Pinkerton Guard Charged In Shooting Wingnuts Tried To Pin On Anarchists. Did We Time Travel?
I don't exactly know how it happened, but we all woke up this morning to a story about a Pinkerton detective, America First-ers and a crime wrongly being blamed on anarchists and yet somehow it is not 100 years ago and I am not currently in a speakeasy singing "10 Cents A Dance."
Did I blink in front of a weeping angel?
Explaining Doctor Who GIF by BBC America Giphy
Did we become unstuck in time? Is everything just folding on into itself? Is it that I drank a couple Aviation cocktails last night and now we're all doing that TV trope where we're all in the past, usually in some film noir kind of situation, but we're all also still ourselves? Or are conservatives just super bad at coming up with new material? It is hard to tell.
This weekend in Denver, a protester at a far-right rally was shot and killed after pepper spraying a Pinkerton security guard who was hired by local television station 9News. Police have been very, very clear that the shooter, named as 30-year-old Matt Doloff had no connection to antifascist activists — but, naturally, conservatives have been screaming from the rooftops that dude was basically Sacco and/or Vanzetti and/or Leon Czolgosz. Or they would if they knew who any of those people were.
Update: Further investigation has determined the suspect is a private security guard with no affiliation with Antif… https://t.co/GR2xTquhNe— Denver Police Dept. (@Denver Police Dept.)1602379318.0
And yes, that would be the very same Pinkerton agency you're thinking of.
The shooting occurred as dueling protests — a far-right "Patriot Rally" and a counter protest, the Antifa-BLM Soup Drive — were petering out and people were leaving. According to Police Chief Joe Montoya, there was a verbal altercation and then shots were fired. There is video of the Trump supporter spraying the shooter with pepper spray, and two guns were found at the scene.
The private security guard in custody was contracted through Pinkerton by 9NEWS. It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests.
DPD originally took two people into custody and later found the second individual, a 9NEWS producer who works in the investigative unit, was not involved in the incident. The producer is no longer in police custody and is not a suspect.
Before practically anything was known about the shootings, right-wing asshats such as Ian Miles Cheong and Andy Ngo started screaming and crying that the shooter was an antifa activist. Never mind the fact that we all know full well that if the shooter were a police officer and the victim were a black man — likely armed and spraying them with pepper spray — they would be the first ones claiming that the victim deserved what they got.
You might think that after the police came out and said "we have the guy in custody, he's not an antifascist activist," the chorus of alt-right creeps trying to blame this on antifa would walk their shit back. They are not doing that. They are now claiming that he was an antifa activist who joined up with the Pinkertons, I guess for the purpose of killing a "patriot."
As we all know, lefties are notoriously fond of the Pinkertons, an agency most famous for labor spying, violent strike breaking, killing striking workers and being professional scabs. Then again, that's the kind of American history conservatives tend to frown upon anyone learning about.
A quick sweep of Dolloff's Facebook shows that he was not particularly political, certainly not to the degree that one would expect from an antifascist activist. There was one pro-Bernie Sanders thing from all the way back in 2016, but also, in 2018, an RIP Charles Krauthammer post. Nearly everything on his page was either about his music or his farming or his trip to Disney. Not exactly radical material.
His page is also currently filled with some extremely disturbing racist comments from "patriots," so that's charming.
I cannot overstate how desperate these people are to "prove" that antifa activists are scary and violent and murdery, because they want to be able to go "BUT BOTH SIDES!" every time a bunch of right-wing extremists get arrested for trying to kidnap the Governor of Michigan..
We can be sure that any time there is an incident like the one that happened last week, they will be chomping at the bit looking for something, anything to be able to pin on the Left. They cannot stand the fact that even the FBI says that rightwing extremism is more of a problem, domestic-terrorism-wise, than antifa activists. They want very desperately for everyone to be very scared of antifa activists and to see the right-wing extremists as simple patriots who just really love their country. They want to be seen as the good guys and they are incredibly, dangerously frustrated that they are not.
Alas, if they read enough about history to know when they are blatantly repeating themselves, they'd know — we've seen this movie before and they don't ever get to be the good guys.
Anyway, this is now your open thread. Enjoy!
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse