There have been numerous examples of media members claiming ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death are peaceful – despite video evidence, deaths and more from on the ground in cities across the country.
Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” – later renamed “Capitol Hill Organized Protest – resulted in two men dying and more being injured in shootings. A former police officer died in St. Louis after protecting a store from looters. Multiple children have died amid the protests, as well.
Despite 23 people dying since violence and protests erupted across America, media has pushed the narrative that the events are largely peaceful.
“I want to be clear on how I characterize this,” MSNBC’s Ari Velshi said in May while standing in front of a burning building. “This is mostly a protest. It is not, generally speaking, unruly but fires have been started and this crowd is relishing that.”
“And I just want to reiterate, most of the protests that we saw this weekend were peaceful,” ABC correspondent Eva Pilgrim said on “Good Morning America” on June 1, according to Newsbusters. “One woman told me she couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it all was but she, like many, says she was worried about what would happen, when the sun went down.
Other networks have proven guilty of this narrative as well. NBC News saw “Today” co-anchor Craig Melvin push the “largely peaceful narrative,” Newsbusters added.
“It should be noted that the demonstration here in Washington and this is the case around much of the country as well,” according to Melvin. “Those demonstrations were largely peaceful. In fact it was peaceful here until the sun went down.”
Media Research Center’s (MRC) Dan Gainor explained to “Fox & Friends” June 25 that some in the media were ignoring the violence plaguing Seattle’s CHAZ. During this segment, host Jillian Mele cited research indicating that prime time shows on CNN and MSNBC “failed” to cover the area after reports of how peaceful it allegedly was, Fox News reported.
“They’re pretending that it’s peaceful,” Gainor said. “One reporter even called it ‘chill.'”
“Meanwhile, they ignore the violence in a situation where it is supposed to be black lives mattering, they ignore that a young African-American was killed in the violence. The chief of police says that there’s rapes and robberies, and, meanwhile, the media are saying, ‘Oh it is cool.'”
Activist Deray McKesson appeared on CNN to push for peaceful protesters, claiming that police were the only ones being violent. McKesson said that “there has been no violence from the protestors,” despite many videos indicating otherwise.
“I’m tired of hearing about violence and non-violence,” McKesson told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “The only violence I have seen in the street is the police. That’s the violence … I have a friend who is now permanently blind in one eye because the police shot her in the eye with a rubber bullet. That is violence.”
“There has been no violence from the protesters, there has been property damage. And that property will return.”
Amanpour did not push back on McKesson’s claims.