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Andy Ngo

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Andy Ngô
Andy Ngo by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Ngo in 2019
Born
Andy Cuong Ngo

1986/1987 (age 33–34)[1]
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA)

Andy Cuong Ngô (born c. 1986) is an American conservative social media activist[2] and journalist[3][4] best known for covering street protests in Portland, Oregon. He is editor at large of The Post Millennial, a Canadian conservative news website. Ngo received national attention in June 2019 when he was assaulted by unidentified assailants who appeared to be antifa protesters while covering a counter protest to a Proud Boys march in Portland, and later due to alleged connections with the far-right groups Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys.

Early life and education

Ngo was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.[1] His parents immigrated from Vietnam by boat in 1978.[1] Raised in a Buddhist family, Ngo began attending an evangelical Christian church in high school. He subsequently became an atheist[2] and was strongly against organized religion, which was reflected in his social media activity in the form of "inflammatory language"; however, he says that language does not reflect his current beliefs.[5][6]

While attending the University of California, Los Angeles, Ngo volunteered with AmeriCorps.[7] He graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a graphic design degree, but found it hard to find a job, so he had period of unemployment and worked as a photographer at a used car dealership and in various minimum wage jobs.[2] After college, Ngo came out as gay while visiting cousins in rural Vietnam.[7]

In 2015, Ngo began graduate studies in political science at Portland State University (PSU), with research interests in secularism and political Islam.[1][8][2]

Career

Several media outlets, including The Oregonian and The Rolling Stone, have described him as a "right-wing provocateur".[9][10][11][12][13][14] BuzzFeed News said that "Ngo's work is probably best described as media activism" and that he engages in "participant reporting".[2] New York magazine cites Ngo as an example of "busybody journalism", which is distinguished from experiential journalism by its "focus on the individual reporter's feelings" and absence of editorial fact-checking.[15]

In May 2017, Ngo began an outreach internship with the Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit humanist educational organization.[16]

The Vanguard

Ngo first drew national attention in May 2017 after he was fired from the Portland State University (PSU) student newspaper The Vanguard.[1][17] His dismissal as multimedia editor was in reaction to a Breitbart News report that Ngo had tweeted on his personal account a video clip of a Muslim student on an interfaith panel stating that in some Muslim countries, the punishment for apostasy is death or banishment.[1] While not reporting for The Vanguard at the time, his tweet paraphrased the Muslim student's remark in a way the newspaper's student editor considered to be "a half-truth", and inciting a reaction.[1] Colleen Leary, Vanguard's editor, also disputed Ngo's claim that the dismissal was motivated by previous campus controversies over Ngo's work.[1]

Ngo later wrote an op-ed for the National Review titled "Fired for Reporting the Truth". He also engaged in online discussions about the incident and on the pro-Donald Trump subreddit /r/The Donald he called the firing part of a "trend towards self-censorship in the name of political correctness".[18] According to the editor of The Vanguard, the incident did not receive much attention on campus. A student who was on the panel disputed Leary's claim that Ngo had incorrectly paraphrased the Muslim student, but the Muslim student said, "I thought I would feel proud after putting something like this [panel] together. Not feel like this."[1][18]

Later work

In March 2018, Ngo filmed protests and a disruptive audience when feminist critic Christina Hoff Sommers spoke at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland.[19][20][21]

On August 29, 2018, Ngo wrote an op-ed titled "A Visit to Islamic England" for The Wall Street Journal. In the article, Ngo wrote of his experiences in two neighborhoods in East London, including visits to a mosque and an Islamic center. From these experiences, he concluded that London was afflicted with "failed multiculturalism". He falsely connected alcohol-free zones in parts of London to the Muslim-majority populations. Ngo was accused of Islamophobia[22][23][24][25][26] and subsequently issued a correction.[27][15][28] Alex Lockie from Business Insider criticized Ngo's article for "fear monger[ing] around England's Muslim population" and cherrypicking evidence, and for mischaracterizing the neighbourhood near the East London Mosque.[29] Steve Hopkins from HuffPost stated that "some of his [Ngo's] assertions have already been disproved".[30]

In October 2018, Ngo started a podcast entitled "Things You Should Ngo." His interviewees have included Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin and Carl Benjamin (who uses the pen name "Sargon of Akkad" online).[2]

Until August 2019,[31] Ngo was a writer and sub-editor at Quillette.[22][32][33][34][35]

As of November 2019, Ngo is editor-at-large of The Post Millennial,[36] a conservative Canadian news website.[37]

Confrontations with antifa activists

Ngo has labelled several journalists, including Shane Burley and Alexander Reid Ross, as "antifa ideologues".[38] According to Vox's Zack Beauchamp, Ngo has doxed at least one political activist by publishing her full name.[39] He has also been accused of using selectively edited videos to paint antifa activists as violent, and to underplay the violence of the far-right.[40][41][10][42][43][44]

Ngo has investigated what he calls "illiberal reactions", which he says threaten college freedoms.[21] In February 2018, Ngo and his student group Freethinkers of PSU invited former Google engineer James Damore, the author of a Google diversity memo, to speak on the campus. According to Ngo, his group was threatened with violence and were intimidated by antifa protesters, but this claim has been disputed.[5] He later stated that antifa protesters did not disrupt the event.[5][45] During the event, a portion of the audience walked out in protest against Damore. Ngo filmed the disruption, but said "it [had not been] a plan to get national attention for [himself]."[46][47][21][18]

In November 2018, Ngo live-streamed the #HimToo Rally organized by a Patriot Prayer member in downtown Portland, and was sprayed with silly string by antifascist protesters.[48][49] Ngo said the Democratic politicians are in a difficult position as they have a constituency that "share similar goals and sympathies [as antifa]". Ngo called for "more clarity in their [Democratic] leadership, and to come out against violence, against this type of anarchy, and not view it through a partisan lens as they are currently".[48]

In May 2019, Ngo claimed he was pepper-sprayed by an antifascist activist while recording a fight in Portland. This occurred amid clashes between antifascists and the far-right group Patriot Prayer.[50] Later that year, a video of Ngo surfaced where he is seen laughing, while standing next to the members of the far-right group planning the attack on anti-fascist patrons at the bar.[31][51][52][5] He later followed the group to the bar where they allegedly attacked the patrons. The video is part of the court documents in the ongoing lawsuit against Patriot Prayer members for allegedly causing the riot. One of the victims of the attack was knocked unconscious with a baton and suffered a broken vertebrae—Ngo later posted a video of her being attacked and identified her online.[53] Portland Mercury quoted an undercover antifascist embedded in Patriot Prayer saying that Andy Ngo has an "understanding" with the far-right group, that the group "protects him and he protects them".[54]

On June 29, 2019, while filming a counter-protest to a Proud Boys march in Portland, Ngo was punched in the head, kicked and hit with a milkshake by unidentified assailants who appeared to be antifa protesters.[55][56][2][57][33][58] He walked away and reported what happened in a livestream, during which a medic arrived to check on him.[59]

Ngo's attorney wrote that Ngo was subsequently taken to hospital for cerebral hemorrhaging. Joseph Bernstein, writing for BuzzFeed News, stated that Ngo had sent him a copy of his discharge paperwork from the hospital showing that he had suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage.[2] Ngo retained attorney Harmeet Dhillon to investigate the response of the Portland Police Bureau.[60] Texas Senator Ted Cruz called on federal authorities to investigate Ted Wheeler, Portland's mayor, who is also the city's police commissioner.[34][61] Democratic Party presidential candidate Andrew Yang wished Ngo a speedy recovery.[34] Former Vice President and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden and then-candidate Eric Swalwell also condemned the attack.[62] The Portland based newspaper Willamette Week stated that "it is increasingly clear he is coordinating his movements and his message with right-wing groups".[63] BuzzFeed News reported that Ngo "has been building to a dramatic confrontation with the Portland far left for months, his star rising along with the severity of the encounters...The man's literal brand is that anti-fascists are violent and loathe him" and "He is willing to make himself the story and to stream himself doing it. He proceeds from a worldview and seeks to confirm it, without asking to what degree his coverage becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy", pointing out that Ngo even proposed going to "a far-left hangout" during the writing of the profile piece.[2]

On August 26, 2019, The Daily Beast reported that Ngo was leaving Quillette. Earlier in the day, Portland Mercury covered a video that showed Ngo standing near members of Patriot Prayer, the far-right group active in Portland, as they planned violence at a bar frequented by left-wing activists.[5][54][64] Ngo, who ultimately blamed the violence on antifascist activists, is alleged to be smiling and laughing at the discussion.[51][40] Ngo's name was deleted from Quillette's masthead, and the site from Ngo's Twitter feed, at this time.[31] The editor of Quillette, Claire Lehmann, told The Daily Beast that the two developments were not linked and that Ngo had left the website several weeks earlier.[31] On August 30, Spectator USA published an article by Ngo in which he claimed he did not know about the far-right group planning the attack, that he "[only] caught snippets of various conversations" and "was preoccupied on [his] phone", describing the accusations as "lies".[65]

In June 2020, Ngo sued individuals purportedly associated with antifa, seeking $900,000 in damages for assault and emotional distress, and an injunction to prevent further harassment. The lawsuit, filed on Ngo's behalf by his attorney Harmeet Dhillon, cites Rose City Antifa, five other named defendants, and additional unknown assailants. It stems from multiple alleged attacks on Ngo in Portland during 2019: at a demonstration on May 1; at his local gym on May 7; and during a protest on June 29. In particular, the suit accuses Rose City Antifa of a "pattern of racketeering activities".[66]

On June 29, 2020, Ngo testified before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform's Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties during a virtual briefing on "The First Amendment Under Attack: Examining Government Violence Against Peaceful Civil Rights Protesters and the Journalists Covering Them," during which he claimed that protesters perpetrated violence against journalists and not law enforcement officers.[67][68]

Political views

Ngo has often been described as right-wing and conservative, although he does not describe himself as such.[69] In July 2019, on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, host Joe Rogan asked, "if someone had a gun to your head" and he had to pick a political label, what would he choose? Ngo responded, "I think it's fair to describe me as center-right".[70]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Herron, Elise (July 14, 2017). "A Dispute Over a Muslim Student's Remarks Costs a College Journalist His Job, And Brings National Furor to Portland State University". Willamette Week. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bernstein, Joseph (July 18, 2019). "Andy Ngo Has The Newest New Media Career. It's Made Him A Victim and a Star". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Baker, Mike (July 1, 2019). "In Portland, a Punch and a Milkshake Rumor Feed a Fresh Round of Police Criticism". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 2, 2019. ...conservative journalist Andy Ngo...
  4. ^ a b Osborne, Mark (June 30, 2019). "Right-wing protesters clash with anti-fascists as march gets violent". ABC News. Retrieved July 2, 2019. Andy Ngo, a conservative journalist...
  5. ^ a b c d e Gais, Hannah (September 11, 2019). "The Making of Andy Ngo". Jewish Currents.
  6. ^ Gerbic, Susan (December 21, 2016). "Let's Bring More Students To CSICon". Sceptical Inquirer.
  7. ^ a b Griffin, Anna (February 8, 2018). "For Immigrants' Son, Vietnam Trip Led To More Conservative Worldview". opb.org. Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  8. ^ Ngo, Andy (September 6, 2017). "The Challenge of Freethinking Among Nonbelievers". Center for Inquiry. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  9. ^ "Vigilantes at large". Washington Times. July 1, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Gupta, Arun (August 2019). "Portland's Andy Ngo Is the Most Dangerous Grifter in America". Jacobin Magazine.
  11. ^ Kavanaugh, Shane Dixon (August 19, 2019). "1 hammer, 1 'antifa mob chase': A closer look at Portland's viral protest moments". The Oregonian.
  12. ^ Dickson, E.J. (August 19, 2019). "Proud Boys Dwarfed by Anti-Fascist Protesters at Portland Rally". Rolling Stone.
  13. ^ Goodman, Amy (August 21, 2019). "Portland rejects proud boys & other ultra-right groups as Trump tries to criminalize Antifa". Nation of Change.
  14. ^ Cockburn (August 29, 2019). "What's Ngext for Ngo?". Spectator.us.
  15. ^ a b Read, Max (August 31, 2018). "The Rise of Busybody Journalism". New York. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  16. ^ "Announcing our 2017 Outreach interns, Vicki Smith and Andy Ngo". Center for Inquiry. May 11, 2017. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  17. ^ Leary, Colleen (May 14, 2017). "In response to 'Fired for reporting the truth'". Daily Vanguard. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c Wilson, Jason (March 18, 2018). "How to troll the left: understanding the rightwing outrage machine". The Guardian. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Uyehara, Mari (March 19, 2018). "The Free Speech Grifters". GQ. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  20. ^ Young, Cathy (April 19, 2019). "Rise of the Notre Dame Truthers". The Bulwark. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
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  22. ^ a b c Williams, Kale (June 30, 2019). "Portland mayor, police come under fire after right-wing writer attacked at protest". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  23. ^ Burley, Shane (August 1, 2019). "We're Being Played". Commune Magazine.
  24. ^ "Assault on Right-Wing Writer Calls Attention to Antifa". Newser. July 1, 2019.
  25. ^ "US: Far-right blogger attacked during Portland anti-fascist rally". RSF. July 1, 2019.
  26. ^ Ngo, Andy (November 9, 2018). "What happened when I wrote about Islam in Britain". Spectator.
  27. ^ Ngo, Andy. "Opinion | A Visit to Islamic England". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  28. ^ Malvern, Jack (September 1, 2018). "Drinking rules leave US writer dazed". The Times. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  29. ^ Lockie, Alex (August 31, 2018). "The Wall Street Journal ran a cowardly, race-baiting article on 'Islamic England': I live there. They're dead wrong". Business Insider. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  30. ^ Hopkins, Steve (August 30, 2018). "'Islamic England' Wall Street Journal Column Slammed By Tower Hamlets Council And Campaigners". HuffPost. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
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  32. ^ a b Quinn, Allison (June 30, 2019). "Conservative Writer Andy Ngo Attacked at Portland Rally". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  33. ^ a b Campbell, Andy (July 1, 2019). "Far-Right Extremists Wanted Blood in Portland's Streets. Once Again, They Got It". HuffPost. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c Klar, Rebecca (July 1, 2019). "2020 Democrat Andrew Yang sends well-wishes to Andy Ngo: 'Journalists should be safe to report on a protest'". The Hill. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  35. ^ "Portland's Andy Ngo Is the Most Dangerous Grifter in America". jacobinmag.com. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  36. ^ "Twitter suspends journalist Andy Ngo". The Post Millennial. November 25, 2019.
  37. ^ Yates, Jeff; Rogers, Kaleigh (June 27, 2019). "Canadian news site The Post Millennial blurs line between journalism and conservative 'pamphleteering'". CBC News.
  38. ^ Burley, Shane; Ross, Alexander Reid (June 19, 2019). "I was the target of alt-right death threats across the internet – here's what happened next". The Independent.
  39. ^ Beauchamp, Jack (July 3, 2019). "The assault on conservative journalist Andy Ngo, explained". Vox. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  40. ^ a b Derysh, Igor (August 28, 2019). "Right-wing "journalist" Andy Ngo outed: Video shows him hanging out with far-right hate group". Salon.
  41. ^ Dalbey, Alex (August 20, 2019). "Edited videos of Portland protests are telling half-truths". Daily Dot.
  42. ^ Hagle, Courtney (August 28, 2019). "Media presented far-right grifter Andy Ngo as a credible journalist. He was just caught covering for far-right extremists as they plan violent attacks". Media Matters for America.
  43. ^ Dearment, Alaric (September 3, 2019). "Andy Ngo Is Journalism's Problem". Above the Law.
  44. ^ Butler, Grant (December 29, 2019). "Oregon's top 15 newsmakers of 2019". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  45. ^ Ngo, Andy (January 30, 2017). "Free speech wins: In Portland of all places, Antifa halts plans to shut down 'thought police' talk". The College Fix.
  46. ^ Parke, Caleb (February 14, 2018). "Antifa targets 'Google memo' author James Damore's talk at Portland State". Fox News. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  47. ^ Shepherd, Katie (February 17, 2018). "No Violence, Brief Disruption as Fired Google Engineer Speaks at Portland State University". Willamette Week. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  48. ^ a b Manchester, Julia (November 19, 2018). "Democratic politicians in 'difficult position' in handling Antifa, says journalist". The Hill. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  49. ^ Sparling, Zane (November 18, 2018). "6 arrested, released during Saturday protest in Portland". Portland Tribune. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  50. ^ Wallace, Danielle (May 2, 2019). "Antifa, far-right groups clash outside Portland bar after 'peaceful' May Day protests". Fox News. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  51. ^ a b Juarez, Sierra (August 24, 2019). "Andy Ngo seen laughing as Patriot Prayer members plan an attack in newly emerged video". The Daily Dot.
  52. ^ MacDonald, Tyler (August 25, 2019). "Andy Ngo Captured On Video With Patriot Prayer As They Reportedly Plan Attack On Antifa". The Inquisitr.
  53. ^ Owen, Tess (August 27, 2019). "Super Awkward for Right-Wing Blogger Andy Ngo to Make a Cameo in Video of Plot Against Antifa". VICE News.
  54. ^ a b Zielinski, Alex (August 26, 2019). "Undercover in Patriot Prayer: Insights From a Vancouver Democrat Who's Been Working Against the Far-Right Group from the Inside". Portland Mercury. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  55. ^ Iati, Marisa (July 20, 2019). "Two senators want antifa activists to be labeled 'domestic terrorists.' Here's what that means". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 29, 2019. The senators also pointed to conservative journalist Andy Ngo, who in June was left bloodied by antifa activists in Portland, Ore.
  56. ^ Burns, Dasha; Brooks, Abigail; Ortiz, Erik (August 16, 2019). "Proud Boys rally in Portland is latest test for police". NBC News. Retrieved August 29, 2019. Chaos also broke out during a rally in June, when masked antifa members physically attacked conservative blogger Andy Ngo in an incident shared on social media.
  57. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (June 30, 2019). "Antifa attack conservative blogger Andy Ngo amid violence at Portland Proud Boys protest". The Independent. Retrieved July 1, 2019. "I just got beat up by the crowd," Mr Ngo said.
  58. ^ "Portland antifa/right wing protests escalate to civil disturbance". The Oregonian. June 29, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  59. ^ Baker, Mike (July 2, 2019). "Portland mayor faces impeachment calls after antifa assault and milkshaking of right-wing blogger Andy Ngo". The Guardian.
  60. ^ Woodrow, Melanie (July 1, 2019). "Portland journalist Andy Ngo speaks out, says antifa behind attack". KGO-TV. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  61. ^ March, Mary Tyler (June 30, 2019). "Cruz calls for 'legal action' against Portland mayor after clash between far-right, antifa protesters". The Hill. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  62. ^ "Will other Dems join Biden in condemning antifa violence?". The New York Post. July 7, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  63. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (August 28, 2019). "Right-Wing Brawlers Discussed a Hammer Fight While Being Filmed". Willamette Week.
  64. ^ Phillips, Morgan (August 27, 2019). "Writer Andy Ngo Splits from Conservative Blog Quillette After Damning Video Surfaces". Media ITE.
  65. ^ Ngo, Andy (August 30, 2019). "How I became an 'extremist' overnight". The Spectator.
  66. ^ Thompson, Don (June 5, 2020). "Portland conservative writer suing 'antifa' for injuries". KATU. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  67. ^ Ngo, Andy (June 29, 2020). "Written Testimony Submitted by Andy Ngo to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties" (PDF). House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  68. ^ Greenlee, Kaylee (June 30, 2020). "'They Nearly Killed Me': Journalist Andy Ngo Testifies Before Congress on Antifa Violence During Portland Protests". The Daily Signal. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  69. ^ [3][4][22][32][19]
  70. ^ "Joe Rogan Experience #1323 - Andy Ngo". July 10, 2019. Event occurs at 33:01–33:16. Retrieved July 11, 2019.

External links