People are always asking me how to discern whether a news story is biased, fake news or deceptive.
An excellent example is an AP story by Andrew Selsky headlined, “Oregon Police Chief Orders Review of Use of Force at Protest.” It is a story about how Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw is launching an investigation of Portland police. The police tried to prevent violence at a protest rally where Antifa, labor unions and democratic socialist groups mixed it up with free-speech advocates Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys. The Antifa crowd was ordered to disperse, but instead became aggressive, prompting a police riot response. The police are being accused of using excessive force. Now for the twist.
The story makes out Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys as the “alt-right,” Nazi, Trump-supporting extremists who were holding a protest, and the reasonable left-wing Antifa and democratic socialist groups showed up as the heroes to counter-protest these conservative threats to society. Selsky writes:
“Saturday’s incidents started with demonstrators aligned with Patriot Prayer and an affiliated group, the Proud Boys, gathering in a riverfront park. The Proud Boys has been characterized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.””
But the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is itself extreme. The SPLC consistently has made news and raised money from anti-American leftists for its hate designations, even against mainstream Christian organizations.
Remember SPLC was named the provocateur behind the 2012 shooting at the Washington, DC, office of the Family Research Council (FRC). Floyd Corkins confessed to the FBI that he intended to commit mass murder and was motivated by the so-called “Hate Map” on the SPLC website that listed FRC as a “hate group.”
The D.C. shooter, who in 2017 gunned down Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four others, was a Facebook fan of the SPLC.
SPLC has equated numerous Christian ministries with the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis as hate groups because the ministries are pro-life and also support the Biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
Patriot Prayer’s Facebook page appears to support free speech and religious freedom. The Proud Boys website is a bit edgy in its rhetoric against the neo-Marxist left-wing agenda. Both are pro-Trump.
SPLC maintains on its website that these groups instigate violence against Antifa and others. Antifa and the democratic socialists, however, often start the violence under the pretense that they are standing against Nazism.
The slant of the AP story is decidedly pro-Antifa, painting these Marxist anarchists as American patriots, disguising its bias by quoting SPLC, ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Democratic Socialists of America. With whom do these groups align? That is one way of discerning the bias.
As Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”