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Former NYT columnist, potential Oregon gubernatorial candidate Nicholas Kristof, once downplayed the violence in Portland


The outgoing New York Times columnist reflecting on an Oregon gubernatorial race once suggested that the violence that plagued Portland does not exist.

Nicholas Kristof announced Thursday that he is parting ways with the Gray Lady after 37 years to explore a possible candidacy for governor in his home state.

“You all know how much I love Oregon and how deeply I have been affected by the suffering of old friends there. So I reluctantly concluded that I should try not just to expose the issues. , but also to see if I can resolve them directly, ”Kristof said in a statement.

LIBERAL CHRONOMETER NICHOLAS KRISTOF LEAVES NEW YORK AFTER 37 YEARS, EXPLORES RACE FOR GOVERNOR OF OREGON

However, the issues that plagued Oregon’s largest city don’t seem to worry the state’s next potential governor much.

In July 2020, Kristof wrote a column titled “Help Me Find Trump’s ‘Anarchists’ in Portland,” claiming that President Trump’s rhetoric citing the violence in Portland was a “political narrative” and “so there is reality”.

“I’ve been on the front lines of the protests here, looking for the ‘radical left anarchists’ who President Trump says are on the streets of Portland every night,” Kristof began. “I thought I had found one: a man who jumped into the fray for weeks and was shot four times with impact munitions, but kept coming back. I thought he must be a mad anarchist. But no, it turned out to be Dr. Bryan Wolf, a radiologist who wears his white doctor’s vest and carries a sign with a red cross and the words “Humanitarian Aid.” He begs the federal forces not to shoot or gas the demonstrators. ”

“OK, I’ll admit: of course there are anarchists and anti-fa activists in the Portland protests, just like there are radiologists and electricians, lawyers and mechanics. The report on the ground here and all. Single narrative seems too simplistic. The protesters are not They are not all peaceful and neither are they violent. It is a complicated weaving, which differs depending on the time of day, “Kristof wrote later.

NEW YORK TIMES LIBERAL CHRONICLE NICHOLAS KRISTOF RESPONDS TO RACE FOR GOVERNOR OF OREGON

The liberal columnist admitted that “some protesters started shooting fireworks or lighting small trash fires” after 11 p.m. but insisted “they were not trying to set the palace on fire. federal justice “.

He took a hit at Trump’s threat to deploy federal forces to quell violence, writing: “There are provocateurs on the streets and in the White House.”

“We see tales of dueling. One is that of Trump, and he portrays Portland and other cities with protests against police brutality as teetering on the abyss and requiring his Lincolnesque hand to hold America together. The other one is – well, do we have to call it reality? ” Kristof suggested. “Yes, there is violence and vandalism, as well as opportunistic looting, and it will be a challenge to deal with it, but local authorities are much better placed to do it than the White House.”

Liberal columnist Nicholas Kristof called his stint with the New York Times “the turn of a lifetime.” (Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)
(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

Kristof made it clear that he was “against violent attacks on officers” but accused Trump of “sowing violence” in cities like Seattle and Oakland.

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“This is what it is: politics. The big threat in Portland and across America is not anarchists but Covid-19, so Trump welcomes street clashes to change the subject. ‘he genuinely cared about the degradation of the Portland Federal Courthouse, he would remove the graffiti; instead, he left it there for photo ops. It was the protesters, not the federal authorities, who were deploying teams every night in Portland to clean up the area around the courthouse, ”Kristof wrote.“ It must also be said that while there is violence on both sides, which I have seen with my own eyes, it is that the most violent behavior comes predominantly from federal agents, and indeed the most serious injuries were sustained by the demonstrators. Your federal taxes paid for shooting a man in the face with “less lethal” ammunition – an unprovoked assault that left him with a fractured skull and possible brain damage. “

“If you want to call on ‘rioters’ or ‘anarchists’ who are trying to create an uproar in Portland on one side, it’s the uninvited Feds who qualify,” added Kristof.