Though Joe Biden has now accepted that violence is occurring in many major American cities and has started blaming Donald Trump for it, many of his supporters haven’t gotten the memo. A new trend among some high-profile left-wingers is to gaslight Americans by posting daytime photos of well-to-do areas of cities undamaged by the riots as proof that the riots aren’t real. Meanwhile, tear gas and fires engulf entire blocks at nighttime.
Josh Campbell, a former FBI agent and CNN contributor, kicked off the trend by tweeting September 1: ‘Good morning from wonderful Portland, where the city is not under siege and buildings are not burning to the ground. I also ate my breakfast burrito outside today and so far haven’t been attacked by shadowy gangs of Antifa commandos.’
Campbell later admitted there is ‘localized nightly violence in Portland’ but downplayed the severity of the protests — which have been going on for 100 consecutive days — by pointing to people picking up donuts at a famous shop in the afternoon.
Campbell’s routine mocking of the idea that antifa-led violence has become a regular occurrence in the city suggests CNN specifically sent him there to pretend that everything was fine. Remember, this is the same network that allowed a reporter to stand in front of a blazing building while a chyron referred to the riot as a ‘fiery but mostly peaceful protest’. Campbell’s tweets were especially tone deaf because a Trump supporter was shot dead by a self-proclaimed member of antifa last Saturday night. Reporters who have been on the ground since the inception of the riots have noted other members of the group regularly launching projectiles at police officers, setting fires, and looting and destroying businesses.
Gary Shteyngart, a writer with half a million Twitter followers, and Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize-winning economist, followed up Campbell’s trolling with some of their own — this time in New York City.
‘Had to shoot my way through a whole bunch of Antifa roadblocks but it was worth it to get this fruity drink,’ Shteyngart smirked.
— Gary Shteyngart (@Shteyngart) September 3, 2020
Krugman noted that he saw ‘very few black-clad anarchists’ during a morning run through the city.
I went for a belated NYC run this morning, and am sorry to report that I saw very few black-clad anarchists. Also, the city is not yet in flames 1/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) September 2, 2020
Just a couple of days later, eight people were arrested in Manhattan after a group of 150 protesters tore through lower Manhattan, smashing stores and causing about $100,000 in damage. They were also busted with weapons: police recovered two stun guns, smoke grenades, and burglary tools. One of the arrested individuals was from Campbell’s safe haven, Portland. This isn’t the first incident in NYC, of course. Many Manhattan stores have been closed for months with plywood over their doors and windows to prevent property damage and theft.
Princeton University attempted to prove the thesis that the riots are ‘mostly peaceful’, determining that 93 percent of the protests have remained peaceful. What that neglects to mention is that, because of the widespread nature of the protests, there have been a stunning 570 violent demonstrations in nearly 220 locations across the country.
It’s a sign of Campbell, Shteyngart, and Krugman’s immense privilege that they can mock and degrade people who are concerned about this uptick in violence while carelessly dining and jogging their way through these cities. Their luxurious plans would be interrupted, of course, if Campbell decided to head to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s apartment for a birthday party, if Shteyngart were having his cocktail in Rochester instead of NYC, or if Krugman replaced his morning run with a late-night stroll past Saks Fifth Avenue. As business owners wonder if they will ever get to reopen and citizens can’t leave their buildings out of fear, these three charlatans live their lives in blissful ignorance knowing they’ll never have to really worry about the consequences of the nationwide unrest.