After violence once again erupted from the self-styled "anti-fascists" in Berkeley over the weekend, Americans have encountered a few surprising headlines from news outlets that had so far held the party line by whitewashing leftist violence. The black-clad, mask-wearing, weapon-carrying Antifas simply left the media with no way to glorify or excuse their actions this time (though some outlets tried). On Monday, The Washington Post finally dealt somewhat honestly with the violent leftist movement, reporting, "Black-clad Antifa attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley." And now even the Los Angeles Times is acknowledging that "Antifa violence" is a problem.
But as the LA Times'' coverage of the violence in Berkeley makes abundantly clear, there's a reason that the media is, at least for now, turning on Antifa: They're making President Trump look right for (accurately) condemning "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville.
Here's how the LA Times begins their piece, which at once admits that Antifa is violent while making sure to downplay the size of the movement:
Of the dozens of organizations that turned out for Sunday’s mass protest against racism here, one group was impossible to miss.
Its members dressed head to toe in black, with masked faces and some bearing pastel-painted riot shields that read “no hate.” These 100 or so militants billed themselves as a security force for progressive counter-protesters, vowing to protect them from far-right agitators.
But as the protest got underway, some of those in masks would resort to mob violence, attacking a small showing of supporters of President Trump and others they accused, sometimes inaccurately, of being white supremacists or Nazis.
The Times soon gets to the heart of the issue, a question that is clearly haunting many on the Left: "Does violence help Trump’s claims?"
"Trump received blistering criticism for equating the behavior of Klansmen and neo-Nazis to the actions of those who opposed them," the Times notes. "Some fear that Sunday’s violence would only help advance the idea that the two sides are the same."
Who exactly are those "some" who fear Antifa is proving Trump right? We all know the answer to that, but the LA Times turns to one of its experts to inform us that Antifa is hurting the "Resistance":
“This is food for the adversary,” said sociologist Todd Gitlin, a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, which organized the first national protests against the Vietnam War. He pointed out that violent acts committed by a few will almost always hijack the narrative of the entire protest, and that it is happening now should be no surprise.
Gitlin also described what he sees as a push by the anti-fascist — also called “antifa” — movement to put “themselves on the map of protest” by using violence to “intimidate” both political opponents and those on the left who promote non-violence. One of the biggest banners at the Berkeley demonstration carried the message “Avenge Charlottesville.”
While the LA Times claims that the Antifa only numbered around 100, it underscores that an estimated 4,000 people were there to protest. The paper explains that the violence-embracing group was supposed to be there to play a "defensive role," but also acknowledges that by the end of the day, 13 people were arrested on "suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and three on battery charges." That's not "defensive."
So, yeah, the LA Times and the rest of its left-leaning colleagues are angry with Antifa for putting on full display exactly what Trump was talking about. For that sin, they might not be allowed back in the media's good graces.