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25 Aug, 2020 15:17

CBS News whitewashes Kenosha destruction as mostly 'peaceful protests' as city smolders in aftermath

CBS News whitewashes Kenosha destruction as mostly 'peaceful protests' as city smolders in aftermath

To some in the mainstream media, the wave of arson and destruction that swept over Kenosha, Wisconsin was nothing more than “peaceful protest” that “gave way to clashes.” Don’t believe your lying eyes, they may as well have said.

The Wisconsin city of Kenosha burned for a second night in a row on Monday, as rioters defied a police curfew and torched local businesses and law enforcement buildings. Some were armed, and even as Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called in the National Guard, furniture shops, car lots, correctional facilities, and random vehicles were razed to the ground by the mob.

Also on rt.com ‘We’ll burn your store down too’: Kenosha rioters show no remorse when confronted over razing local businesses (VIDEO)

That’s not quite how CBS News saw it though. According to anchor Gayle King on Tuesday, the riots began as “peaceful protests, which is what the Black Lives Matter is really about.” 

“It’s not clear if those setting fires were involved in the initial demonstrations,” King said. Yet as she described Black Lives Matter’s supposedly peaceful methods, CBS played scenes of vehicles engulfed by fire, crowds jumping on cars, and businesses still smoldering from the night’s anarchy.

According to King, the protests spontaneously “gave way to clashes” as night fell. Reporter Mola Lenghi further appeared to excuse the destruction, telling viewers that “setting this truck on fire right here behind me is how some protesters have responded to the authorities’ use of stun grenades, [and] of tear gas.”

By Tuesday morning, hours of video footage from Kenosha circulated online, showing that the protests were anything but peaceful.

CBS instead focused on the event that triggered the riots – the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake on Sunday. Blake was shot in the back seven times by officers as he attempted to get into his car, collapsing in front of his children. His father told the Chicago Sun-Times that Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down. 

Also on rt.com Documents show Jacob Blake, shot by Kenosha cops in riot-unleashing incident, has record of domestic abuse

The network wasn’t alone in whitewashing the riots. The New York Times also described Monday’s events as “peaceful marches” that “gave way to fires and destruction.” On CNN, a banner described the protests as “fiery but mostly peaceful.”

The latest conflagration in Kenosha isn’t the first riot to be given the “peaceful protests” treatment by the media. As the first wave of Black Lives Matter protests hit Minneapolis in May after the police killing of George Floyd, MSNBC’s Ali Veshi reassured viewers that the scene was “not generally speaking, unruly.” As Veshi spoke, a building burned immediately behind him.

When anarchists occupied Seattle’s Capitol Hill district two weeks later, the Seattle Times described the short-lived ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’ as a “loose, egalitarian” paradise of “free snacks,” “free of uniformed police.” In reality, the zone was a lawless place, where vigilante justice reigned, thieves profited, and by the end of June, four people were shot, two fatally.

The disconnect between narrative and reality was noticed on Twitter, where conservatives mocked CBS’ friendly coverage of the Kenosha riots. “You could describe D Day as a peaceful boat trip across the English Channel that gave way to clashes on the beach,” one commenter joked.

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