What can you say?
By this logic, the “militia” response in Kenosha on Tuesday night was “shoot-y but mostly peaceful.” Only one guy there killed anyone, right?
The standard read on why the media does things like this is that they’re trying to ingratiate themselves to the left, but I don’t think that’s true in this case. Spin like this will draw much more flak from the center and right than it will praise from progressives. To fart out something this addled, you have to believe it yourself. This is CNN’s copy team demonstrating that it’s unable to conceptualize what’s happening in Kenosha as anything but good on balance.
This isn’t a news report. This is disinformation and propaganda. How low they must regard their audience if they sincerely believe that people watching will not notice. pic.twitter.com/N583u7hMpa
— Inaya Folarin Iman (@InayaFolarin) August 27, 2020
They might have gotten away with claiming that “fiery” was being used in the figurative sense, as a synonym for “impassioned,” if not for the fact that … cars are literally on fire here in the shot.
A rhetorical question:
If a bunch of MAGA protesters burned down 30 buildings protesting lockdowns and a Fox reporter backlit by roaring flames described them as "mostly peaceful," what would you say? https://t.co/9YlnUcRtS5
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) August 27, 2020
Douglas Murray thinks the spin is all about the election:
The same story is rolling out across America. The left says that there are nightly protests for ‘social justice’. When these protests involve mass lootings, such as those in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, they are claimed (if acknowledged at all) to be the actions of a tiny fringe. Such dogged blindness has a clear political and cultural purpose. The political purpose is a desire to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump. The wider justification would appear to be a belief that ‘anti-racism’ is such an important omelette of a cause that a few broken eggs — or cities — is a price worth paying.
I take his point, but do you think CNN will be appreciably more likely to condemn “fiery” anti-racism protests on November 4? I don’t.
If in fact they’re trying to provide electoral cover for Democrats, they’re at least barking up the right tree. A new poll out of the very important state of Wisconsin shows that approval of BLM protests has declined significantly among whites there since June. The burst of support nationwide for the protests that month drove Trump into a 10-point ditch against Biden. As that support has fallen, his own support has risen.
Black Wisconsinites are as supportive now as they were two months ago but whites, the heart of Trump’s base, have lost 27 net points between then and now. And note the date of the poll. This wasn’t taken in the last 48 hours, as Kenosha burned. It was conducted weeks ago, between August 4 and 9. What do you suppose the approval numbers for BLM look like in Wisconsin today?
Here’s a piece of anecdotal evidence from the Times today:
In Kenosha County, where the president won by fewer than 250 votes in 2016, those who already supported Mr. Trump said in interviews that the events of the past few days have simply reinforced their conviction that he is the man for the job. But some voters who were less sure of their choice said the chaos in their city and the inability of elected leaders to stop it were currently nudging them toward the Republicans.…
[John] Geraghty said he disliked how Mr. Trump talked but said the Democratic Party’s vision for governing seemed limited to attacking him and calling him a racist, a charge being leveled so constantly that it was having the effect of alienating, instead of persuading, people. And the idea that Democrats alone were morally pure on race annoyed him.
“The Democratic agenda to me right now is America is systematically racist and evil and the only people who can fix it are Democrats,” he said. “That’s the vibe I get.”
Geraghty called Trump’s handling of the pandemic “laughable” — but said he’s on the fence between voting for him or Biden because of what’s going on in his hometown. “[A]s of now I’m really not happy about how Democrats are handling any of this,” he said of his mayor and governor. Didn’t he watch CNN last night and realize that the arson that’s been happening is mostly peaceful?
Don’t get too excited about a Trump comeback yet, though. Nate Silver makes a shrewd point here:
In other words, some of the popularity boost for BLM in June may have reflected a reaction against Trump / negative partisanship. Voters give Trump TERRIBLE marks for his handling of race relations and people may flock to the opposite position of whatever he says on these issues.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 27, 2020
People recoiling from Trump’s position isn’t limited to the subject of race relations. His Trump-y push for reopening schools this fall, come what may, helped drive a backlash to that idea. He isn’t trusted or liked outside of his base, and he’s all but guaranteed to say something jerky and incendiary about Kenosha on Twitter once the convention is over. Don’t underestimate his ability to take a development that’s pushing swing voters towards him and respond in a way that’s so gross it ends up chasing them off again. As I write this, his aides are probably huddled around him begging him not to tweet his support for vigilantism. You can’t watch him 24/7, guys.
I’ll leave you with this clip from our Townhall cousin Julio Rosas of protesters winning more hearts and minds last night in Kenosha. At least nothing’s on fire here.
BLM march now going through the residential areas of Kenosha and they are trying to wake people up by chanting, using megaphones, and banging buckets. pic.twitter.com/78wgKDGFxP
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 27, 2020