NYT Claims Antifa Members Not Involved in Capitol Attack, Forgets Claim they Don’t Have Members
- Without evidence, the NYT declares that no ‘Antifa’ were involved in the Capitol protest.
- The NYT makes no attempt to define different types of protesters at the Capitol, which is a critical failure.
- NYT buries the truth about the evidence of Antifa-connections to the Capitol violence, namely John Sullivan, among others.
- The Times sloppily infers causation between tweets, stories and links, when there isn’t one. They need to tie all these things together to make it a conspiracy, but it’s not one. It’s the use of false connections to suggest a fake conspiracy.
OUR RATING: Journalistic Malpractice. Even Salon.com is ashamed.
The mainstream media has been working since January 6 to place blame for the Capitol protest that spilled into the building as a direct cause of Trump’s minor comments, and the natural outgrowth of Trump’s followers. The federal authorities have rounded up hundreds so far whose only consistent crime was entering the building after the windows were broken out and the doors were opened.
The question about who was involved, and whether there might be instigators who were present who engaged in violent actions in order to delegitimize the larger group, was a reasonable question in the days after the incident. The answers to that question are still ongoing, but the evidence used by the New York Times to rule all left-wing and Antifa agitators innocent is completely flawed and too-often typical of arrogant media outlets like the Times.
- Premature conclusions
- No Evidence to Support
- Superficial Investigation
The Antifa narrative generally stems from right-wing individuals relying on their impression of the protest and the fact that very few right-wing protests, including Trump rallies, that have been met with violence. In the nearly 50 year history of the annual March for Life in Washington , for example, there are no reported casualties.
The media went out of its way in 2016 to document even the most minor of incidents at Trump rallies, compiling a list largely of shoving and naughty words spoken between Trump haters and supporters. 
Some of the most notable political violence in recent history has come in the wake of BLM protests, including the premeditated murder of these 5 police officers and the wounding of 12 in 2016 after a Dallas BLM protest, where the gunman was intent on shooting whites for political reasons. 
- DPD Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, age 48
- DPD Officer Michael Krol, 40
- DPD Sgt. Michael Smith, 55
- DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43
- DPD Officer Patricio “Patrick” Zamarripa, 32
- Deputy Bradford Allen ‘Brad’ Garafola, 45
- Officer Matthew Lane Gerald, 41
- Corporal Montrell Lyle Jackson, 32
Even though that political violence, what should really be properly termed political terrorism if the media weren’t so protective and careful of a political movement it clearly largely sympathizes with, was never discussed as such it was continued as such. The torching of a NYPD police van by two lawyers, Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis, was a BLM-connected act of terrorism where the federal defendants quickly received bail so they could be free pending resolution of their criminal case and were, recently, treated to a convenient downgrade of their charges with a sweetheart plea offer. 
CNN was ridiculed for claiming the BLM protests were ‘fiery but mostly peaceful’ as fires were burning in the background.  BLM’s founders describe themselves as “trained Marxists”  and Antifa is some flavor of a neo-Marxist organization seeking to impose Communism , and Marxists themselves claim to be a part of BLM and the intellectual forebears of their movement. 
With all of this backdrop, the American people are told by the FBI Director with a straight face that “Antifa is an ideology and not an organization.”  Biden repeated the same lie. 
And yet this ideology finds a way to start their own Twitter accounts.  This mere idea finds a way to get arrested while sieging a federal courthouse for months.  An idea manages to enter the physical realm with 50 adherents and vandalize federal buildings, threaten reporters, and more.  The idea has been sued in court by its victims, including journalist Andy Ngo. 
But in case there’s any dispute, here is the official NYT party line  on what Antifa is:
So, how then, can the NYT know that no one arrested is an Antifa member or not? They are making premature conclusions. How could the NYT be able to say that there were no Antifa among the thousands who entered the Capitol? How could the NYT render an innocent verdict to these conservative claims of Antifa involvement in the protest? Quite simply, they cannot if they want to match the obvious lies in this article with the obvious lies in their other reporting on the topic.
If it is impossible to know who is an Antifa member, then it’s impossible to say the people involved weren’t among those arrested. They have no evidence to support their conclusions.
It’s impossible to say that Antifa was or wasn’t involved with the 2020 BLM siege of the Ohio Capitol,  just as it’s impossible say whether they were or weren’t involved in the 2021 siege of the federal Capitol.
The New York Times should be ashamed of themselves, from Publisher Sulzberger to the paper boys, for the dishonest double speak in this article alone.
Sadly, this journalistic malpractice by the Times is not the end, but rather the beginning of the problems in this article.
The Times buries the most glaring evidence of Antifa involvement to the bottom of the article, a conspicuous choice no doubt meant to rely on many only reading the first half and not the last half of the article.
After telling the public that Antifa is just an idea, they nuance the hell out of John Sullivan in order to avoid the natural questions about why such a person would be at the protest in the first place, and would just so happen to be at the one spot and at the right time where violence was actually used: upon Ashli Babbitt who was shot and killed even though she was unarmed.
Here is how the NYT explains John Sullivan:
But the next day, the arrest of a protester named John Sullivan prompted yet another surge in right-wing media about antifa and the riot.
Mr. Sullivan called himself an “activist” from Utah and CNN introduced him, inaccurately, as a “left-wing activist” when he appeared on the network on Jan. 6. (He had sold footage to CNN and other news outlets that showed the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who died inside the Capitol.) The conspiracy site Gateway Pundit and Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, seized on Mr. Sullivan’s arrest to again blame antifa in posts that collected tens of thousands of likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter.
In reality, Mr. Sullivan was an attention seeker whose politics were fungible and seemingly shifted based on which protest he was attending at the time, according to activists from Seattle, Salt Lake City and Portland, Ore., who had issued warnings about him months before the Capitol riot.
On Jan. 8, the founder of Black Lives Matter Utah said that Mr. Sullivan “never has been and never will be” a member of the group. (“John is not affiliated with any organization,” Steven Kiersh, a lawyer for Mr. Sullivan, said on Friday.)
But the facts about Mr. Sullivan did not spread as far as the falsehoods.
To read these words is to leave with an entirely confused and false impression of John Sullivan. According to the NYT he’s not even appropriately categorized as ‘left-wing’, rather, he is referred to as having ‘fungible’ politics. BLM has said he was not a member of the organization, which is another media trick of merely asking a left-wing organization if a specific person was a member after the controversy, of course they are going to say that they are not a member. This kind of reporting constitutes the most superficial investigation possible, and works to validate the conclusion the NYT wants to come to.
What is the critical missing context that the Times avoids about John Sullivan?
Politifact has already ‘debunked’ that Sullivan is tied to Antifa, mainly relying on Sullivan’s own statement as their primary evidence.  Even Politifact, however, was forced to provide a little more context than the NYT for Sullivan’s “fungible” political beliefs:
Social media users have linked Sullivan to antifa and Black Lives Matter because of his past protest history and social media activity. His Twitter accounts have frequently used #antifa, #blm, and other anti-Trump or anti-police hashtags, PolitiFact found. The cover photo for one of his accounts advertised a Jan. 6 Insurgence USA event to “Kick These Fascists Out of DC.”
Sullivan has also been filmed using incendiary language in the past. At a small August rally in Washington, D.C., he described the need to “rip” Trump out of office, according to Fox News.
This reveals how incredibly bad the mainstream ‘fact check’ agencies are, that they would write this and rule Sullivan unconnected to Antifa while Sullivan himself is clearly holding himself out as Antifa when convenient, and denying it only when inconvenient. They are reporting from the point of view that no one lies to reporters, and that no one would ever dishonestly deny a connection to a group that was controversial.
The journalistic crime here is taking an obviously self-interested statement over the obvious facts as they exist. It’s using official statements to cover up the evidence readers ought to be provided to have context for the article. The New York Times tries to say that Sullivan’s views are nuanced and hey, he denies being Antifa, so clearly he’s not, without explaining to its readers what evidence does not comport with that silly and simplistic analysis.
Sullivan’s Twitter handle is @activistjohn and yet, the New York Times does not wonder, what issues is he an activist for? Why would someone protesting have a pre-arranged deal with CNN to sell footage, and just happen to be right next to the most controversial and consequential moment?  The only context the Times gives for Sullivan is in this oddly parenthesized sentence:
(He had sold footage to CNN and other news outlets that showed the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who died inside the Capitol.)
What’s interesting is that Sullivan is on video encouraging and inciting people to commit violence. 
Statements during the Capitol protest on video by John Sullivan:
- “we about to burn this shit down”
- “it’s time for a revolution”
- “We accomplished this shit. We did this together. Fuck yeah! We are all a part of this history”
- “Let’s burn this shit down.”
- “You guys are fucking savage. Let’s go!”
- “the people have spoken”
- “It’s a motherfucking revolution, let’s take this shit.”
No one contests that Sullivan said these things. Yet none of this instigation and incitement enters the NYT’s story.
Later, Sullivan poignantly told Rolling Stone: 
“I was worried about people recognizing me and thinking that I was Antifa or, like, BLM or whatever,” he says. “The entire time they’re yelling, ‘Fuck Antifa! Fuck, BLM.’ I’m not saying I’m Antifa, by any means. But I definitely believe Black Lives Matter.”
None of Sullivan’s later admission of deception enters the NYT’s story. Sullivan’s concern about being identified as Antifa or BLM is missing context from the NYT story.
So Sullivan admits that he lied to the other people during the Capitol siege. He did this, he says, in order to be a journalist. As a supposed journalist, he made inciting statements captured on his own video, that encouraged violence outside and inside the Capitol.
Then Sullivan says he was worried at the time as being recognized as someone with Antifa or with Black Lives Matter, and says that he was indeed a member of BLM.
The issue of Jacob Sullivan’s credibility is settled: he has none. And if Antifa is, indeed, a largely anonymous organization of left-wing individuals, Sullivan could very easily be one. He has certainly been in protests and walking aside Antifa members, one could reasonably assume he is in many of the same social circles as Antifa adherents.
And yet this person, who admits lying to the Capitol protesters, who is on video inciting violence and leading people into the Capitol, who was present when Ashli Babbitt was executed by Capitol Police, who is in the same circles as Antifa, is neither Antifa but is actually a quasi-journalist with ‘fungible’ beliefs.
Most people who entered the Capitol were not violent. Many were waived in by the Capitol police. The people who entered were a very small subset of those who were at the protest. Those who were violent were a small subset of those who entered the building. And those who ‘broke in’ and let the crowd enter, were an even smaller subgroup.
There are several who have been indicted and are accused of directing protesters, but notably their pro-Trump connections are missing from the stories.
One of the more infamous people directing protesters and inciting at the Capitol siege was Rachel Marie Powell – aka “Pink Hat Lady”.  Powell, in an interview with Ronan Farrow, claims she was non-political.  This is a person who broke windows and directed individuals at the protest and is not the pro-Trump zealot she’s made out to be.
Another oddity is the arrest of the son of a Brooklyn Judge, not exactly a region known as a hotbed of pro-Trump or conservative activity. 34 year old Aaron Mostofsky is seen in video and pictures of the Capitol siege, was arrested for his role in the Capitol siege, and yet is a registered Democrat. 
The Gateway Pundit made a list of 20 of the most suspicious individuals found in video.  Yet the priority for the FBI seems to be on arresting people who entered the building, and not exclusively on those who initiated the violence or directed the group. 
So when the media claims that those arrested are tied to Trump and are generally pro-Trump, is that a reflection of those who really instigated the violence? It would seem the prosecutions are purposefully designed to sweep up those who are the least responsible for the violence and damage to the Capitol.
Additional problems within the New York Times’ article, is the peculiar and language used in the article that indicates prejudice and bias, and that they are not objective and unbalanced.
The Times refers to the “the right-wing media machine” as though this is a real thing. The right may have a few outlets that it can broadcast alternative media from, but it is far from a machine. The needless invective against dissident media, especially given the relative silence from the Times as a variety of right-wing outlets are systemically deplatformed, bankrupted and silenced, is especially duplicitous.
The failure of the Times’ word choice is most notable when they refer to right-wing legislators and competing news coverage as synonymous with a viral infection.
“Mr. Gaetz, the pro-Trump congressman, was a super spreader of the Washington Times article…”
This allusion to the similar verbiage from the past year’s pandemic is no surprise, but its effect on the body politic is especially concerning. In that simple word choice, “super spreader”, the Times has equated conservative dissident viewpoints with the greatest global health crisis in a century. Again, it’s subtle but this story has passed through a series of standards reviews at the Times, they find it acceptable to refer to their political opponents as a blight, a contagious disease on the public’s mind. It’s a common tactic of political ideologues seeking to delegitimize dissent, and does not belong in a newspaper pretending to be objective or impartial.
The Times then substitutes its opinion as fact, by saying that there is no evidence of Antifa connections, when they claim there is no possible way any person could be connected to an non-organization organization.
Unlike those reports, the antifa narrative had a clear ideological component. The political leanings of the rioters are not in question. Court filings in many of the criminal cases stemming from the attack quote pro-Trump rioters explicitly denying that antifa was involved and instead emphasizing their own participation, portraying it as an act of patriotism. To date, there is no evidence in case filings that any individual associated with antifa has been charged.
Is Antifa a group or isn’t it? Does it have members or does it not? If it does have members, and they were a part of the Capitol siege, how would you know and how would you be able to determine if they were members? The FBI claims, under oath to Congress, that they do not have members, so how can you rule out those who have been arrested? Can members of Antifa not be pro-Trump? What if every single person arrested was sympathetic to Antifa, how would the NYT be able to say otherwise?
This news piece is complete trash. It’s filled with internal contradictions, double-speak, and clear purposeful omissions.
Our Rating: Journalistic Malpractice. Even Salon.com is ashamed.
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