Antifa protests, like those in Portland, were discussed by guest Alan Dershowitz during the July 2 episode of "Hannity," on the Fox News Channel. (Photo: Screenshot of "Hannity" episode excerpt/Fox News/YouTube)
As the fallout from bloody protests in Portland on Saturday, June 29 continues to grow, conservative media have made the actions of self-described antifa members a hot topic.
Though a Portland police spokesperson says the bureau is “actively investigating several assaults,” and details about the violence at the Saturday protests are still emerging, many in the conservative media are making the case that the attack on conservative writer Andy Ngo represents liberal cities’ failure to deal with antifa, and constitute examples of non-conservative media downplaying the story.
A July 2 piece credited to Donald Trump Jr. on the conservative website, the Daily Caller, for example, bears the headline, “The media was complicit in a brutal assault on an innocent journalist.”
Trump Jr. writes: “The Ngo affair is simply the latest incident in a game the liberal press have been playing for the last two-and-a-half years or more. They relentlessly attack my father for his attitude toward the media, suggesting that his accurate references to some biased reporters and media outlets as the enemy of the people puts reporters at risk. When a conservative journalist actually gets assaulted by a mob of vicious thugs, though, they desperately attempt to justify and downplay the violence against him.”
Monday and Tuesday’s Fox News Channel primetime shows, which feature coverage and opinions generally supportive of President Donald Trump and his policies, included frequent discussion of the violence that broke out during downtown Portland events involving supporters of the #HimToo movement, Proud Boy followers and anti-fascist protesters.
Ngo, who was attacked in Portland by black-clad demonstrators, appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday. The host introduced Ngo, who has made frequent prior appearances on the show, by saying that Ngo had been “beaten almost to death by antifa.”
Ngo told the host that he was covering the Portland protest, and then was suddenly struck on the back of his head from behind. “A mob of people, all dressed in black and wearing masks, started beating me with their fists,” Ngo said, “and some of them used objects to hit me.”
Conservative writer Andy Ngo details attack at Portland protest
After going to the hospital, Ngo said, he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage. Ngo wrote about the attack in a piece for the Wall Street Journal, and discussed it on Fox News Radio, as well as on CNN’s “New Day.”
Witness says bloody attacks in Portland broke out after one man came to his aid
Sam Resnick, who was wearing an American flag dress during Saturday’s competing protests in downtown Portland, said he believes the two men bloodied near Pioneer Square were assaulted after one came to his aid while he was under attack by a group of black-clad anti-fascists.
Ngo told CNN’s John Berman that when he was being attacked, he thought police “were going to swoop in and save me,” but that didn’t happen.
Berman then read a tweet from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, saying, in part, “We will do everything we can to make sure that those who have committed violence are held accountable.”
The events in Portland were also a subject on Monday’s Fox News show, “Hannity,” with guest host Jason Chaffetz moderating a discussion of, as the onscreen chyron, or caption, said, “Conservatives under attack by the far left.”
“The Ingraham Angle,” with guest host Jesse Watters, also featured a discussion of the attack on Ngo, with Shane Harris, a Democratic strategist, and Dinesh D’Souza, a controversial conservative author and filmmaker who pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2014, and was pardoned by President Trump last year.
On Tuesday night, CNN and MSNBC primetime shows (MSNBC’s shows lean left, as Fox News primetime shows lean right) didn’t focus on the Portland protests or antifa.
But the story was again covered on “Hannity,” by guest host Dan Bongino, David Webb, host of the “Reality Check” show that streams on Fox Nation, and Alan Dershowitz, the prominent lawyer and professor.
As the onscreen chyron said, “Rise of the radical left,” Dershowitz said, “I really do think the government needs to do something to stop extreme left-wing threats of violence to centrist, moderate liberal speakers like me.”
Noting that he has also been threatened over speaking appearances at colleges, Dershowitz said, “I’m not radical enough for antifa.”
Bloody clashes in downtown Portland put police, mayor on defensive
“The acts of a select group of violent individuals do not define Portland but do have a negative impact on all of us,’’ Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said Monday, following Saturday’s violent brawls that prompted police to declare civil disorder.
Tuesday night’s “The Ingraham Angle” featured guest host Raymond Arroyo continuing the discussion of the Portland protest. He introduced a clip of Ngo on CNN, as Ngo asked, “How many more people have to be beaten and attacked in the city of Portland before things change?”
Arroyo then interviewed Ngo’s lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, who was also identified as a 2020 Trump Advisory Board member.
Arroyo asked the California-based Dhillon about her July 1 Twitter post, in which she wrote, “Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studios and avocado toast stands until nothing grows there, not even the glimmer of a violent criminal conspiracy aided by the effect impotence of a cowed city government.”
“Are you talking about the antifa protesters or the city?” Arroyo asked.
“I’m going to reserve judgment on who in government deserves to be sued,” Dhillon says. “I think that’s an open question.”
Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studios and avocado toast stands until nothing grows there, not even the glimmer of a violent criminal conspiracy aided by the effete impotence of a cowed city government.
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) July 1, 2019
Referring to antifa activists, Dhillon said the same people are causing trouble at Portland events.
“Even if they’re broke, and living in their parents’ basements,” Dhillon said, “I intend to sue these people into oblivion, and make sure they’re never able to do anything like this again.”
— Kristi Turnquist
Visit subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters to get Oregonian/OregonLive journalism delivered to your email inbox.