Media Won’t Ask Pelosi About Hesitation to Condemn Antifa Violence
Democratic House leader waits three days to denounce Alt-Left group for attacks on protesters
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) finally called out the violent, far-Left Antifa group, two days after members of the group attacked people peacefully marching in the “Rally Against Hate” in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in her state.
Pelosi fielded harsh criticism from conservatives after she initially failed to condemn the black-clad Antifa group members who were caught on video attacking protesters. At least 13 arrests were made “on a range of charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and various Berkeley municipal code violations,” Berkelely Police Lt. Joe Okies told The Washington Post. In addition, at least five protesters were injured during the fray.
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin condemned Antifa on Monday, telling CBS SF Bay Area that it should be classified as a gang. “We also need to hold accountable and encourage people not to associate with these extremists because it empowers them and gives them cover,” he said.
But not a peep came from Pelosi about Antifa and its specific acts of violence until Tuesday evening.
“Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts,” Pelosi said in her statement. “The violent actions of people calling themselves Antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.”
“In California, as across all of our great nation, we have deep reverence for the constitutional right to peaceful dissent and free speech. Nonviolence is fundamental to that right,” Pelosi added. “Let us use this sad event to reaffirm that we must never fight hate with hate, and to remember the values of peace, openness and justice that represent the best of America.”
Pelosi had no qualms about bashing President Donald Trump for failing to call out white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members specifically following the violent white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally, which occurred August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president initially condemned the violence originating from “many sides” before directly denouncing the specific groups the following day. Two days later, Trump emphasized that there was blame “on both sides” of the Charlottesville rally from the Alt-Right and the Alt-Left.
“The president’s talk of violence ‘on many sides’ ignores the shameful reality of white supremacism in our country today, and continues a disturbing pattern of complacency around such acts of hate,” Pelosi said in a statement on August 12. “As we mourn the victims of this attack, we must vow to together defeat bigotry, racism and hatred, wherever we find them.”
But Pelosi did not call out the violent Antifa activists until Tuesday — even though Antifa members have been carrying out violence and suppressing free speech from people with whom they disagree for months in Berkeley, leading to canceled conservative speeches and the destruction of property. In an earlier statement given to Fox News, Pelosi’s spokesperson vaguely said that “Leader Pelosi has always emphasized the importance of ‘peaceful’ in the right to peaceful protest,” without mentioning Antifa violence.
Pelosi also showed no qualms in expressing her concerns about a canceled “Patriot Prayer” rally that would have occurred on Saturday in San Francisco, saying it was “misguided” and that she harbored “grave concerns” about the “public safety hazard” that would arise from “permitting a white supremacist rally.”
Liberal pundits and the mainstream media weren’t particularly interested in highlighting Antifa violence, either — even though they showed no compunction about condemning Trump for his Charlottesville responses.
“If the left-wing media wanted to cover this — which they don’t — here are the angles this story would take,” Eddie Zipperer, an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College, told LifeZette in an email. “One, President Trump has been torn apart by the media, the Democrats, and the GOP establishment for calling out this violent group. Now, it’s become crystal clear that he did the right thing.”
“Two, what’s taking so long for Democrats to call out Antifa? Stunning hypocrisy,” he continued. “Three, does Mitt Romney stand by his tweet that slammed the president for condemning ‘both sides?’ He praised Antifa in that tweet. Does he disavow? Four, do Democrats regret their unwillingness to call this group out after Charlottesville? Do they regret attacking the president for doing it? Do they now agree there’s a problem on both sides?”
The mainstream media outlets, however, haven’t been interested in criticizing Democrats for their failures to specifically denounce Antifa.
“There won’t be any of that in the left-wing media,” Zipperer said. “It illuminates the double standard that exists, and it proves that principles are fluid and change based on how good or bad they make Trump look. If we had a real media, they would have a million questions to expose the Democrats’ hypocrisy on this.”
LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham, during an interview Tuesday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” also called out Democratic Party leaders for failing to denounce Antifa and its violent tactics while being all too ready to pounce on Trump.
“They’re volunteering all of this condemnation joyfully against President Trump post-Charlottesville. They piled on him as fast as possible after Charlottesville. OK, they can make whatever comment they want about that. That’s their prerogative,” she said. “But this is on videotape. [Antifa] is trying actively to intimidate, suppress free speech, and violently attack people with whom they disagree.”
“Nancy Pelosi, [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer, you know, we’re waiting for the condemnation,” Ingraham said prior to Pelosi’s statement. “Barack Obama, all these other people who — how about the Bushes? Have the Bushes commented about Antifa? I’d like to hear them on that.”
Schumer has yet to denounce Antifa by name, and neither of California’s two Democratic U.S. senators — Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris — have denounced Antifa, either. Harris, however, felt it incumbent upon herself to call for a congressional investigation into the “root causes” of “violent white supremacy.”
(photo credit, homepage image: MedillDC, Flickr)