Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post is being criticized for ignoring the crime problems in Portland last year. A recent article in the Post headlined, “Anarchists and an increase in violent crime hijack Portland’s social justice movement” is cited as too little, too late.

“A report by Scott Wilson in the Washington Post details just how bad the situation in Portland has become,” says Zachary Faria in the Washington Examiner. “According to Wilson, the city is experiencing ‘a kind of generational hopelessness … and a return to an old-school style of gun violence reminiscent of a tit-for-tat cycle of deadly reprisals.’ Homicides are up, the police department is facing a shortage of officers, and ‘mostly white middle-class students’ are vandalizing churches and black-owned businesses.’”

Portland, last year’s meme city of the “mostly peaceful” protest movement, cost billions of dollars in damages and dozens of lives nationwide.

Past coverage by the Washington Post here, here, here, here, here, here and here, to cite a few examples, reported that the protests were mostly peaceful when not egged on by right-wing third columnists.

That’s why Faria suggested that the Post send some of its reporters, including Katie Shepherd,  who covered last year’s “mostly peaceful protests,” a copy of Wilson’s reporting.

“After all,” Faria said, “it was Washington Post reporter Katie Shepherd who last July decried that the city had become a ‘right-wing boogeyman’ and that the protests had been ‘mostly peaceful.’ According to Shepherd, this was simply an issue of ‘right-wing agitators’ making the ‘counter demonstrators’ look bad.”

The Post even ran this 22-page slideshow to demonstrate just how peaceful everything was in  Portland outside of the Trump-inspired violence.

A year later, the Post coverage of crime and the protest movement has revolved 180 degrees, with an emphasis on how the bad actors in the anarchist movement make enforcing laws and being a policeman extremely difficult in a city demanding social justice.

“‘Our job is to unmask them, arrest them and prosecute them,’” the Post quoted Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler as saying about the violent protesters at the end of April 2021, “asking the public to contact the police and provide them with information about the rioters, write down their license plate numbers or film them when they commit acts of vandalism.”

What changed in the last year?

“Just as federal officers were ‘storm troopers’ under President Donald Trump but were no longer a threat to democracy when Joe Biden became president,” Faria said, “partisans can finally acknowledge that the violence that wracked Portland was actually real all along, after their election-year game of pretend.”

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