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27 Aug, 2020 07:32

'Fiery but mostly peaceful': CNN mocked for ridiculous caption of Kenosha riots destruction

'Fiery but mostly peaceful': CNN mocked for ridiculous caption of Kenosha riots destruction

Online vigilantes lined up to spew vitriol at CNN and their reporter, who described the chaos in the riots-plagued Kenosha as “mostly peaceful” protests, while showing viewers exactly the opposite.

CNN's Omar Jimenez went live from a troubled neighborhood in Kenosha, Wisconsin, telling viewers that protests – sparked by the shooting incident involving African American Jacob Blake – were “largely peaceful” during the day, but that “things began to get a little bit more contentious” when night fell.

As he spoke, buildings and vehicles burned in the background, with the scenes of destruction and chaos running contrary to what the network captioned as “fiery, but mostly peaceful protests after police shooting.”

A cohort of online commentators quickly built up, expressing anger and frustration over the tone of the coverage and its language. “Is that like, 'deadly, but mostly enjoyable car accidents?'Like — does this make sense?” a CNN critic asked.

Some pulled no punches and suggested that CNN should compare their language to the reality. One asked if throwing “a mostly peaceful Molotov cocktail in their living room” would amount to the “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”

There were those who questioned the quality of CNN's reporting, and referred to instances when other US established media had aired a similar blunder. Back in May, MSNBC host and Emmy nominee Ali Velshi faced an avalanche of online criticism when he was reporting live from a burning neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed. 

At the time, Velshi described the unrest as “not, generally speaking, unruly,” drawing parallels with Jimenez' reporting.

Striking a more emollient tone, some people wondered if the infamous CNN banner was the result of a foul play.

Sarcasm aside, the Wisconsin city of Kenosha has been on fire for several days in a row, with rioters defying a police curfew and hurling projectiles at local businesses and law enforcement buildings. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers had to call in the National Guard to quash the unrest, but furniture shops, car lots, correctional facilities and random vehicles were burnt to the ground.

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

CNN wasn't the only one to suggest the wave of destruction and arson is nothing more than “peaceful protests.” Their colleagues at CBS did exactly the same, followed by the New York Times, which said they were “peaceful marches” that “gave way to fires and destruction.”

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