The Left’s Weaponization of Journalism. 

  • by:
  • 09/21/2022

The media’s coverage of the Tacoma ICE facility shooting demonstrates why they deserve the “fake news” moniker.

“I regret that I will miss the rest of the revolution. Doing what I can to help defend my precious and wondrous people is an experience too rich to describe. I am Antifa,” wrote Willem Van Spronsen.

Given Van Spronsen’s unambiguous, self-proclaimed association with Antifa and his history of activism on behalf of the group, his motivation for attempting to carry out a violent, presumably murderous act against the staff at an immigrant detention facility in Tacoma, Washington was clear.

“I am Antifa” leaves little room for debate.

“I am Antifa” leaves little room for debate.

CNN, however, interprets these three incriminating words differently:

“The motive behind the armed man's pre-dawn attack is unclear.” 

Other establishment media outlets kept their coverage vague, omitting Van Spronsen’s well-documented connections to Antifa: The Washington Post entitled their report, “Armed man killed during attack on ICE detention center, police say”.

The New York Times wrote, Man Attacking ICE Detention Center Is Fatally Shot by the Police”.

Angling Van Spronsen’s attack against an “ICE detention Center” is as misleading as omitting his affiliations or motives. 

It is just as likely his anger was directed at the ICE agents inside, given he was arrested in 2018 for obstructing an officer at a protest against the conditions at the same detention center.

Of all the outlets, CNN should have known this. His group, the Puget Sound chapter of the John Brown Gun Club, appeared on a recent episode of “United Shades of America” with W. Kamau Bell.


Bell gave Van Spronsen’s group a glowing review and referred to the parent organization, Redneck Revolt, as “good guys”.

The amount of coverage this attack received pales in comparison to those given to ostensible “right-wing” instigators of violence.

One could have missed this story if they lived exclusively inside the left-wing media bubble. And many do.

It may or may not be intentional, but the benefit of the doubt is selectively applied: it’s only present when the act in question is a result of left-wing violence. And the issue isn’t whether or not activist groups should be held accountable for rogue actors, it’s that the media’s standards for association differ profoundly based on political affiliation. They willfully ignore credible leads inconsistent with their narrative. 

The recent hate crime hoax involving Jussie Smollett demonstrates this disparity. Vanity Fair was bold: “Empire’s Jussie Smollett Hospitalized After Racist, Homophobic Attack” as was CNN: “Empire" actor victim of racist and homophobic assault”.

Following this, the Tacoma attack headlines might have read “ICE agents victim of failed Antifa attack”. That’s an entirely different tone. 

These “mistakes” happen too frequently. The media is trigger happy when it comes to associating an act of violence with racism, homophobia, or any form of bigotry. 

GQ originally published an article entitled “The Racist, Homophobic Attack on Jussie Smollett Is Far-Right America's Endgame" before changing the title to accommodate recent developments in the case: “GQ made two errors in editorial judgment. We failed to clearly present the post as an opinion piece. And we regret applying unfounded political motivations to then-breaking news with the original headline.”

These “mistakes” happen too frequently. The media is trigger happy when it comes to associating an act of violence with racism, homophobia, or any form of bigotry. 

The coverage of the mailbombing spree that occurred during the most recent midterm elections further exposes the double standard. Cesar Sayoc sent explosives to prominent Democrat officials and expressed pro-Trump beliefs. But the media didn’t refer to him as just a “man” like they did Van Spronsen. And Van Spronsen’s association with Antifa was more explicit. Van Spronsen’s crimes were actually celebrated by Washington’s regional Antifascist Action chapter: “Today we stand strong in our support for yet another martyr in the struggle against fascism”.

The New York Times was sure to inform readers about Sayoc’s political affiliations: “Outspoken Trump Supporter in Florida Charged in Attempted Bombing Spree” as did The Huffington Post: “Bomb Mailing Suspect Cesar Sayoc Was A Big Trump Fan With A Criminal History”. The media even goes so far as to qualify his support for President Trump - Sayoc wasn’t just a Trump Supporter; he was an “outspoken” one. 

Imagine if Van Spronsen’s goal was to murder the migrants detained in the ICE facilities; there is no doubt the media would have linked it to President Trump and hammered such a conspiracy incessantly.

Yet progressive Democrats peddle anti-ICE conspiracies almost every day but are routinely absolved of guilt for inciting violence by the media. 

[caption id="attachment_179746" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Flickr, CC[/caption]

Shaun King encouraged his supporters to “liberate” migrants from detention centers “by any means necessary”. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rep. Ayanna Presley (D-MA) all refused to condemn Van Spronsen’s attack when confronted by journalists. Former Democratic representative and DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison openly flirted with Antifa. And yet, they are all Democrats in good standing, with no mainstream journalist hounding them for disavowals.


Conversely, President Trump is repeatedly asked to denounce people acting on ideologies he has no relation to: white supremacy, white nationalism, and neo-nazism. And even then, the blame doesn’t stop. Recall the Christchurch shooting, Tree of Life Shooting, and Charlottesville

The weaponization of journalism down to syntax and diction is calculated, and the media outlets are banking on this subversion to remain a secret. If this double-standard goes unnoticed, the left can effectively create a world where Trump-related right-wing violence appears to be omnipresent and increasing, while they avoid any responsibility for the violence they incite.

Natalie Winters is a freelance writer



View All

'The IRGC are on British soil': London woman protesting Iran beaten, injured by supporters of dead president Ebrahim Raisi

The woman was protesting outside an event that marked the death of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi....

Muslim students in Italian high school exempt from studying Dante's 'Divine Comedy' due to depictions of Mohammed in hell

The students were exempt because of the story's depiction of the prophet Muhammad in hell....

Egypt agrees to send UN aid trucks into Gaza

"We could resume tomorrow if the crossing reopened & we were provided with safe routes."...