Andy Ngo is a conservative journalist and editor at the online magazine Quillette who, in addition to his own independent reportage, has written for publications like National Review, RealClearPolitics and The Wall Street Journal.
He rose to prominence in part because he chronicled the ongoing violence in the city of Portland, Oregon, between antifa groups and right-wing organizations.
That violence has spiraled out of control in the past year or so, leading to plenty of rebarbative, bloody video clips of the two groups fighting each other and a police department that has seemed especially hesitant to intervene.
On Saturday, another clash between left- and right-wing protesters in the Oregon metropolis again turned violent. This time, one of the targets was Ngo.
A Twitter post by Jim Ryan of The Oregonian showed the journalist being attacked.
“First skirmish I’ve seen. Didn’t see how this started, but @MrAndyNgo got roughed up,” Ryan tweeted. (WARNING: The next few tweets contain graphic images and rough language.)
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 29, 2019
The video shows Ngo being attacked and sprayed with unknown substances as onlookers cheer.
Ngo himself posted video shortly after the encounter.
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2019
“I just got beat up by the crowd — no police at all — in the middle of the street,” Ngo says in the video, adding he was hit in the head “multiple times.”
He would also tweet pictures of himself in the emergency room.
In the ER. pic.twitter.com/spe5N4nzVl
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2019
From the looks of things, they were also attacking others — including Ngo — with this brew of nauseants. I don’t see any police around and Ngo didn’t seem to notice any, either, even though Portland police declared the protests “civil disturbance and unlawful assembly.”
Three individuals were arrested, according to Fox News: “Gage Halupowski, 23, who was charged with multiple counts of assault, including on a public safety officer; James K. Stocks, 21, who was charged with harassment; and Maria C. Dehart, 23, who was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment.”
It’s unclear whether those arrested were involved in the assault on Ngo.
As I’ve noted earlier, street violence in Portland isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s also not entirely the province of antifa or left-leaning groups.
However, what happened Saturday has clearly been one of the most egregious examples of what’s been happening for quite some time now — and it’s something that made the media finally pay notice to it.
CNN’s Brian Stelter, noting that it “appears to be antifa protesters” who attacked Ngo, decried what happened.
“He’s been out there in the past, he has been covering protests in Portland for quite some time. His critics say he’s there to cause trouble, but that’s unacceptable,” Stelter said.
“The idea that he would be attacked, that he would be bloodied in that way — unacceptable, period. And it’s important that everyone make that clear, even left-wing critics who don’t like him, and things like that.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 30, 2019
Stelter is right, of course — even Ngo’s critics and the media ought to agree this was reprehensible intimidation. Yet, as evinced by an Associated Press story posted by a noted fact-checking service that leans to the left, some couldn’t even agree on what Ngo actually was or whether he was attacked:
Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo), who describes himself as an editor at the conservative website @Quillette and says he is “hated by antifa,” said he was attacked by anti-fascist protesters and had to be taken to the hospital to treat injuries to his face and head. https://t.co/AEj0YhDo0y
— snopes.com (@snopes) June 30, 2019
Every hedge here is telling.
Ngo has an “author” page at the Quillette website, so his affiliation with the publication isn’t really in doubt. Finding stuff like this out, I would think, is what reporters at the Associated Press are paid for. The fact that the story was posted this way a “fact-checking” website just makes that more ironic.
As for whether he “said he was attacked,” the video makes that pretty clear.
As for whether Ngo was treated at the emergency room or not, this was something that was reported on by publications like the Washington Examiner, which noted that Ngo’s lawyer said Ngo had been admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay.
And, as for whether he’s “hated by antifa” — well, one look at what happened Saturday and it becomes clear that some groups certainly loathe him. Given that he’s reported extensively on antifa and groups affiliated with the ideology seem to be responsible for much of the violence Saturday, I’m curious why this quote of Ngo’s (from his Twitter profile, if you’re wondering) was included.
Politically motivated street violence in Portland isn’t specifically a left- or right-wing phenomenon. This attack — and much of what happened Saturday — seems to be entirely on antifa, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen groups affiliated with the movement behave this way.
It’s also worth pointing out that the decision not to enforce the law or to give these so-called protesters space to break it seems to be on a city not particularly known for electing a whole lot of conservative politicians.
This is far from the first time where we’ve seen a law enforcement vacuum in Portland. Perhaps with the attention this attack drew, it will be the last.
I wouldn’t get my hopes up, however.
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