I was on my way home from the grocery store when my editor gave me the news—my friend, Andy Ngo, had been attacked while photographing and filming the Antifa riot in Portland, Oregon.
As a hopeless and heartbroken friend 2,000 miles away, I took to social media to do and learn whatever I could. I shared links, retweeted articles, and (painstakingly) watched the videos. But it inevitably all led down one path, that of conflict. While I knew insanity was the trademark of Twitter, I could not believe how many people genuinely enjoyed seeing my friend in pain. That they could watch the videos, clear evidence he had done no wrong, and come to the conclusion he was the aggressor, was mindboggling to me. That they could see him trying to get away and being beaten and having things thrown at him while his back was turned, and still believe him culpable for his abuse, was disgusting. But it was not simply that they believed he was physically at fault, but ideologically so.
He was a thought criminal. He was a fascist, whatever that meant. He worked for Quillette (queue the lightning and witch cackles). In effect, he didn’t report the right kind of things for the right kind of outlet. For this, he deserved to be assaulted according to some in our collective moral intelligentsia.
While Andy first reported being “milkshaked,” it was quickly obvious his injuries were far more severe. He was bleeding from being beaten in the head and face, and reported going to the ER.
Some journos, like Middle East Eye’s CJ Werleman, did not deny the violence against Andy directly, and instead decided to slander him as having participated in “white supremacist instigated violence” while reporting on it.
Werleman later had to walk back this tweet, and clarify he had no evidence Andy had ever participated in white supremacist violence against anyone (he had not), but maintained that he “participated in white supremacist rallies,” his evidence of this being that Andy posted the location of a Proud Boys rally with the intention of covering it.
When the Portland Police released information that the “milkshakes” that he and others had been hit with may have been laced with quick-dry cement, some of the cowards who joked about him getting hit quickly deleted their pathetic quips. Among them, Talia Lavin—the disgraced ex-journo who had previously defamed a double-amputee war veteran—and Christopher Mathias of the Huffington Post.
Despite having more sense than their peers, neither in particular were acting in good faith, they were simply avoiding a PR issue. Mathias continued to “like” posts which unequivocally placed Andy as an actor in his own assault.
His “work” supports violence, said Alexander Reid Ross, a freelance writer who has had bylines featured in Haaretz and the Independent. Most prominently, his recent one which condemned Andy Ngo and Quillette for boosting and publishing Eoin Lenihan’s story, blaming it for apparently revealing his Antifa connections which were then used by an anti-Antifa group for a disgusting reason. However, Ross did not exactly hide his affiliation with, and love of, Antifa. He follows Mark Bray, the author of the literal Antifa Manifesto, and one of his most recently liked tweets was from Bray stating that Antifa was neither “terrorist” nor “organization.”
Someone should probably tell the US Department of Homeland Security that, who classified Antifa activity as domestic terror in 2016. Or, perhaps they could just watch the video of Andy, a single man, being beaten by several people for political purposes before opening a dictionary and see that is precisely what took place in Portland today.
One person who certainly took delight in watching the viral videos taken by the Oregoner’s Jim Ryan was Will Menaker, co-host of Chapo Trap House.
This pathetic attempt at humor was quite well received, all the way into Canada where Jesse Hawkin, writer for Daily Hive Toronto continued the cum-themed jokes (because they’re 12)and celebration of violence. Nate Bethea, a podcast producer, including one aimed at Veterans, and Rani Baker, a frontperson for an Oregon-based band, joined in the juvenile festivities.
Parallel to the jokes and assertions of Andy’s culpability in his abuse, were the claims that he was lying, and even if he was telling the truth—he’s not a real journalist anyway. So, details, I guess?
While the jokes, defamation, and noxious political blather continued, Harmeet Dhillon reported that Andy will be admitted for a brain hemorrhage.
All while Mark Bray, Alexander Ross’ friend, is taking donations for the three Antifa who were arrested for multiple assaults on people at the riots.
After all of this, it seems clear that we are at a turning point. The violence of Antifa is clear. The sadism of these “blue check” journalists is on full display for all to see. What happens next? Hopefully justice for Andy.
If you’d like to support Andy Ngo’s security and medical needs consider donating to his GoFundMe here.