Twitter users scorched Newsweek after it fact-checked Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for condemning “Antifa riots.”
An episode of The View posted Monday featured Cruz debating The View’s hosts on the existence of left-wing political violence. After Cruz called out the “Antifa riots” from 2020, host Whoopi Goldberg replied “I don’t know what an Antifa riot is.”
While the piece acknowledged that over a thousand businesses were damaged in Minneapolis and there were “reports of fires after Floyd protests” in places such as Washington D.C., St. Louis, Seattle, and more, it took issue with the senator’s wording.
“While many businesses were damaged or destroyed as a result of arson, Cruz’s characterization that ‘cities’ burned for a year is significantly stretching the truth, even if taken figuratively,” the fact-check wrote.
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The piece objected that while there were buildings damaged by fire, “this did not carry on throughout the year.” It followed by warning that while some protests lasted throughout the year, not all were characterized by arson.
“While protests did continue in Portland, Oregon for nearly a year, according to media reports, these were not all characterized by arson,” they wrote.
After initially saying that “Antifa is not a formalized group or association” in the piece, the fact-check added that “labeling the protests as ‘Antifa riots’ is misleading too as there is no organization or group known as such.”
However, Newsweek reported on Antifa groups or “Antifa cells” in the past. A story from spring 2021 explained that “Newsweek spoke with members of three Antifa chapters—one in Atlanta, Georgia; one in Corvallis, Oregon; and one in Portland.”
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Newsweek writer Tom Norton and Newsweek’s Fact Check team’s apparent claim that “there is no organization or group” known as Antifa was met with widespread derision on Twitter.
Manhattan Institute senior fellow Chris Rufo, who popularized the national concern over critical race theory, slammed Newsweek in a tweet for being pedantic and partisan.
“Newsweek claims that Antifa didn’t burn down cities in 2020, because not all cities burned down and Antifa doesn’t exist,” he wrote. “Remember: fact-checking is a scheme to launder left-wing messaging through a pseudo-scientific process and pressure tech firms to censor conservatives.”
Rufo hammered home that the existence of Antifa groups, like critical race theory, is one of many issues, another major issue which has been strategically denied or downplayed by the American left.
“They really tried to push all of these obvious lies as ‘facts: –Antifa doesn’t exist. –Critical race theory isn’t in schools. –Vaccinated people can’t get COVID. –Puberty blockers are completely reversible. –Doctors aren’t performing radical gender surgeries on minors,” he tweeted.
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Cruz’s special advisor for communications, Steve Guest, called out Newsweek and the fact-check’s writer for contradicting the outlet’s own past reporting that Antifa groups exist.
“According to Newsweek, in November 2020, Antifa is real. But I’m October 2022 after @tedcruz blasts Antifa for burning cities, Newsweek has Antifa doesn’t exist,” he wrote. “@tomsnorton you’re not a journalist.”
He slammed multiple news organizations as well for downplaying riots.
“CNN: ‘Fiery but mostly peaceful protests.’ MSNBC: ‘It is not generally speaking unruly but fires have been started.’ Newsweek: Hold my beer,” he tweeted.
After Ted Cruz himself responded to the fact-check with laughing emojis.