Thursday, January 7, 2021

News Media Reacts To Mob Mayhem

"In my 60 years covering national politics, I've never seen anything like it. And frankly I hope I never do again. It’s pretty disturbing," Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace said about the mayhem at the U-S Capitol on Wednesday.

"It is an absolutely disgraceful moment in American history," said CNN anchor Jake Tapper, as video showed police and protesters fighting at a barricade and rioters entering the Capitol through a broken window. 

USAToday reports he laid blame on Trump, some of his supporters in Congress and Fox News titan Rupert Murdoch for stirring up the president's supporters to take such action.

As most of the cable news networks covered the riots with astonishment and condemnation, hosts on Newsmax, a recent Trump favorite because of its fawning coverage, defended the president and suggested without evidence that anti-fascist (or Antifa) demonstrators might be responsible for the violence. 

Anchors on Fox News, a onetime Trump favorite that now earns his criticism, blasted the violence and blamed the president for his inadequate response, but the network also featured interviews with Trump supporters who repeated baseless claims that Democrats had stolen the presidential election and Sarah Palin, who suggested "Antifa folks" instigated Wednesday's riot.

The tone turned darker on Fox News when Tucker Carlson, one of the network's primetime opinion hosts, sought to stir fear and anger in those who believe the presidential election was stolen by saying Wednesday's events would be used to strip people of rights. 

As anchors expressed amazement when the breach of the Capitol was just sinking, jaw-dropping pictures showed law-enforcement officers with guns drawn to keep protesters off the floor of the House of Representatives; protesters fighting police inside the building; and a bleeding woman on a stretcher being rolled away outside. 

As events unfolded, it took time for reporters to gauge the extent of the incursion. MSNBC's Garrett Haake asked to be excused from the conversation so he could head down a Capitol tunnel to determine the extent of the break-in. Newsmax reporter Michael Carter detailed events outside on the Capitol steps. U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., called in to Fox News' Dana Perino to report on House members being evacuated. "This is unacceptable and a sad day for the country," he said.

Outside the Capitol, rioters destroyed cameras and other media equipment as they yelled, "CNN sucks," a favored chant of Trump supporters who constantly demonizes the "lamestream media." The destroyed equipment is owned by The Associated Press, USA TODAY's Christal Hayes said in a tweet.

Anchors frequently cited how scenes at the Capitol seemed like those usually seen in developing countries, and wondered why the police were seemingly unequipped to respond to violence during planned protest. Some speculated – and asked officials – whether Black Lives Matter protesters would have been treated more harshly by law enforcement.

However, Fox News primetime host Laura Ingraham recalled summer protests focusing on Black Lives Matter differently, claiming that many criticizing Wednesday's violence were "markedly silent" when those earlier protesters engaged in "widespread violence" and "attempt(ed) to breach the fence outside the White House" in June.

  Conservative radio host Mark Levin echoed Ingraham's point in a series of tweets, saying "the violent must be punished" but "the media must be careful not to paint everyone with the same broad brush."

No comments:

Post a Comment