The Washington Post finally got around to covering a recent attack on a conservative activist at the University of California at Berkeley on Wednesday – but put an emphasis on the fact that conservatives were upset about the situation.
It has become common practice for mainstream media organizations to focus on the “Republicans pounce” aspect of any story that would appear unfavorable to the left. In this case, the Post's story was headlined: “A conservative activist was punched in the face at UC Berkeley. The response enraged the right." It cited a Fox News report published Tuesday, one of several which has been published since the incident occurred last week.
The incident, which was captured on a cell phone, occurred as the activist, Hayden Williams, was manning a recruiting table for Turning Point USA, a conservative organization. Williams, who is not a student, told Fox News last week that he filed a police report immediately after the incident.
Alex Szarka, a Berkeley junior, told Fox News he was walking on campus last week when he saw the altercation and decided to videotape it. The attack quickly went viral in conservative circles but was largely overlooked by the mainstream media.
A search of Williams’ name and the word "Berkeley" on the Post’s website doesn’t show any mention of the attack prior to Wednesday’s piece about the right being “enraged.”
Post reporter Katie Mettler wrote that UC Berkeley officials were gearing up to apprehend the suspect but pivoted to the response of conservatives by the third paragraph.
“The news comes after a seven-day campaign by conservative activists both at Berkeley and nationally, who have argued, on social media, right-leaning political websites and Fox News, that because of liberal bias, the attack garnered what they perceive as a delayed response from the police and university and a muted response from the public,” Mettler wrote.
Mettler cited a Donald Trump Jr. tweet in which the president’s oldest son pondered, “Wonder if it would be the same if a conservative beat up a leftist on the Berkeley Campus?”
The Post then put an emphasis on the university denying that it acted with a liberal bias before detailing the attack itself.
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor is among the critics of the newspaper’s coverage.
“This is incredible," Gainor told Fox News. "The left-wing Washington Post ignores a hate crime against a young conservative for eight days. Then when it finally chimes in, it’s with the latest version of conservatives pounce. “Instead of reporting the news, the Post notes how conservatives are upset and that, ‘The response enraged the right.’”
Gainor added: “How dare right-wingers be upset that someone got attacked on a college campus because of his politics and the major media all-but ignored it? Especially after turning repeated hate hoaxes into national news stories – like Jussie Smollett. It’s also worth noting that the Post is being sued for $250 million for how awfully it covered the Covington hoax".
The Washington Post did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The framing of the story was quickly ridiculed on social media:
Meanwhile, Williams told Fox News on Friday that he’s been attacked before while helping recruit on college campuses, including two weeks ago at U.C.L.A., but never to the degree he was at Berkeley.
Fox News’ Elizabeth Llorente contributed to this report.