The traditional media are obsessed with tying conservatives to the "alt-right." There have been more than 50 major news network mentions this year alone as journalists try to do what they always do -- paint conservatives as racist, sexist, and a few other words that end in ist. All in the name of “tolerance.”
But when it comes to the left, then they abandon that strategy. There is no alt-left. They are not alternative. Their mainstream is radical and out of the American mainstream on almost everything.
This was quite obvious as liberals bemoaned the death of Fidel Castro, a man his own daughter called “a tyrant.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. summed up years of devotion, recalling how, “the oppressed the world over joined Castro's cause of fighting for freedom & liberation.”
Some liberals distanced themselves from that love affair, though many have embraced left-wing dictators from Stalin to Chavez. But, the left is even worse when it comes to policy, where it shows its true colors (red).
On every major issue of the day, the left is unified. Taxes. Climate. So-called “free” college. Citizens United. Transgender bathroom/locker rooms/showers. ObamaCare. In each case and thousands more, the left wants more, bigger, better-funded government.
Liberals want higher taxes because they know how to spend your money better than you do -- on what they want. They have turned climate science into a religion where disbelief is to be persecuted or even prosecuted.
Look at The New York Times’ obsession with the topic and the bogus Paris “treaty” when staff interviewed Trump. And rather than examine the causes for spiking college costs, the left wants taxpayers to spend another $50 billion a year as the national debt nears $20 trillion.
They also don’t care that the Citizens United ruling let political opponents make a film about Hillary Clinton, that young girls might be forced to disrobe or shower next to men or that ObamaCare rates have skyrocketed.
This is the essence of the liberal world view. The solution to every problem is bigger government.
If there are no regulations, then they are needed. If they exist, then there needs to be more and a better-funded enforcement agency.
It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.
This is what we must start thinking of as the "alt-left." "Alt," not because they are out of the liberal mainstream. They aren’t. Alternative because they are out of the mainstream of an America where 37 percent are conservative and 35 percent are moderate. Just 24 percent are liberal.
Yet the most extreme of that 24 percent dominate our culture. Our TV, movies, music, plays and, yes, our news are controlled by those who three-fourths of America consider wildly out of step. The progressive, far-left agenda has conquered the traditional left’s agenda.
The alt-left is everything bad the left claims about the right. It is extreme and doesn’t want compromise. It wants to demonize or destroy opponents and intrude into every aspect of our lives.
Media outlets that bemoan Trump turning America to the right forget the alt-left support a Socialist had running in the Democrat primary. Good, old-fashioned liberalism has been replaced by a far-more radical brand.
It’s not just the policy positions. It’s how the left enforces them. Opposing views are suppressed in any space liberals control -- academia, Hollywood and media.
Traditional media outlets accuse conservative websites of offering “fake” news but skip the rampant lunacy in places like The Huffington Post, Slate and, God help us, Salon.
None of this is new. Liberals saw the Obama presidency as a chance to kill off conservativism and they used the tactics honed by brown shirts of the 1930s -- including violence, vandalism and intimidation. They and their media allies then treat every such incident as the reincarnation of Gandhi.
The alt-left has been growing more publicly extreme since the arrival of Occupy Wall Street in 2011. Then, protesters vandalized, blocked traffic, intimidated and threatened police and set fires -- all under the banner of “revolution.” Even the protest-friendly New York Times admitted Occupy Oakland had been a “riot.” “Packs of protesters charged into businesses, overturning tables, shattering windows and smashing A.T.M.’s.”
When the Occupy protests were over, 7,700 Occupiers had been arrested. Three were convicted “in a failed plot to bomb an Ohio bridge,” according to The Los Angeles Times. The rallying cry for Occupy, “We are the 99 percent,” can be traced directly back to alt-left stalwarts like Vanity Fair, PBS and others.
Liberals don’t recall Occupy as criminal or dangerous. HuffPo’s “Occupy Wall Street” page shows no evidence of any controversy, any violence. In fact, the site's page celebrates Occupiers with “10 Iconic Photos Of Occupy Wall Street, 3 Years Later” and a call to “Occupy Congress.” Rich celebrities also supported the Occupiers -- Yoko Ono, Russell Simmons and Alec Baldwin, to name just a few. Michael Moore wanted police to leave their posts and join the unrest like Egypt (which led to revolution). And the major media celebrated them almost as much.
The alt-left didn’t end with the Occupy movement. It got worse. New groups appeared, embracing the aggressive tactics and a similar radical agenda, ranting “against the ravages of global capitalism.”
They rioted in Ferguson, based in part on false news reports about what Michael Brown allegedly said. “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” was born and we got more riots, more protests and more disruption. The actual phrase was never uttered, even The Washington Post and the Obama administration admit that.
It doesn’t matter. The expression continues to be used throughout the left, as well as in major media from ABC to ESPN. In 2014, five St. Louis Rams players even held their hands up in a protest at a game. Their protest was based on a lie. The alt-left didn’t care.
That protest has evolved and included the Black Friday, Ferguson, and ShutItDown protests, the Freddie Gray riot, Black Lives Matter and now the #NotMyPresident protests and riot. In the Freddie Gray riot alone, 130 police officers were injured, more than at any incident since 9/11.
There was lots of ink in the alt-left media to support the rioters, very little that even mentioned the injured police. The same thing happened when Black Lives Matter protesters injured 21 police in Minneapolis in July.
Those weren’t the only alt-left unrest. Trump supporters were victims of similar assaults during the campaign. They were punched, attacked, egged and threatened. Major media blamed Trump by a factor of 15-1. Alt-left media were worse. Liberal Prof. David Coates wrote in HuffPo to blame the right, saying the violence was all on angry Republicans, “an anger that has no parallel in and around the base of the Democratic Party.” Classic misdirection.
The alt-left doesn’t just use violence to enforce its will. It smears its opponents as racists and Nazis while journalists help them do it. Together they dredge up 30-year-old comments from Sen. Jeff Sessions to say he’s racist. Yet they ignore how liberals have helped kill 60 million mostly minority babies and never once accuse them of trying to genocide African-American and Hispanic communities. Only liberals are allowed to use ist words.
When that doesn’t work, the alt-left turns to its deep bench of celebrities. We are flooded with climate change stories, many featuring Hollywood stars. Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Woody Harrelson and director James Cameron are go-to, alt-left climate scolds.
Liberal outlets never tell us about the carbon footprint of the 400-foot royal yacht DiCaprio rented. Or maybe how Harrelson had his vegan belt and shoes flown to France special. Cameron, for his part, owns a collection of motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, a yacht, a helicopter -- even a fleet of submarines. Yet he’s a climate hero.
None of that matters to either the alt-left or the major media. But it matters to the rest of us.
The alt-left is more than just a web of sometimes-demented liberal websites and pundits. It is the major media outlets and journalists who credential those sites and ideas. Some of Huffington Post’s most-devoted readers are the very journalists who then claim neutrality on national issues.
If this election didn’t prove the traditional news media are devoted left-wingers, nothing will.
Is there any doubt that The Times is just as alt-left as Huffington Post? They share a common world view. They promote the same agendas. They mirror each other’s disgust for things not liberal. So when Trump skewers Times liberals, he is taking on the massive creature that is the alt-left.
It’s the 800-ton Godzilla in the room. It’s about time we called it a monster.
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.