to the department’s liking.
Elsewhere in the article, Marissa J. Lang commended the protesters’ “stamina and creativity” and painted them as the victims of an occupying force.
“By the time federal agents packed the [courthouse],” Lang writes, “the crowds were ready with helmets, respirators, and goggles to mitigate the worst effects of crowd-control munitions.”
Shortly below she adds a quote from a middle school teacher taking part in the protests who triumphantly declared, “oh yes, I’m an anarchist.”
Some on social media took notice of the article over the weekend and were quick to condemn it.
“As Portland experiences more than 70 days of violent protests, riots, arson attacks, soaring homicides & shootings, Washington Post actually published a glowing photo essay on #antifa riot fashion. What is wrong w/reporter [Lang] & the editors there?” wrote journalist Andy Ngo.
As Portland experiences more than 70 days of violent protests, riots, arson attacks, soaring homicides & shootings,… https://t.co/26KKQTddmx
— Andy Ngô (@Andy Ngô)1597039542.0
Another Twitter user quipped, “Washington Post doing the important work of covering riot style and fawning over agitators.”
Several comments on the story from readers show that others felt the same way.
“The things they are destroying represent other people’s commitment, resources, and work,” wrote one commenter. “There’s NOTHING honorable about it.”
Another added: “Absolutely disgusting on so many levels.”