Posted by Curt on 8 September, 2020 at 11:30 am. 5 comments already!


by Libby Emmons and Barrett Wilson:

In a shocking display of gaslighting, a new article in MIT Technology Review attempts to make the argument that coverage of riots in independent media is to blame for spreading violence that has been seen across America. Joan Donovan’s position is that right-wing protestors have been fuelled by “riot porn” into taking to the streets themselves to attack, harass the “mostly peaceful protestors” who are flooding the streets of the nation.

Donovan blames media coverage of the 2,400 protests that occurred across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 death, and the 220 violent riots that erupted from those protests thus far, for the unrest.

Her theory is that the violence wasn’t documented, then people wouldn’t be so upset, and that this would calm everything down a bit. Her claim is that he myriad videos that have circulated online showing both BLM and Antifa activists engaging in violent actions against police, diners at restaurants, people driving cars or pumping gas, or shouting demands through megaphones late at night in residential neighbourhoods, are the fault of right wingers trying to incite violence

“Since June,” she writes, “right-wing media makers have recorded and circulated videos of violent altercations at protests in cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon.

“Fed into a media ecosystem with an established bias toward highlighting violence and rioting, the videos have mobilized white militia and vigilante groups to take up arms against Black Lives Matter and ‘antifa’ protesters. This feedback circuit has created a self-fulfilling cycle where white vigilantes feel justified in menacing and physically attacking racial justice protesters—and inspire others to do the same.”

Donovan believes that if independent journalists did not record the violence, then the violence would not inspire others to be violent as well. In other words, if we didn’t talk about it, it wouldn’t exist.

Donovan specifically blames Andy Ngo of The Post Millennial and Elijah Shaffer of The Blaze for going undercover and reporting from within the militant protests in Portland and Seattle. These are two of the reporters who have been fearless in covering the unrest that has sprung up in nearly every major metropolitan area in the country.

Ngo, who has been tracking Antifa and their actions toward dismantling democracy for years, has come under fire for that work so many times that he is synonymous with it. As one of the only journalists covering Antifa while so many others claim that the loosely affiliated organization does not exist, that work has been called into question.

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