The Washington Post covered the violent assault against a conservative activist at UC Berkeley nearly one week after the story first broke, and with a bizarre narrative spin.
The violent attack against conservative activist Hayden Williams on UC Berkeley’s campus last week got virtually no attention from the establishment media, but when the Washington Post finally decided to report on the incident, nearly one week after the story first broke, the coverage came with an interesting spin.
The video of the assault — which occurred on Tuesday of last week — was exposed to the public in a tweet by Turning Point USA founder and executive director Charlie Kirk two days later, on Thursday. The video shows Williams being punched in the face in an apparent politically-motivated attack.
LEFTIST VIOLENCE ON CAMPUS
While recruiting for our @TPUSA group at UC Berkeley a leftist thug comes & assaults our activists punching him in the face & hitting him repeatedly
Imagine if the attacker was wearing MAGA hat, would be national news!
This is the violent left!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 21, 2019
The violent incident did not garner much attention from mainstream media over the course of the week — especially when compared to the establishment media’s reaction to the now-infamous Jussie Smollett story — until the Post finally broke its silence to report on the UC Berkeley incident for the first time on Wednesday.
In doing so, the publication added a strange narrative, prioritizing the reactions of conservatives as an important focus of the story.
A conservative activist was punched in the face at UC Berkeley. The response enraged the right. https://t.co/1jZGO1HPMj
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 27, 2019
“A conservative activist was punched in the face at UC Berkeley. The response enraged the right.” reads the headline for the WaPo piece by author Katie Mettler.
The body of the story opens with a few sentences describing what had happened before delving into the reactions of conservatives, namely Charlie Kirk, Donald Trump Jr., and conservative UC Berkeley student Bradley Devlin.
“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,” writes Mettler.
The piece then goes on to quote conservatives’ reactions, followed by the responses of a UC Berkeley spokesperson.
WaPo's first piece on the conservative punched in the face at UC Berkeley frames it around the "enraged" right and comes A WEEK AFTER THE ATTACK. Smh 🙃 pic.twitter.com/DpRo0SQjq1
— Rob Shimshock (@ShimshockAndAwe) February 27, 2019
Users on Twitter reacted critically to the piece, offering their own sentiments in the comments thread underneath WaPo‘s tweet.
Here are just a few of the reactions below:
Clearly, the bad guys here are the right wing for their disappointment with the way it was handled and covered by the press.
— Christopher R Taylor (@KestrelArts) February 27, 2019
The headline should be “A conservative activist was punched in the face at UC Berkeley. The response enraged good people.” If that isn’t accurate, we’re farther down a dark path than I thought.
— Dan DeLamater (@DanDeLamater) February 27, 2019
It should enrage anyone who’s against random acts of violence
— working title (@FabsDee) February 27, 2019
How do you actually go to print with this headline?
— Laura Lebaudy (@llebaudy) February 27, 2019