Yesterday we shared an op-ed on the "The Unbearable Smugness Of The American Media" which highlighted the media's unwillingness to accept or even try to understand the will of the American electorate. Rather than accept the fact that Trump's victory was the direct result of Washington's complete failure, on both sides of the aisle, the media has instead doubled down and attributed his win to the notion that there are just more "racist white people" in the country than they originally thought. Which is fine so long as you can ignore the fact that Trump actually performed 8-points better with Hispanics than Mitt Romney did in 2012...but that doesn't fit the narrative to best to ignore it completely.
This morning the Financial Times offered up a perfect example of the "unbearable smugness" that we mentioned yesterday. Rather than condemn violent protests in Oakland and Portland, the FT attacked Trump for "lashing out at demonstrators" and implicitly questioned his "temperament" by saying that "top aides struggled to keep the candidate on-message and constrain his angrier outbursts."
Donald Trump has backed away from an attack on demonstrators who have launched two nights of protests against his election, praising their “passion” and vowing to bring the country together as president.
Mr Trump’s U-turn, expressed on Twitter in daybreak hours in New York, came nine hours after he lashed out at the demonstrators on the social media site, blaming the two nights of unrest on “professional protesters” egged on by the media.
The reversal by Mr Trump is an echo of tensions that arose during his presidential campaign, where top aides struggled to keep the candidate on-message and constrain his angrier outbursts.
Apparently this is the FT's definition of "lashing out at demonstrators":
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
Trump subsequently followed up with this:
Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
By attacking Trump for condemning the violent protests around the country we assume the FT implicitly supports protests that they say "have been characterized by bricks through windows, smashed cars, and fires lit in the street."
While many of the post-election demonstrations have been peaceful, protests in Portland and Oakland turned violent on Thursday night, with dozens of protesters arrested.
In Portland, police declared the situation a riot and used pepper spray and rubber bullets on the crowd, which thinned out after 1am.
In Oakland crowds were smaller than the previous night, but hundreds of protesters still confronted police. While tensions ran high, there were also moments of levity, such as brief dance party in the street and a comic video of Trump clips projected on to the side of a building.
Oakland’s anti-Trump protests have been characterised by bricks through windows, smashed cars, and fires lit in the street. Anticipating the unrest, many businesses in downtown Oakland closed early or boarded up their windows.
Police in both towns have pointed to extremist groups that they say are inciting violence. “Many in crowd trying to get anarchist groups to stop destroying property, anarchists refusing. Others encouraged to leave area,” the Portland police tweeted Thursday night.
Meanwhile, the Portland Police Department basically confirmed Trump's original tweet about "professional protesters" being behind the demonstrations. Portland PD even notes that there was a movement within the protest crowds to stop "anarchist groups" from destroying property.
Due to extensive criminal and dangerous behavior, protest is now considered a riot. Crowd has been advised.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) November 11, 2016
Many in crowd trying to get anarchist groups to stop destroying property, anarchists refusing. Others encouraged to leave area.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) November 11, 2016
Police have deployed less lethal munitions such as OC spray and vapor (pepper spray), rubber ball distraction devices, rubber baton rounds.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) November 11, 2016
Police have arrested at least 29 people during riot. Late Friday morning we'll have a complete update on arrests, charges and photos.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) November 11, 2016
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, most Americans would agree that violence and property destruction are wrong should be condemned. That said, we've noticed that all the "Better Together" campaign rhetoric of the left that was so prevalent just a few days ago has now vanished. Perhaps "Better Together - But Only If Democrats Win" would have been a more accurate slogan.