The blunder is significant because it forces the "fake media" to become less fake. A pillar of the prestige press is to categorically deny any legitimacy, potency, urgency, effectiveness to popular leftist movements, all while inflating rightist power and popularity. To go along with this is the twin pillar of inflating any leftist property damage or scuffles with police during protests (see the Seattle WTO, Occupy Wall Street, etc.) as threats to the foundation of the state.
With Trump's assertion of equivalence between left and right at Charlottesville, the press has begun to debunk one of the great shibboleths of mainstream political discourse. For example, there is Linda Qiu's "Trump Asks, ‘What About the Alt-Left?’ Here’s an Answer":
[T]here is one stark difference between the violence on the two sides: The police said that James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio drove his car into a crowd and killed at least one person, Heather Heyer. Mr. Fields was charged with second-degree murder.
Comparing Antifa to Mr. Fields’s act is like “comparing a propeller plane to a C-130 transport,” said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
“Using the fact that some counterprotesters were, in fact, violent, creates a structural and moral false equivalency that is seriously undermining the legitimacy of this president,” Professor Levin said.
Antifa and black block — the far left of today — engaging in street brawls and property damage, while reprehensible, is “not domestic terrorism,” said J. J. MacNab, a fellow in the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. Similar episodes of extreme violence certainly exist on the left: the recent congressional baseball shooting in Virginia, or the bombing of the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters.
But overall, far-right extremist plots have been far more deadly than far-left plots (and Islamist plots eclipsed both) in the past 25 years, according to a breakdown of two terrorism databases by Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute.
White nationalists; militia movements; anti-Muslim attackers; I.R.S. building and abortion clinic bombers; and other right-wing groups were responsible for 12 times as many fatalities and 36 times as many injuries as communists; socialists; animal rights and environmental activists; anti-white- and Black Lives Matter-inspired attackers; and other left-wing groups.
Of the nearly 1,500 individuals in a University of Maryland study of radicalization from 1948 to 2013, 43 percent espoused far-right ideologies, compared to 21 percent for the far left. Far-right individuals were more likely to commit violence against people, while those on the far left were more likely to commit property damage.True, it is just one story. But I can't recall having seen anything like it in the pages of The New York Times. It is a good sign, and a bad one for Trump.