Conservatives excoriate Kansas City Star for editorial on Michael Knowles assault

The Kansas City Star newspaper is getting pushback from conservative pundits and journalists after belittling political commentator Michael Knowles’ assault during a speech at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, titled, “Men are Not Women.”

The newspaper published an editorial Friday, which criticized Knowles and published other articles that claimed he had disparaged the transgender community, and speculated that he intended to spark disruption on campus.


[RELATED: Conservative speaker doused during UMKC speech slams chancellor over response]

Knowles, a columnist at the Daily Wire, was invited to UMKC by the student groups Young America’s Foundation and the College Republicans, and attracted groups of protestors. During the speech, a student protester, dressed in all black with a bandana covering his face, ran up to Knowles while spraying a mysterious liquid, now known to have been a mixture of non-toxic household liquids, toward the speaker. 

The protester who allegedly sprayed the substance was later arrested and charged on multiple counts, including assault. That didn't stop the Kansas City Star editorial board from seemingly siding with the man who allegedly assaulted Knowles. 

Under the headline, "At UMKC, a D-List conservative was sad to be squirted with the makings of a bubble bath," the newspaper's editorial board claimed that Knowles "couldn't wait to claim victimhood," in the incident that it described as a "tiny tit for tiny tat." 

Daily Wire Editor in Chief Ben Shapiro called out the newspaper for that characterization. 

"That's not a tit for tat. That's called assault," Shapiro tweeted. 

[RELATED: Suspect in Michael Knowles UMKC assault identified, faces multiple charges]


NRA TV host Dana Loesch also slammed the newspaper, saying it's "not a shocker" that the Star would attack the victim. 


Journalist Andy Ngo, too, criticized the editorial, calling it "shameful."

Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the conservative Media Research Center, also weighed in on the editorial. 

"This is doubly outrageous. The University of Missouri attack is exactly the way far-left extremists have been abusing conservatives at campuses across the country. But it’s worse for the press to rationalize it," Gainor told Campus Reform

"For the Kansas City Star to downplay the attack is downright offensive. I can’t imagine the editorial board would say a reporter was claiming 'victimhood' if one of their staff had been sprayed. It’s not 'outrage kabuki' to be upset that some dangerous nutball sprays you with an unknown chemical. That’s designed to intimidate and terrorize," Gainor added.

Campus Reform reached out to the Kansas City Star for reaction to the criticisms. No response was received in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha