Monday, December 08, 2014

Media authority bias on display in protest coverage

The mainstream media’s biases are on full display in an article about this weekend’s national protests against the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case. This morning’s front page of CNN reports on the protests in Oakland and Berkeley California that became violent. Here’s the headline:

“Protesters flood California highway, throw explosives at officers, police say”

Right off the bat the players in this drama are typecast, protesters bad, police just doing their jobs. Then we get into the article, and for the first ten paragraphs, we are treated to reports from the police on what happened – explosives where thrown, officers suffered minor injuries, vandalizing police cars, and on and on. If you make it as far as the eleventh paragraph, you’ll find this:

“The acts of violence were apparent anomalies in a sea of protests nationwide…”

So CNN spent two-thirds of the first section of a front-page article describing a rare situation among the hundreds of protests around the country. How come? Oh, and then there is the fact that not one demonstrator was interviewed to counter the allegations made by the police. I read somewhere else (can’t remember where) that Berkeley protestors are claiming the police instigated the violence.

Aside from simply being sensationalist, the article is clearly from the perspective of the police or state, with little credence or regard for the people. To me it’s journalistic malfeasance bordering on propaganda to publish a story like this without presenting both sides of the issue.

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