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VICTOR JOECKS: The media’s insane whitewashing of Portland’s violence

If the media covered pandemics like they do the Portland riots, the coronavirus wouldn’t be dominating the headlines.

On a nightly basis, hordes of rioters attack federal law enforcement officers who are guarding Portland’s Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. Many of these thugs appear to be with antifa, a violent left-wing extremist organization.

The criminals routinely pelt federal officers with frozen water bottles, cans of beans and rocks. They shine high-powered lasers at the building to blind officers. They launch commercial-grade fireworks at law enforcement. They attempt to tear down the metal fence that law enforcement set up to keep criminals from destroying the building. Others use saws to cut it apart. They start fires outside the courthouse. They throw Molotov cocktails.

On Monday night, one of them threw a bomb at the courthouse. Portland police said the blast was felt from more than a block away. Just this past weekend, rioters injured 20 officers. Some officers also may be permanently blinded after being hit with lasers.

That’s a news story. Not some “briefly mention it at the end of the broadcast” story either. There have been two months of destructive rioting in a major America city. Instead of condemning the violence, Mayor Ted Wheeler has supported the criminals. The city council banned its police from working with federal officers.

The national mainstream media aren’t interested in that story. Instead, you get coverage like this.

CNN: The protests in Portland were mostly peaceful, though they have at times devolved into violence, vandalism and arson.

Reuters: Peaceful protests and more arrests in Portland as demonstrations continue in the city.

ABC News: A peaceful protest morphed into an intense early morning confrontation between demonstrators and law enforcement in Oregon’s largest city.

It’s not just the media. Rep. Jerry Nadler said the claim that antifa is committing violence in Portland was “a myth that’s being spread only in Washington, D.C.” That will surely come as a surprise to the federal agents who still haven’t recovered their vision.

To illustrate how absurd this is, imagine if the media used this standard when talking about other major stories. Start with coronavirus. You would end up with reports like this, “The coronavirus is frequently asymptomatic, though at times it devolves into a life-threatening disease.” Think about the backlash a politician would face if he claimed coronavirus was “a myth that’s being spread only in Washington D.C.”

Local crime wouldn’t even get noticed. “Most citizens slept soundly last night after only one man was attacked with an ax.”

Coverage of the horrible and tragic Oct. 1 shooting would have looked different too. “A peaceful night on the Las Vegas Strip morphed into an intense interaction between a gunman and concertgoers.”

What makes the media’s coverage more appalling is that the supposedly peaceful protesters outside the courthouse are enabling those who commit violence. Those trying to shine lasers in officers’ eyes use the crowd as cover. The scum who throw things at officers and launch fireworks at them do so surrounded by people. This makes it much harder for agents to identify them, let alone arrest them.

The rampant violence isn’t a small part of the story. It is the story — just not one the mainstream media want to talk about.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 3 p.m. with Kevin Wall on AM 670 KMZQ Right Talk. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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