May 21, 2024

PolitiFact Shames Talk of ‘Outside Agitators’ in College Protests

You can inform when the PolitiFact web site goes to barter across the details. On May 7, its prime headline on the homepage requested: “Are ‘outside agitators’ co-opting campus protests?”

This isn’t fairly the appropriate query. The media have introduced these occasions as “student” protests, so if half the contributors aren’t college students, how would they describe the nonstudents? PolitiFact writers Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu and Loreben Tuquero supplied this abstract:

—Police, metropolis and college officers nationwide have blamed ‘outside agitators’ for campus protests however have supplied little proof for his or her claims.
—Law enforcement consultants say police typically contemplate ‘outside agitators’ to be individuals who transfer from metropolis to metropolis and are paid to be agitators.
—Historians say authorities and regulation officers generally use the ‘outside agitator’ narrative to delegitimize protesters and their calls for.

First, the “little evidence” is a bizarre declare, when PolitiFact’s article acknowledges details just like the New York Police Department reported that “32 out of 112 people arrested at Columbia’s private campus were unaffiliated with the university. At nearby City College, 102 out of 170 people arrested were not students.” Add it up, and 134 out of 282 protesters weren’t college students. So, when Mayor Eric Adams complains about “outside agitators,” he’s not in want of a “fact check.”

They even scolded leftist Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Hank Johnson, D-Ga., over their “agitator” considerations.

They didn’t point out the current story of an outdoor agitator named James Carlson, who was half of the military that briefly occupied Hamilton Hall at Columbia University. He’s a 40-year-old belief fund inheritor who owns a townhouse in Brooklyn price $3.4 million.

PolitiFact usually seeks out “experts” to match the narratives it needs to underline. It doesn’t like individuals suggesting these protesters aren’t native and so they is perhaps paid to protest. It discovered William & Mary regulation professor Timothy Zick to outline the skin agitator spin: “It was used as sort of a phrase that would link protesters, no matter how peaceful they were, to Communists and other infiltrators who were causing disruption.” The time period is used to solid doubt on protester “sincerity.”

Angus Johnston, “historian of student activism” at Hostos Community College in New York, defined, “The idea behind the concept of the outside agitator is that dissent can never be coming from the people who are expressing that dissent.” It additionally turned to Johnston to underline, “Some experts have been quick to note the main goal of a protest is to get others to join in.”

This spin is nothing like how the media spun the tea party protests in opposition to Obamacare laws. They sought to discredit them as donor-funded “AstroTurf” (not grassroots). They went in search of essentially the most racist or ignorant-sounding signal they may discover to current protesters as a kooky “fringe” motion.

NBC’s Chuck Todd decried “town hall madness.” The entrance web page of The Boston Globe lamented the “quarrelsome masses hollering questions downloaded from activist websites.”

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann ranted, “The truth is out about the societal sabotage dressed up as phony protests against health care reform. … When Hamas does it or Hezbollah does it, it is called terrorism.” That appears to be like fairly humorous proper now, since these protesters are a significantly better match for that Hamas spin. All of this was about “delegitimizing protesters and their demands.”

Protests are lined in wildly divergent methods, relying on whether or not the activists are on the Left or the Right. This is simply as true for liberal “fact-checking” organizations as it’s for liberal media retailers.


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