This is an article from Quartz, a left-leaning publication, that describes the general set of narratives that have developed in alt-right circles concerning what actually happened in Charlottesville. While this article is obviously meant as as a “look at how these assholes are trying to spin things” expose, the author makes no effort to refute the claims made by the alt-right (some of which I would agree with and some I wouldn’t). Instead, the author simply links to the article on Buzzfeed I posted today, along with a feature from CNN, as supposed evidence of “the real story.” As I have said before, the media coverage of Charlottesville some of the sloppiest I have ever seen.
By Gwynn Guilford
The mainstream media account of the Unite the Right rally and the alt-narrative ultimately diverge regarding the weekend’s violence: Who started it, what kind occurred, who let it happen. Both tell roughly similar stories, with the perpetrator roles inverted. According to alt-right commentators, the white nationalist protesters were thrust defenseless into crowds of armed thugs, beaten, and forced to defend themselves to the extent that one of their ranks killed in self-defense.
This isn’t surprising. The theme of Unite the Right and the surrounding commentary wasn’t the superiority of whites as much as it was their victimhood. While some Unite the Right attendees certainly came armed to the teeth, many others stood just as vigilantly clutching their smartphones and selfie sticks, as if poised to capture leftist evils rained upon them.
This matters because the alt-right audience isn’t exactly tiny—Breitbart News, the most popular site of its stripe, clocked 11 million unique visitors in May, after peaking at around 45 million in 2016. Nor is it disempowered: after all, the man the alt-right sees at its most prominent ally occupies the Oval Office. But perhaps because the alt-right (a term that encompasses those with anti-establishment views to racist extremists) readership is still small compared to more mainstream outlets—CNN’s monthly traffic exceeds 100 million—writers have fostered a David-versus-Goliath solidarity with readers around a shared conviction that politicians and the mainstream media aim to take power and rights away from whites.