Getting the correct story is hard

Following the Charlottesville Unite the Right Protest, Trump was criticized for not sufficiently condemning ‘hate groups’ such as the KKK and Neo Nazis.

Bret Stephens of the NYTs in a column Trump, Obama and the Politics of Evasion ended by saying:

None of this history excuses Trump’s stubborn reluctance, rectified far-too belatedly on Monday, to call out the K.K.K. and neo-Nazis by name. On the contrary, it indicts him all the more, since it’s precisely the sort of bizarre and blatant evasiveness he used to denounce in his predecessor.


But it should also be a reminder that when it comes to looking the other way in the face of extremism and violence, failing to call evil groups by their correct names and providing economic alibis for moral depravity, liberals have their own accounts to settle. That may not be the most obvious lesson from Charlottesville, but it’s one that still needs to be learned.

Surely there were a lot of KKK there:

Show of force: Police tear gas protesters after KKK leaves rally

KK Holds Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia

Police pepper spray, arrest activists as KKK rally meets rival protest in Charlottesville (VIDEOS)

And some pictures:

And I’m sure many have seen this now-famous picture of the officer and the KKK during Charlottesville: The Story Behind the Viral Photo of the Officer and the KKK

Except there is just one problem…that was the July 8th Charlottesville KKK rally, not the August 12th Unite the Right one. All of these pundits, including Bret Stephens, got the two protests confused. There were no Klansmen or NSM (National Social Movement, a Neo Nazi group) at Unite the Right, so Trump was expected to repudiate something that apparently wasn’t in any way involved? James Fields was not affiliated with NSM or the Klan either. It just goes to show how hard it is getting the correct story, especially when reporters have an implicit/subconscious bias to want to believe certain things to be true (such as the KKK being a dominant force in politics, when in reality very few Klansman exist).