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Media Down Plays Ongoing Violence In Portland, Claims ‘Right-Wing’ Outlets Are Playing Up The Unrest

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse and federal officers continue to be targeted night after night in Portland, but some in the media are downplaying the violence.

While the violence is typically reserved for evening hours, the consistent barrage of attacks and methods used by rioters against the courthouse and officers is part of the story. It also seems that some in the media would be more comfortable dismissing the hours of violence each night.

Reporters on the ground have witnessed repeated attempts by large crowds to tear down fencing in front of the courthouse. Fires are often lit and firecrackers are launched at the courthouse and near officers standing guard. The crowd has been able to tear down the fence successfully on more than one occasion, and some shine lasers and lights into the eyes of federal officers.


Typically, the unrest begins in the evening and escalates as the night wears on.

Officers often respond to escalations with tear gas, pepper bullets and other crowd control munitions. As the riots have continued, the crowd has become more aggressive and driven, often bringing shields and umbrellas that result in standoffs with officers.

Print newspapers such as the New York Times also pointed to “right-wing outlets” as seizing on the protests to push a narrative.

“Right-wing outlets and conservative media stars have seized on the weekslong protests in Portland as a rallying cry for law and order, instructing their followers to fear for their safety and blaming Democratic leaders for failing to restore peace,” the Times wrote on July 22.

“The nuances of the Portland protests — which reflect a diverse mix of grievances, including civil rights, anti-fascist causes and frustration with the president — have not been noted by the conservative media world,” the article continued. “Instead, in an echo of Mr. Trump’s portrayal, right-wing media has presented the situation as an urban nightmare. Far from recoiling at big-government interference, conservative hosts have loudly applauded the Trump administration for superseding city and state authorities.”

Newsbusters noted on July 23 that coverage of Portland “largely evaporated” on networks such as ABC, CBS and NBC following an escalation of violence on July 22.

“After noting that peaceful ‘protesters’ had ‘stormed the federal courthouse’ while shooting flares and fireworks (no mention of the rocks and bricks getting thrown, nor the attempts to maim officers by permanently blinding them with powerful lasers), [NBC] correspondent Erin McLaughlin reported: ‘Federal agents respond with tear gas. Portland police declared a riot. Among those gassed, Portland’s Democratic mayor,’” Newsbusters pointed out.

While McLaughlin noted that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, “was booed by protesters,” she failed to note that “police had been barred from helping the federal agents,” according to the publication.

Other shows on the the networks downplayed the evening’s violence, which saw rioters barricading officers inside the building and trying to set it on fire, Newsbusters reported.

Story cited here.