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Media’s failure to report violent protests may get Trump reelected | READER COMMENTARY

Portland police take control of the streets after making arrests on the scene of the nightly protests at a Portland police precinct on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020 in Portland, Ore. President Donald Trump and the city's mayor have argued publicly over who was to blame for the violence. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
Portland police take control of the streets after making arrests on the scene of the nightly protests at a Portland police precinct on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020 in Portland, Ore. President Donald Trump and the city's mayor have argued publicly over who was to blame for the violence. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein) (Paula Bronstein/AP)

To read David Zurawik’s recent column in The Baltimore Sun, you’d never know that some protests since the death of George Floyd have turned violent with widespread property damage and one killing (”Trump controls media focus while further dividing us on law and order,” Sept. 2).

How bad is the violence problem? We can debate that, but a number of observers, including anti-Trump conservatives and even some liberals (though not as many as this old liberal would like), have made a sobering case that the media, consciously or not, have been soft-pedaling it or ignoring it altogether. If President Donald Trump uses the violence to help win a second term, the media will bear part of the blame.

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What worries me sick is that President Trump’s banana-republic practices — nepotism, self-dealing, race-, religion- and ethnicity-baiting, encouraging violence without even the wink and nod he used four years ago, his contempt for knowledge, institutions, norms and even laws and truth, and perhaps worst, his wholesale mainstreaming of conspiracy theories — will do my country more long-term harm than any of his policies do short-term good. But what also worries me sick is the self-defeating rage and hysteria into which he’s baited the opposition.

The problem in the Democratic Party, my party, isn’t Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. It’s what my British writer friend Adèle Geras, whose opinions have been left-of-center for a long time, calls “the meshuggeneh left.” That left is supplying too much of the party’s energy, as anyone can see who watches its “progressive” wing preach louder and louder to the converted. Adele despises Donald Trump, as I do, but she wrote me recently that if she were a betting woman, she’d bet on his winning.

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Only a fool or a cynic (or a Fox News commentator, but I repeat myself) would try to minimize or deny the nightmares in Black America’s historical memory. But keeping silent about the protests’ excesses is a recipe for disaster.

Jeffrey M. Landaw, Pikesville

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