The Media And The Violent Protesters Have Something In Common

Media depiction of protesters and law enforcement/AP featured image
A protester speaks with a Park Police officer standing guard with a line of police closing off off the area around Lafayette Park near the White House after protesters tried to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson in the park in Washington, early Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)


In the media over the last few days, we’ve begun to notice that certain Democratic politicians and journalists have done a complete 180 and are now condemning the violent protests taking place in large cities.

The violence, destruction, looting, and general mayhem have become regular occurrences in several bigger cities across the nation, and the Democratic Party may finally be starting to feel some pressure to calm their voters down. Don Lemon gave away the game recently when he said on air that it was starting to “show up in the polling“, and other progressive voices have started given some lackluster statements on the subject.

It took them a long time to do it, and our media, in particular, has been very hesitant to address the violence. Part of the reason for that is their overcommitment to every progressive cause if it is one that opposes Republicans (and Trump specifically).

Do you know what our national press has in common with the protesters who come into these cities and start destroying things?

It’s not that our media is filled with a bunch of violent anarchists, but that they have no real idea how to address the issues that the legitimate protesters are raising awareness for. The vast majority (of the rioters and the national press) are privileged white people who have never really put any thought into how to change things. All they know is that they believe the system is broken beyond repair and must be torn down.


But both groups have little frame of reference, having paid only scant attention to history and believe that violent demonstration is right and just in creating change. It’s easy for folks in the media and activists to say “Well, America was founded on bloody revolution!” It’s much harder to say “America gained independence through a bloody revolution, but the fight for actual rights and the establishment reforming the government to something that better represented its people came through dialogue and compromise.”

Part of it has to do with the fact that many of these folks are white and privileged and they feel an immense sense of guilt over it. For the anarchists, they want to use their privilege to help tear down the society that they see as being unjust but they have no endgame. For the media, they have a platform, but are so scared of criticizing anyone that they will accept what’s going on in the name of racial justice.

Neither group is actually doing the peaceful protesters any real favors, as more and more the peaceful movement gets co-opted and the true meaning of the moment is lost in the rubble of businesses that provided jobs and income to many of the black citizens seeking change.

Journalists have realized sooner, though, that these violent demonstrations are bad, and they are backtracking. But, it’s painfully obvious as to why. It’s not that they think it’s truly the wrong thing for these anarchists to be doing, it’s that it could help Donald Trump win. Much like their scramble to support the protests to make themselves feel better, a lot of the reaction now is for all the wrong reasons. Now, it’s about the political outcome, not the social outcome.


The behavior of the journalists and the anarchists is inherently selfish, because it’s based on doing what they think is best for the peaceful protesters and not actually done by listening to those protesters. Now that the polling is an issue, some will backtrack. But all that shows is that they still don’t get it.


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