A Los Angeles Times review of Andy Ngo's bestselling book on Antifa violence compares the investigative journalist to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.
In the piece titled, "Review: Andy Ngo’s new book still pretends [A]ntifa’s the real enemy," author Alexander Nazaryan called Ngo's new book on the radical anti-fascist movement "supremely dishonest."
"Every act of violence by [A]ntifa...is described so meticulously and ominously that Herr Goebbels would have been proud," wrote Nazaryan, also the White House correspondent for Yahoo! News.
Nazaryan maintained that he did not make this allusion flippantly. "Maligning the opposition was central to the Nazi strategy, and it is critical to today's far-right extremists," Nazaryan pressed, also asserting that Ngo's intention here appears to "run a diversionary tactic for Patriot Prayer and other groups that are far more dangerous than their leftist counterparts."
According to Nazaryan, a month after pro-Trump "insurrectionists" stormed the Capitol building "in search of elected officials to kidnap or kill," Ngo's Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy "has to be taken seriously."
"Not because it is a serious book," Nazaryan interjected—noting that "it is nothing of the sort"—but because "Ngo's prominence is evidence that false flags will continue to be planted, sometimes on the very same soil where violent reactionaries have spilled American blood."
Ngo's "false-equivalence manifesto" comes while fencing remains in place on Capitol Hill, illustrated Nazaryan, all because the Proud Boys of the mid-November "Stop the Steal" rally decided to return on Jan. 6.
In the wake of the Washington attack, Unmasked has this "ridiculous feel" that warns Americans about the dangers of German communism issued in 1939, Nazaryan penned, highlighting that Ngo made that very comparison himself and argued that Antifa's predecessors in Weimar Germany deserve as much scrutiny as their Nazi counterparts.
"While the Brownshirts are well remembered in contemporary Western society, the history of far-left paramilitaries in the German interwar years has faded to memory," Ngo quipped in Unmasked.
Ngo's book rose to the top of the sales chart after far-left activists unintentionally aided his cause by protesting the famed Powell's bookstore in Portland's decision to carry Unmasked online. "If trolling, not reportage, is Ngo's purpose," then Unmasked is his "tour de force," Nazaryan derided. "Yet no amount of commercial success can obscure Ngo’s fundamentally flimsy argument."
Nazaryan stressed that most of Ngo's coverage is based in the Pacific Northwest, where radicalism is not new in the crime-ridden cities of Portland and Seattle. "His efforts to depict a national network are unconvincing, as are attendant efforts to show the Democratic establishment's support for [A]ntifa," wrote Nazaryan.
Nazaryan went on to suggest that Ngo faked his injuries after the June 2019 attack in downtown Portland when Antifa activists assaulted him. The incident left Ngo hospitalized with head contusions, a ripped ear, and a brain hemorrhage.
Rose City Antifa militants had hurled milkshakes at Ngo's bleeding face, blurring his vision as he left the scene. Nazaryan disputed reports that the projectiles contained concrete. "[F]ar more likely, it was a vegan blend heavy on cashew butter," he speculated.
Nazaryan admitted that the violence was criminal. However, he pivoted to allege that Ngo possesses a "history of 'embedding' with right-wing groups," including "white supremacist outfit Patriot Prayer," that "provoke [A]ntifa into the very fights Ngo then films."
"In Unmasked, he eagerly dons the martyr's vestments, describing the attack with such self-serving detail, you'd think he'd been liberating Rome," Nazaryan sneered.
Nazaryan reduced the culmination of work to "Ngo's single-minded quest to depict an assortment of leftists" as this unified vanguard whose true mission is to "destroy the nation-state, America in particular."
In the final pages, Ngo provided background on his own origins. His parents immigrated from wartown Vietnam and his writing expresses "gratitude to the nation that welcomed" them. Nazaryan acknowledged, as an immigrant who grew up in the Soviet Union, that he understands the sentiment. But as a journalist, Nazaryan countered that Ngo is "churning out the very kind propaganda that keeps authoritarians in power."
Nazaryan maintained that the truth about Antifa has been "chronicled elsewhere" and is "more quotidian than Ngo and his abettors at Fox News would like you to believe." Nazaryan failed to mention that his sources are establishment media outlets that sympathize with the far-left.
For example, he highlighted an article by Antifa ideologue Mark Bray who regurgitated—instead of debunked—in the Washington Post the widespread myth that Antifa is "not an organization" but "politics of revolutionary opposition to the far right." The former lecturer used to teach at Dartmouth College where the university president disavowed his outspoken belief that violence can be justified.
Before adversaries rush to screencap any of Nazaryan's words as evidence of his left-wing affinities, he rebutted anticipated allegations of his fondness for Antifa.
Nazaryan witnessed Antifa destroy the Starbucks in Berkeley when agitators protested the appearance of conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos.
"The destruction was not just pointless, but also detrimental to the cause," Nazaryan proclaimed. "The same can and should be said about the violence that sometimes followed the summer's protests."
Excuses for left-wing violence "deserve the same level of condemnation now directed at Ngo," he extended, instantiating Vicky Osterweil's In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action.
"Less honest segments of the right will nevertheless argue the opposite, using Ngo's book to pad their case," Nazaryan insinuated, naming NewsmaxTV host Greg Kelly who "gave the game away" on Jan. 15 when he complained that he was “sick of hearing” about the Washington breach and then transitioned to Antifa.
Nazaryan concluded that Unmasked will "do no more to help Americans understand [A]ntifa than Borat helped us understand Kazakhstan," serving as this universal "cudgel for Trumpists to swing whenever they need to obscure their own complicity in events like the Capitol riot."
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