Seattle radio host Jason Rantz on Wednesday ripped the mainstream media Wednesday for spotlighting rampant violence in Portland, Oregon after dismissing the unrest last year.
“It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious,” Rantz told “The Faulker Focus.”
Rantz said that the media was “mind-numbingly stupid in its coverage” of the unrest during protests last summer against the police-involved shootings of unarmed Black men.
“When you have people virtue-signaling there is no issue here. What are you talking about?”
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Media outlets who previously reported that violent unrest in Portland, Oregon, was exaggerated are facing criticism after a new report on how the city’s minority communities are reeling from crime.
“Anarchists and an increase in violent crime hijack Portland’s social justice movement,” a Washington Post headline read on Monday.
“After months of social-justice activism that made Portland a vivid, sometimes violent focal point for a nation debating the same issues around police accountability and reform, the movement here has splintered into bickering groups, at odds over tactics, goals and an overall direction for how to make the city safer, with the police force still at the debate’s bitter center,” reporter Scott Wilson wrote.
At least 30 homicides had been committed by May and by the end of the year, the Post reported, Portland “could see more slayings … than in the past four decades.”
New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait encouraged his followers to read the “very upsetting” report about the crime wave’s disproportionate impact on the city’s Black community. The piece also delved into the effects of anarchists and anti-police reform efforts in the liberal city.
But those who have followed the media coverage of Portland over the past year shared tweets from reporters last year that suggested that the city was largely peaceful. Pundits carried that narrative despite over 100 consecutive days of riots in the city last year following high-profile police-involved deaths, including the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Those riots devastated the city’s reputation and led to a sharp decrease in morale among its police officers.
CNN’s Daniel Dale reported much of the same, questioning former President Donald Trump’s claim that the “entire city” was on fire.
“Saying the ‘entire city’ is ablaze is ridiculous,” Dale said.
Rantz assumed that reporters who undermined the violence that occurred during the protests wanted to “serve two purposes.” He went on to say that “a lot of the reporters” covering the protests “identified with the Black Lives Matter movement and its ideology.”
The radio personality also said that reporters “wanted to justify or downplay” the violence occurring during protests because they “did not want to hurt the movement” and “they wanted to hurt Donald Trump who was calling out the lawlessness and anarchy.”
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“I remember right after the RNC Convention, Anderson Cooper was struggling to get the point across that polling looks really good. Don Lemon says the polling looks pretty good for Republicans on this. They shifted their conversation. This is Trump’s America as if it’s Portland, L.A., Seattle, and New York, like he is responsible for the violence,” Rantz said.
He concluded, “They decided at the end to ignore it. Ignoring it meant it didn’t go away and was still out there.”
Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.