‘The new Babylon Bee?’ CNN commentator mocked after downplaying riots in Kenosha, Portland as ‘protests’ with a FIERY cover photo
CNN political commentator Chris Cillizza faced a torrent of mockery from conservatives accusing him of whitewashing the violence festering in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon, after he opined that referring to the looting, vandalism, and arson in both cities as ‘rioting’ is unjustified and a “desperate” political ploy by US President Donald Trump.
“To hear Trump and his allies tell it, the situations unfolding in Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, in response to several high-profile shootings by the police of Black men is rioting, plain and simple,” Cillizza wrote in a piece titled “‘Protests’ or ‘riots’? It makes a BIG difference.”
Trump's efforts to label what is happening in major cities as "riots" speaks at least somewhat to his desperation, politically speaking, at the moment.
The choice of cover photo, which shows two riot police standing in front of the scorched remains of a burning building, did not escape the attention of netizens, triggering a meme-fest.
The Babylon Bee is out of a job.— Christian Varela, Friending Intensely (@vgman94) August 31, 2020
The competition at CNN HQ for the most insulting statement-image juxtaposition is still going strong. https://t.co/dxpkFj6WWh— Allum Bokhari (@LibertarianBlue) August 31, 2020
Ironically, the original description of the photo, provided by Getty Images, describes the scene as the "second night of rioting."
I found that picture on Getty Images and what do you know, it accurately describes the scene as the "second night of rioting" in Kenosha, Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/jJnoJEvquQ— Shem Horne (@Shem_Infinite) August 31, 2020
Critics also pointed out that it was Portland police, not Trump, who declared the actions riots multiple times in the 100 days since the violence first broke out there.
“Serious question: do you have a ballpark idea of how many riots Portland has declared in the last month? And do you think the city is wrong to call them riots?” one person asked.
Serious question: do you have a ballpark idea of how many riots Portland has declared in the last month? And do you think the city is wrong to call them riots?— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) August 30, 2020
Cillizza’s point seems even more baffling considering that Democrats have launched the hashtag #TrumpRiots, acknowledging that peaceful protests have long turned violent, but pinning the blame on the Trump administration for fanning the flames in Kenosha, which the president is set to visit on Tuesday, and Portland, which saw clashes between a pro-Trump caravan and Black Lives Matter protesters on Saturday.
“Chris! Check your inbox. We all pivoted to acknowledging the riots this morning, but blaming Trump supporters for them,” one commenter quipped.
Chris! Check your inbox. We all pivoted to acknowledging the riots this morning, but blaming Trump supporters for them.— D.S. Ragsdale ✝️ 🇺🇸 (@AtlantaLiberal) August 30, 2020
It’s not the first time CNN’s coverage of the protests has raised eyebrows. Earlier this week, the network chose to describe the violence in Kenosha as “mostly peaceful protests,” while showing viewers the exact opposite, invoking torrents of ridicule.Also on rt.com 'Fiery but mostly peaceful': CNN mocked for ridiculous caption of Kenosha riots destruction
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