Robert Reich publishes controversial theory regarding Yiannopoulos demonstration


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Two days after the demonstration that led to the cancellation of Milo Yiannopoulos’ campus appearance Feb. 1, campus chancellor’s professor of public policy Robert Reich published a controversial theory on his blog about why the protests turned violent.

Reich’s theory draws a connection between Yiannopoulos, Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump, alleging that the violence could have been coordinated to support Trump’s calls to revoke federal funding for UC Berkeley. In the blog post, Reich referred to the actions of about 150 masked agitators as “made-for-TV images of a riot.”

“Yiannopoulos wasn’t asked about the content of the speech that was shut down,” Reich said in the post, referring to Yiannopoulos’ Feb. 2 interview with Fox News after the demonstration. “The conversation focused instead on how Berkeley proved the point that the Left was ceding its right to federal grants by cracking down on free speech.”

Yiannopoulos condemned Reich in a Facebook post Feb. 3, calling him “ludicrous.”

Reich said in his blog post that he did not want to add to “conspiratorial musings,” but added that he believed there might be “something worrying going on.” Breitbart journalist Charlie Nash, however, called Reich’s theory a conspiracy theory in an article.

“Reich has further endangered Breitbart News employees and emboldened those who seek to destroy our right to freedom of speech,” said Alexander Marlow, campus alumnus and Breitbart editor-in-chief in an emailed statement. “His peers should call on him to provide evidence to support his attack or retract it and apologize — if not, perhaps his status as a scholar and academician should be seriously reconsidered.”

A UC Berkeley student who participated in the demonstration, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear for their safety, confirmed that UC Berkeley students were among those using the black bloc tactic, and that many were people of color. Additionally, three opinion pieces published Tuesday in the Daily Californian claim that students were among those with the black bloc.

“It’s not violence, it’s self defense,” the student said. “Peaceful protests are beautiful, but at the same time we should not condemn the destruction of private property. … We will not allow (Yiannopoulos’) rhetoric and his speech to hurt marginalized communities on campus.”

Contact Aleah Jennings-Newhouse at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ajn_dc.

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  • Kurt VanderKoi

    It is now clear why:
    Berkeley is often referred to as Beserkley.
    Liberalism is a mental disorder.
    The left is the violent mob in the street.

  • Andrew L’étrange

    Robert Reich is either completely detached from reality or is intentionally fanning the flames of political violence. He should not be considered a scholar anymore for such reckless conspiratorial nonsense.

    • tim1776

      I think he’s intentionally fanning the flames. The past two years he has written crazier and crazier stuff. He has surrendered any credibility he once had.

  • Jeff Chang

    So what is his opinion now that Berkeley students have written opinion articles saying they were Antifa?

  • Robert Thethird Reich

    Berkeley come to your senses and fire this vile cancer.

  • StanFromSomewhere

    Maybe it was that secret cabal of Klansmen hiding in the Berkeley hills. You know, the one that channeled that BHS kid to claim there would be lynchings on the school campus? Reich needs to lay off the MMJ for a day or two before he makes public comments.

  • roccolore

    Robert Reich is your typical fascist Democrat.

  • laughing tyger

    The delusion, denial and desperation coming from the Fourth Reich is palpable. I used to respect him; what a disappointment he turned out to be.

  • Douglas Bonham

    Reich made these claims when he knew full well that the University itself in a press release had identified the terrorist rioters as “Black Bloc, from Oakland”. The University and campus and local police forces had known about Black Bloc/Antifas for over a year. Reich is setting himself up for a slander suit. He is further darkening Berkeley’s reputation, possibly in a foolish attempt to deflect criticism away from the University cops’ and administration’s criminal negligence and wilful misconduct in facilitating and allowing the riot by the Antifas, charges that will be laid on Janet Napolitano and the Regents themselves. Thank you Professor Reich.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    I suppose nothing is impossible, but I don’t find this at all plausible. Come on, Mr Reich, didn’t they teach you about Occam’s Razor when you were in school? Most of the time, the simplest, most obvious explanation is the correct one.

  • ShadrachSmith

    If a bald-faced lie is useful, Ds use it. Remember ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”? That was another bald-faced lie Ds used for years.

  • FreedomFan

    Reich is perfect professor for Berzerkeley– a moral midget.

  • stevesailer

    I believe the phrase “tall tale” should be included in all articles about Professor Reich’s conspiracy theory.

    • lspanker

      It’s really the only thing “tall” about him…

    • Arafat

      He is so small-minded.