Two white men have recently been involved in vigilante style killings of other white men at recent protests but the way they were treated by mainstream media is drastically different. Ideological bias has led to a bizarre occurrence where no matter who is perpetrating violence or who it is perpetrated against, it is Trump who is to blame. It's as though because the media touts the protests as peaceful—despite evidence to the contrary—they believe that there's no such thing as leftist violence.
Kyle Rittenhouse was in Kenosha, Wisc. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, when riots broke out. Looters could be seen in viral videos ransacking establishments while the evidence of arson was made known in the form of multiple burning structures.
It was amidst this backdrop that Rittenhouse pulled the trigger. The video of this incident can be seen in videos that circulated online, from many different angles. While the details are not fully known, there is reason to believe that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense when he shot two white men who were chasing him down the street.
In a New York Times article, Neil MacFarquhar wrote "He signed up to be a cadet in a program for teenagers who aspire to be police officers," MacFarquhar writes.
"He filled his Facebook page with support for Blue Lives Matter. He sat upfront at a rally for President Trump in January, and posted images of it on TikTok. And he chose to mark his 16th birthday by raising funds for a support group for the police called Humanizing the Badge."
MacFarquhar notes that Rittenhouse’s social media did not have "overt links" to white supremacist propaganda, but that police officers appeared on video to treat him and other armed men as "allies."
"Some who took part in demonstrations against police misconduct," MacFarquhar wrote, “saw the treatment Mr. Rittenhouse received as yet another example of the very racial inequities they had been out protesting."
This young man is currently facing serious felony charges, but he has already been tried in the press.
Those who tried to raise money for Rittenhouse's defense were vilified by CNN, and campaigns were removed from GoFundMe and other crowdsourcing sites. President Donald Trump, too, came under fire for suggesting that the young man appeared to act in self-defense.
Another CNN story connects Rittenhouse to an armed militia group before noting that "While there is no indication that Rittenhouse was a member of the Kenosha Guard (Facebook has said that it has no evidence he was connected to the group online), the bloody escalation follows a striking emergence of gun-toting amateur groups at protests nationwide."
Presidential hopeful Joe Biden used Rittenhouse's actions to defame Trump for not condemning violence. "Tonight, the President declined to rebuke violence," Biden said.
"He wouldn't even repudiate one of his supporters who is charged with murder because of his attacks on others. He is too weak, too scared of the hatred he has stirred to put an end to it."
Biden accused Trump of "recklessly encouraging violence" because a man who was undoubtedly planning to vote for Biden murdered a supporter of the sitting president.
The mainstream media narrative for Michael Reinoehl is very different. Reinoehl admitted to shooting a Trump-supporter, Aaron Danielson, during a deadly clash between two protest groups in Portland on Aug. 29.
The New York Times ran an account of Reineohl's shooting of Danielson that notably left out Reineohl's political affiliation, while noting that Danielson was a "right-wing activist." They updated the story 12 hours later to include that Reineohl had identified as a member of Antifa.
Peter Baker, also writing for The Times, wrote that the president's comments on the shooting were "inflammatory comments or assertions about violent clashes in Portland, Ore., where a man wearing the hat of a far-right, pro-Trump group was shot and killed Saturday after a large group of Mr. Trump's supporters traveled through the streets. He resumed on Sunday night."
Baker mentions the affiliations of the dead man, but not his assailant. He notes that the problem stemmed from the group that Danielson was affiliated with, not those who brought weapons downtown and shot a man who was reportedly armed only with a can of bear mace.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown blamed Trump for the violence unleashed by an Antifa militant that killed a Trump supporter, saying "For the last several years, and escalating in recent months, President Trump has encouraged division and stoked violence. It happened in Charlottesville. It happened in Kenosha. And now, unfortunately, it is happening in Portland, Oregon."
Chair of Multnomah County Deborah Kafoury also blamed Trump: "Then last night — stoked by a president who has gone out of his way to demonize this city and encourage vigilantism in service to white supremacy and his own fragile ego — armed participants of a pro-Trump caravan terrorized downtown Portland, driving their vehicles and shooting paintballs and pepper spray directly at community members and journalists. They came to create confrontation and were able to do so."
In his interview with Vice, Reinoehl said that he acted in self-defense, though eyewitness testimony from Chandler Pappas, who was with Danielson at the time of his death, stated that neither he nor his friend were armed. His political affiliation has had little to no bearing on his treatment in the press. In fact, it is his ideological adversaries who are blamed for Reinoehl's actions.
What is clear is that mainstream media outlets believe fully that when leftists commit acts of violence in 2020, it is Trump who is to blame. It's as though there are excuses made for leftist activists who just can't seem to help themselves from burning up with rage at the bad orange man. Yet those same media outlets are also quick to blame Trump for the actions of his supporters, whether they are acting in self-defense, or simply getting murdered in cold blood by his opposition.