The media don’t know what to make of Andy Ngo. The New York Times calls Ngo an “independent journalist.” CNN describes him as a “conservative journalist.” Other outlets term Ngo a “conservative writer” to distinguish him from actual reporters.

But none of these labels get at who Ngo is. More importantly, they fail to define his role in far-right politics, media, and violence. An incident from October 2018 in Portland, Oregon, illustrates his role well.

It begins with Portland police killing Patrick Kimmons, a 27-year-old African-American male, in disputed circumstances. The Black Lives Matter–style activist group, Don’t Shoot Portland, called for a protest on October 6. Kimmons’s family members joined in what local media described as a “peaceful” and uneventful event.

There was one dicey moment during the march. A driver made an illegal right turn into protesters who were in a crosswalk and had the walk sign. A local TV station that recorded the incident wrote: “driver plows through protesters.” Video shows a man stopping in front of a silver Lexus that then strikes him and pushes him for more than thirty feet. Down the block, a brief confrontation ensues with a protester shoving the driver once and others hitting his vehicle. The driver left in his car without any more incident as protesters yelled, “Get out of here.”  […]