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Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Fake News: WND's Antifa Fearmongering Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As its weird, densely written e-book demonstrated, WorldNetDaily is intent on portraying diverse left-wing "antifa" activists as unified, violent Trump-haters. A Nov. 4 anti-Trump rally by various liberal-leaning groups gave WND an opportunity to push that meme anew.

An anonymously written Oct. 27 article warned:

Antifa activists around the country are declaring something huge is going to begin on Nov. 4. There are wild rumors of revolution and civil war. But what looks more likely is something along the lines of Occupy Wall Street on a national scale.

And while violence is not inevitable, the inherently violent nature of antifa suggests scattered violence is very likely.

Strangely, though, the article strayed from fearmongering and right-wing orthodoxy enough to  impart a couple actual facts, such as admitting that "One of the leading misconceptions about antifa among many conservatives is the idea 'antifa' constitutes a single grouping or organization" or "funded by George Soros."

Another anonymously written Nov. 2 article declared that antifa are "masked left-wing extremists" just like the ones in Europe and claimed:

Antifa are attempting to rise to the prominence their counterparts have in Europe on Nov. 4, with demonstrations nationwide designed to “drive” the Trump administration out of power. The umbrella group Refuse Fascism, which is hosting the protests, is a front group for the Revolutionary Communist Party. Though the mainstream media is largely silent about the nature of the group behind the event, the Revolutionary Communist Party is an openly anti-American organization that has openly called for the overthrow of the U.S. government.

Leo Hohmann tried to up the ante in a Nov. 3 article -- carrying the speculative headline "Will antifa spark civil war this weekend in America?" -- portraying the group leading the rally, Refuse Fascism, as secretly violent, or something:

The planning has been going on since at least August, and the chatter on social media would indicate that antifa, the loosely connected group of anarchists, communists and other splinter groups angry at the outcome of last year’s presidential election, has something big planned for Saturday, Nov. 4.

Depending on where you choose to get your information, one can find descriptions for what is planned that vary from an attempt to spark civil war, to a massive outbreak of peaceful protests filled with well-behaved hippies holding signs signifying their common hatred of America’s 45th president. They will “drive him out,” they say, and he “must go,” because they have “had enough” and “this nightmare must end.”

[...]

So what does the organizer itself say about how protesters should conduct themselves?

We searched their website and while we could find no outright calls for violence. But it seems fair to point out that the group makes no concerted effort on its website to emphasis peaceful rallies. In the absence of an explicit call for peaceful marches, is it not reasonable to assume that some people could interpret phrases like “drive them out of power” as a call to violence?

The group’s Nov. 4 protest page explaining its “methods” says nothing about peace or striving to remain peaceful.

[...]

Again, no detailed explanation of what this call to action requires and no explicit declaration that violence will not be tolerated.

If such a declaration is somewhere, hiding in small print, we could not find it, and that was after spending a good amount of time on the website. We did find lots of angry words meant to stir up hatred, spark division, and call for some vague “action.”

Angry words meant to stir up hatred and spark division? Are we sure Hohmann isn't talking about website of his employer?

Another Nov. 3 article attacked the New York Times for running a full-page ad from Refuse Fascism, continuing to insist that it's a "communist front group," adding, "The black-clad, left-wing terrorist group known as 'antifa' is likely to be a major force at the protests."

Finally, the day of the rally came, and ... nothing happened. As Right Wing Watch noted, there was none of the violence WND and other fearmongering right-wingers predicted. That wasn't worth any WND reporter's time, though; instead, it stole an article from the New York Daily News noting the smallish crowd and lack of violence, and ran a poll question asking, "Why did antifa's civil war flop?" It didn't mention that the only people calling the protest a "civil war" was right-wingers like WND -- or that its own coverage of the rally proved to be fake news.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:32 PM EST

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