HuffPost ran a piece insisting right-wing extremists, not members of Antifa, were responsible for the violence that occurred Saturday in Portland.
“Far-Right Extremists Wanted Blood In Portland’s Streets. Once Again, They Got It” was the title of HuffPost’s piece published late Monday evening. Writer Andy Campbell attributes the controversy to the far-right, who he says have shown a pattern of violence for years leading up to Antifa’s attack.
“The real common thread between these rallies has always been the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, semi-regular insurgencies in a city their leaders don’t call home,” said Campbell. “Extremist gangs have for years been hosting bloody skirmishes in coastal cities like Portland, often with tacit support from local police ― was lost amid a media circus of pearl-clutching and punditry.”
When a conservative writer was bloodied in Portland over the weekend, conservative media pointed at leftist violence. But these bloody brawls have been taking place in Portland for years, hosted by far-right extremists looking for a fight. https://t.co/zLY4uvcp0O
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) July 1, 2019
Campbell goes on to defend Antifa, a far-left group that uses confrontational and often violent tactics for protests, and tries to debunk allegations that the group put quick-drying cement in the milkshakes they used to throw at people. Campbell doesn’t acknowledge the injuries that journalist Any Ngo sustained; the most depth he goes into describing the attack was that Antifa “splashed him with a milkshake.”
Ngo sustained a brain hemorrhage when a group of black masked Antifa rioters assaulted him, according to attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon.
Update to @MrAndyNgo supporters — he is being admitted to the hospital overnight as a result of a brain bleed. You sick “journalists” and other hacks gloating about this should be ashamed. As for the rest, please pray for @MrAndyNgo who we need back in health — brave man!????????????????????????❤️ https://t.co/XYVy4EbIzv
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) June 30, 2019
“Each of these storylines is a distraction from the wider issue of ongoing, extremist-hosted fights meant to distort the conversation about the rising body count in the name of the American far right and shift the focus onto the anti-fascists who meet them in the street,” says Campbell. “Since Trump’s election and the rise of extremist groups like the Proud Boys, the number of people killed by anti-fascists at these rallies remains zero.” (RELATED: Ted Cruz Calls For The FBI To ‘Investigate And Bring Legal Action’ Against Portland Mayor)
Some people responded on Twitter with criticism towards Campbell’s conclusions:
It’s important to point out that far-right groups promote and benefit from violence. Of course they do. But to write a piece like this and not mention the sheer number of times *antifa* protesters have themselves assaulted journalists is a bit shocking.https://t.co/Ev43216CUC
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) July 1, 2019
Reactionary is code for fascist.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 2, 2019
Also, the predictable use of terms like “handwringing” and “pearl clutching” appropriates (if but momentarily) a macho mentality of the writer’s imaginings, implying: a) Yeah, he’s a tough guy; and b) Nothing to see here, even if there is a 15-1 ratio and these punks wear masks.
— Andrew Meacham (@torch437) July 2, 2019
Like Ngo’s, also left out from the article was any mention of the injuries suffered by two elderly victims; John and Adam. Unarmed, the two men were reportedly attacked by Antifa members.
“John was sprayed with mace and blinded,” wrote conservative commentator Michelle Malkin. “He was led away as blood dripped down his face, then dragged to a sidewalk. Another observer notes that one of Adam’s attackers appears to wield something like a sock and padlock.”
Both John & Adam were beaten by Antifa after trying to help a gay man in a sun dress being chased down the street. While the cowards are masked, John and Adam faced the crowds openly and agreed to be named publicly. “I’m not afraid,” John told me. This is John. /f pic.twitter.com/WDc88xT16W
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) July 1, 2019
This man, Adam Kelly was attacked in Portland by ANTIFA the domestic terrorist organization pic.twitter.com/xQmzyHIA0b
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) June 30, 2019
Ngo later appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to describe his attack.