California environmental activists vandalized one of Donald Trump’s golf courses is Los Angeles over the weekend. A video uploaded to YouTube shows a small group sneaking onto the course at night and carving a message into one of the greens which read, “No more tigers, no more woods.” While the vandalism itself is noteworthy, perhaps equally significant is the response of the Washington Post. The Post published a news story whose opening line read, “A group of environmental activists pulled off a daring act of defiance.”
— Andrew Wilkow (@WilkowMajority) March 13, 2017
Does anyone think a major newspaper would have responded this way if someone had carved a message into the lawn outside President Obama’s former Chicago home? I don’t think so. Indeed someone at the Post must have realized there was a problem because the lede has been changed. It now reads, “A group of environmental activists pulled off an elaborate act of vandalism at one of President Trump’s premier golf courses early Sunday morning.” In addition, there is also an editor’s note at the top of the story which reads, “The beginning of this story was changed to more accurately reflect the nature of the actions taken by a protest group against the Trump golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.”
Eric Trump criticized the Post for it’s initial framing of the story:
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) March 13, 2017
One member of the group responsible, which calls itself an “anonymous environmental activist collective,” told the Post, “Tearing up the golf course felt justified in many ways.” He continued, “Repurposing what was once a beautiful stretch of land into a playground for the privileged is an environmental crime in its own right.” So the existence of the gold course is a crime, one that justifies vandalism. And the Washington Post went with this, at least initially.
This episode demonstrates two things. One, there are extremists on the left who routinely justify vandalism in pursuit of their political goals. I’m not just talking about the past few months either. Going back to 2011, when Occupy was a going concern, there was a rash of vandalism against banks and ATMs. It’s not that everyone on the left condones this behavior but it does continue in one form or another year after year.
The second thing this shows is that there is a kneejerk impulse by many in the media to view even the more extreme elements of “the resistance” as heroic crusaders rather than what they really are: kids trashing other people’s property. This shouldn’t have been a tough call for the professional journalists at the Washington Post. That fact that it took them two tries to get it right really is revealing. Here’s the video: