End the double standards in reporting political violence

The refusal by many media outlets to offer proportionate coverage empowers the worst elements of the radical Left.

Let’s take a short walk down memory lane. Not long ago, on January 2, 2016, a small group of armed protesters seized an unoccupied federal building in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located in a relatively isolated area in eastern Oregon, and the occupied building itself was far from any populated area. The protests were related to a long-running land dispute between the federal government and Steve and Dwight Hammond — a dispute that culminated in a vindictive prosecution against the Hammonds, under the federal Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, for two “burns” that caused a trifling amount of damage (less than $1,000) to public lands.

The occupation created a media firestorm. It was covered from coast to coast, and #OregonUnderAttack trended on Twitter. The occupation was the news story for days. It spawned countless think pieces lamenting the rise of violence on the right — including a debate about whether the protesters were “domestic terrorists.” The protests continued until the last arrests in early February. On January 26, law enforcement shot and killed one of the protesters when he attempted to evade a roadblock, left his car, and seemed to reach for his waistband as he fled the scene on foot.