The left-wing mainstream media is built for spin. They’ve had a left-leaning subtlety about their spin for decades, but in recent years they’ve been more aggressive. With Donald Trump as President, they’re unapologetic spin machines and Trump often falls right into their trap. The Berkeley riots are a perfect example.
Here’s how the story breaks down:
- Milo Yiannopoulos was supposed to speak at Berkeley.
- College Republicans at Berkeley paid $7000 for additional security knowing Milo would be controversial and attracts protests.
- Berkeley’s mayor Tweeted opposition about Milo and subtly encouraged protests.
- Protests turned violent. People were attacked. Buildings were vandalized. Fires were started. It was an outright riot.
- Attention starts to get paid to the lunacy of these extremists on the left and their hypocritical actions.
- Trump Tweets he may cut funding to Berkeley.
- The press is delivered fodder to spin the story and make it about Trump, taking focus off of the untenable actions by the protesters.
Let’s take a look at how Google News, which is still unfortunately one of the most popular destinations for Americans wanting to know what’s going on in the world, is currently handling the situation.
The top headline was posted by one of the masters of liberal spin: The New York Times. It’s an extremely well-crafted propaganda headline that positions Berkeley in a positive light to those opposed to Trump or Milo while making Trump out to be a petulant Tweeting President whining about nothing. This takes attention away from the real story here: the riots.
The second story on the list is neutral from a political perspective. The leftist spin continues with the next two stories from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg, followed by a conservative perspective that focuses (finally) on the real issue. Google News wraps it up with another retelling of the story through a headline that makes it look like Trump is attacking the education system to defend his guy.
All of this could and should have been avoided if Trump hadn’t Tweeted this:
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
We had a story that the left really couldn’t ignore. They would have likely spun the story to try to justify the protests because of Milo’s rhetoric, but it would have been a weak argument. With Trump’s Tweet, they were able to quickly pivot to make his threat a bigger story than the actual harm done by the protesters.
President Trump, sometimes it really is better to just keep quiet. If a story has legs, don’t derail it by inserting yourself into it. The left will squirm if you let them. Instead, you embolden them to take reality and make it into an allegory that focuses their hatred on you. That’s not to say you shouldn’t speak out against events such as the Berkeley riots, but condemning it would have been enough. By turning it into a threat to defund, the focus shifts from the left’s night of carnage to your 140-character pronouncement. Use your head.