One week after the incident made national headlines, the Washington Post at last got up to speed and covered the caught-on-video face punch against a conservative activist at the University of California, Berkeley, and emphasized how the incident "enraged the right," Fox News said.
What's the background?
Hayden Williams — a field representative for the Leadership Institute, which trains conservative activists — was helping conservative student group Turning Point USA recruit members at UC Berkeley on the afternoon of Feb. 19.
Hayden Williams, post-punchImage source: Fox News video screenshot
Williams told Fox News' Sean Hannity that some Berkeley students got angry at Turning Point USA's recruitment table sign that read, "Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims." The network added that the group also had a sign that read, "This is MAGA Country" — a reference to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
The signs also referred to the controversy surrounding "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who was arrested last week and accused by Chicago police of staging a fake hate crime against him — at the hands of Trump supporters — to advance his career.
Williams told Hannity the man who punched him claimed Williams and Turning Point were promoting violence — and then the culprit got violent himself, even threatening to "shoot" him, according to the video of the incident.
Here's the clip. ( Content warning: language):
What did the Post have to say?
Fox News noted that the Post's story about the incident was accompanied by the headline, "A conservative activist was punched in the face at UC Berkeley. The response enraged the right."
A search on the Post's website for Williams' name and "Berkeley" didn't reveal mentions of the attack before the paper's Wednesday story, the cable network said.
The outcry from conservatives was highlighted in the story's third paragraph, Fox News said.
"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," the story said, according to the cable network.
The Post didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, Fox News said.
How did others react to the Post's piece?
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor was incredulous at the Post's "enraged the right" angle and the tardiness of its coverage.
"This is incredible," Gainor told Fox News. "The left-wing Washington Post ignores a hate crime against a young conservative for eight days. Then when it finally chimes in, it's with the latest version of conservatives pounce. Instead of reporting the news, the Post notes how conservatives are upset and that, 'The response enraged the right.'"
Gainor also asked the cable network, "How dare right-wingers be upset that someone got attacked on a college campus because of his politics and the major media all-but ignored it? Especially after turning repeated hate hoaxes into national news stories – like Jussie Smollett. It's also worth noting that the Post is being sued for $250 million for how awfully it covered the Covington hoax."
RebelTV editor Rob Shimshock similarly noted, "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."
Other Twitter reactions:
- "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."
- "Put this in the 'Republicans pounce!' hall of fame."
- "Thank heavens no one smirked, or you'd have been all over it."
- "Why didn't it enrage the left? I thought violence was wrong."
- "That the Washington Post thinks only Republicans care about political violence should tell you all you need to know about both WaPo and Democrats."
- "It should enrage anyone who's against random acts of violence."
- "And you wonder why the media has no credibility."
What's the latest in the case?
UC Berkeley police identified a suspect Friday — noting the unnamed individual isn't a student or affiliated with the university — and then announced Tuesday they're seeking a felony warrant against him.
Image source: UC Berkeley police
The school said campus police will "immediately" pursue the suspect's arrest if the Alameda County District Attorney issues the warrant.