Accuracy in Media

Andy Ngo should not have gone into the streets of Portland, Ore., last weekend to cover the protests there even though he is a writer and editor for Quilette with a long history of covering such disturbances.

But he went because he wanted to be in the middle of a fracas, to end up the subject of YouTube film clips and tweet rages and other condemnations of Antifa and related groups.

That was the general consensus among many members of the mainstream media on Monday.

Charlotte Clymer, who works in communications for Hillary Clinton and has a blue-check certified Twitter account that mostly promotes gay pride events, tweeted: “Andy Ngo intentionally provokes peopMle on the left to drive his content. Being attacked today on video taken by an actual journalist (because Ngo is definitely not) is the greatest thing that could have happened to his career. You know it. I know it. He knows it. We all know it.

Soon after, she tweeted: “Violence is completely wrong, and I find it sad and weak to allow a sniveling weasel like Andy Ngo to get under one’s skin like this, but I’m also not going to pretend that this wasn’t Ngo’s goal from the start. I mean … let’s cut the s—t here. This is what they do.”

Nathan Bernard, who owns a communications company dedicated to making what Rolling Stone called “the man trolling the alt-right on Twitter,tweeted: “After relentlessly baiting and harassing antifa, far-right provocateur Andy Ngo finally got his wish of being milkshaked.”

Snopes tweeted: “Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo), who describes himself as an editor at the conservative website @Quillette and says he is ‘hated by Antifa,’ said he was attacked by anti-fascist protesters and had to be taken to the hospital to treat injuries to his face and head.”

The tweet included an embedded story with a photo of a sign that read: “Enough is Enough. No more Proud Boys,” a reference to the pro-Western civilization men’s group Antifa represents itself as opposing.

The story that accompanied the tweet was an Associated Press account of the attack included the statement on Ngo from above in the fourth paragraph. It seemed to imply Ngo is not a journalist – or may not be – and perhaps then did not deserve the sympathy of other journalists.

Ngo’s boss, Claire Lehmann, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Quillette, responded: “Wtf kind of fact checking is this? Andy Ngo is indeed an editor with us, he is a journalist. And no @Quillette is not ‘conservative,’ we are all political moderates of a liberal centrist persuasion.”

Dan O’Sullivan, a blue-check-certified writer for Rolling Stone and other publications, tweeted: “Andy Ngo is not a journalist, and in any event, he went there hoping for exactly that outcome and for tweets like this,” referring to Jake Tapper’s tweet that Antifa “regularly attacks journalists. It’s reprehensible.”

Huffington Post’s Andy Campbell blamed the entire incident on conservatives in “Far-Right Extremists Wanted Blood in Portland’s Streets. Once Again, They Got It” – subhead: “It’s not a surprise a conservative writer was bloodied in a street brawl in Portland – far-right extremists have been freely hosting skirmishes there for years.”

“A conservative writer was injured over the weekend at a rally in Portland, Ore., kicking off a tidal wave of right-wing complaints about violence on the left,” Campbell wrote. “But Saturday’s violence wasn’t an outlier. It was guaranteed. It’s been happening on the same streets, hosted by the same far-right extremist groups, on a regular basis since the election of President Donald Trump.”

Campbell goes on to say the rallies are “specifically organized for the purpose of violence, with makeshift weaponry and bloodied, tearful faces appearing in Portland with regularity over the years. HuffPost has reported on how far-right extremists who organize them meticulously plan to attack their ideological opponents and then claim victimhood when the dust settles.”

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