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Ignoring the Costs of the Rioting

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Chinese Communist coronavirus isn’t the only epidemic in the land. 

America’s news media are suffering mass amnesia, stuffing down a memory hole the extent of destruction from the ongoing Black Lives Matter/Antifa race riots.


Apart from lots of happy stories depicting the whole country kneeling to the BLM’s anti-white, Marxist demands, you won’t see much about the real costs.    

It’s gotten so bad that Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, unleashed an eight-minute video during a House committee that was grilling Attorney General William Barr on July 28. 

The video begins with a mashup of a dozen or so reporters and politicians repeating the phrase “peaceful protests” or “peaceful protesters” followed by riot footage. The next portion features the widow of slain St. Louis retired police captain David Dorn, a father of five who was killed while responding to an alarm at a pawnshop. As she speaks, scenes of mob violence unfold.  

The effect is devastating.  Which is why the video has come under attack.  CNN’s Jake Tapper drew some blood, showing that two CNN reporters who use the phrase “peaceful protests” are taken out of context.  He’s right.  Both reporters note that while the daytime protests they were covering were peaceful, they were followed by nighttime violence.  That part was omitted. Welcome to what happens to conservatives when they’re interviewed by Mr. Tapper’s network. 

But two wrongs don’t make a right, and we’ll give you this one, Jake. You had the guts to report how similar editing created the colossal lie that President Trump praised white supremacists in Charlottesville even though he unequivocally condemned them.   


However, Mr. Tapper does not dent the Jordan video’s powerful message.  Extreme media bias pervades riot coverage and political stories.  Just Google “Trump.”  The media are really good at covering up what they don’t want known.  They’ve sugar-coated abortion for decades while serving up the party line about “choice.”  They’ve played down horrific black-on-black urban violence, focusing instead on a handful of police brutality cases. They’re doing the same with the current riots.

“If it bleeds, it leads” isn’t in force now.  If Americans actually saw the extent of lawlessness in Democrat-run cities, they might realize who’s responsible. 

Given the Democrats’ wink and a nod to the rioters while defunding police, it’s not a reach to describe BLM/antifa as the militant wing of the Democrat Party.   Those are not Young Republicans out smashing windows, looting stores, burning buildings, beating up people and overturning police cars.  

I’ve searched in vain for news about the riots’ overall cost.  The media seem profoundly incurious.  How many people have been killed? How many police officers have been injured or died? How many businesses have been destroyed? How much will it cost to fix everything that’s been broken?

There’s anecdotal evidence. Between May 25 and June 8, at least 17 people were killed in what the media call “unrest.”  More than 700 law enforcers were injured by early June. 


Property damage has run into the billions, and we’re not done yet. Portland continues to simmer, and cities explode nightly, like Richmond this past week. 

Looters have struck at least 250 CVS pharmacies and 350 Walgreens nationwide, according to an insurance website.  Crime is out of control in several major cities, with Chicago enduring double-digit murder numbers on weekends.  In Los Angeles, Democrats plan to cut the police budget by more than $100 million despite homicides rising by 250 percent in early June. 

Since we don’t have reliable, comprehensive data, let’s go to the nation’s largest city for a snapshot. 

New York Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio has cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s FY 2021 budget and disbanded the 600-member plainclothes police unit, even though between June 1 and June 30, shootings increased by 130% over June 2019.   Murders rose by more than 30 percent, burglaries increased by 118 percent and auto thefts rose by 52 percent. 

As for New York’s finest – you know, the guys in blue who ran into the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks, most of whom never came out – here are some of their costs.

Since May 28, “a total of 458 officers of all ranks have been injured,” according to spokesperson Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell.  “Seven officers were admitted to the hospital, 303 were treated and released from the hospital, five were treated by EMS and 150 refused medical attention. Forty-seven officers remain out sick due to their injuries.”


From May 28 to July 22, “303 NYPD vehicles have been vandalized during the protests,” she reported in an email, adding that, “14 vehicles were a total loss due to arson and condemned.”  

The damage – so far – is estimated at $996,700.   That’s just for the department.

“The NYPD has seen a surge in the number of officers filing for retirement,” said Sgt. O’Donnell.  

Well, why not? When you work for a mayor who hates your guts and the media treat you as the bad guys, why risk your life? 

As for the rest of us, just because the media have amnesia, we shouldn’t forget the real costs of the Democrats’ experiment in street justice. 

Or the ongoing sacrifices of the thin blue line. 

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