Accuracy in Media

According to the Washington Post, Americans need to get prepared to stem another crisis – right-wing violence.

In “In The United States, right-wing violence is on the rise,” Post reporters Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy and Andrew Ba Tran claim that “over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic terrorism.”

But to make the story work required some questionable accounting.

For instance, the man accused of killing 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue because he hated Trump is counted as a right-wing terrorist on the theory this “anti-Semitic loner who had expressed anger about a caravan of Central American refugees that Trump termed an ‘invasion’ has been charged with … the deadliest act of anti-Semitic violence in U.S. history.”

It returns repeatedly to the theme that anti-Semitic violence all must be attributed to the right. This despite all the momentum of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – or BDS – movement coming from the left, the leadership schism of the decidedly left-wing Women’s March leadership over the anti-Semitic comments of Linda Sarsour, the recent decision by the left-leaning owners of Airbnb to stop listing homes for rent in what it determined to be the occupied areas of Israel, the election of a Somali avowed anti-Semitic woman to Congress from Minnesota or the election of a former Louis Farrakhan acolyte to the second-highest post in the Democrat Party and the attorney general position in Minnesota.

Counting the 11 killed in Pittsburgh by a decidedly anti-Trump liberal, “researchers say at least 20 people have died this year in suspected right-wing attacks” but “just one fatal attack in 2018 … may have been motivated by left-wing ideologies,” the Post stated.

It further stated that of 263 incidents its data team looked at from 2010 to the end of 2017, 92 “were committed by right-wing attackers,” another third were committed by attackers whose motives were either unknown or not clearly political, 38 were committed by Islamist terrorists and 34 – about 13 percent – by left-wing attackers.

The right just seems to hate more, the Post said.

“The uptick in right-wing terrorism comes amid a renewed national focus on hate-driven violence,” the story states. “The Anti-Defamation League documented a 57 percent surge in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, especially at schools and on college campuses. Meanwhile, FBI statistics released this month show reported hate crimes jumped 17 percent last year.”

It’s Trump’s fault, the Post wrote.

“Terrorism researchers say right-wing violence sprouted alongside white anxiety about Obama’s presidency and has accelerated in the Trump era,” states the story, which also claims, without evidence, that “many of” the protesters in Charlottesville in 2017 “wrote ‘Make America Great Again’ caps while chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans.”

Trump may deny this, the Post said. “But experts say right-wing extremists perceive the president as offering them tacit support for their cause.” Not only did he point out there “were good people on both sides” in Charlottesville, “but experts say right-wing extremists perceive the president as offering them tacit support for their cause.”

There were the rallies during the midterm campaign where Trump used “incendiary rhetoric about Muslims and immigrants, terming a caravan of Central American refugees an ‘invasion’ and ordering active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“’If you have politicians saying things like our nation is under attack, that there are these marauding bands of immigrants coming into the country, that plays into this right-wing narrative. They begin to think it’s OK to use violence,’” the Post quoted a criminology professor at University of Maryland saying.

It closes with a vignette about a mosque being bombed by anti-Islamic militia. “In addition to the militia members, [the center’s director] said he blames Trump and other political leaders who have demonized immigrants generally and Muslims specifically.”  

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