Stelter Blames Trump for Press Being Targeted By Police, Rioters

News & Politics

In the past few days, we’ve seen disturbing videos and reports of journalists getting brutalized from both sides of recent clashes: rioters beating them, damaging and stealing equipment, and police arresting and shooting reporters with rubber bullets or pepper spray balls while they just try to report. But according to CNN’s media analyst and Reliable Sources host, Brian Stelter, President Trump along with other media naysayers might be to blame for this apparent uptick in hostility.

One of the egregious examples Stelter shared was the case of a local CBS affiliate reporter in Louisville, Kentucky. The reporter and her crew were BEHIND the police line reporting from several dozen feet away, when a police officer turned around and approached while shooting them with a paintball gun loaded with pepper spray balls.

To Stelter’s credit, he did include the incident from outside the White House were a Fox News crew was assaulted and pursued out of the area. He denounced it:

In D.C., this is in Washington in Lafayette Park, a Fox News crew was harassed and then chased out of the park by protestors who were cursing and screaming at Fox News and criticizing right-wing media. This is deplorable behavior by protestors.

After listing off other examples of the press getting pummeled from both sides, including one where the police shot out a photographer’s eye with a rubber bullet, he lamented that “This is what’s happening to members of the media in cities across the country this weekend. It feels like targeting. It feels like an escalation. It is deeply disturbing.” Adding: “And we’re waiting for statements about it from the President and from other national leaders.”

You Might Like

In his first group of guests, Stelter spoke with LA Times staff writer Molly Hennessey-Fiske, whose crew was blasted with rubber bullets and had the vehicle they were using to get to the hospital sprayed with paintballs by the cops.

“I wonder if, Molly, you feel like there is an increasing amount of targeting happening. That’s what it feels like to me but I’m in a studio. You’re actually there,” Stelter asked.

After she explained that she hadn’t seen that kind of action taken at other riots she’d covered, Stelter pinned the blame on the President:

Look, these are issues that date back a long time. It’s pre-President Trump, but I’ve got to think the rhetoric against the media from Trump and other politicians and television stars has to be a problem that’s making a bad situation worse. That’s just my personal view.

That made little sense since violent rioters were not Trump supporters.

If Trump was responsible for these attacks on the press, perhaps others were to blame for what happened to Fox News. As this author had pointed out on Twitter, Stelter and CNN have had a long history of stoking resentment and hatred against their superior cable competitor. He even allowed Fox News bashing to occur later in the show.

Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik lashed out at Fox News and blamed them for helping to perpetuate corruption inside police departments:

Last night I was watching Fox News. They had Bernie Kerik and Mike Huckabee as their analysts or their experts and they kept talking about a few bad apples in the police department. That’s a narrative that was very powerful in places like Baltimore where we had real problems with the police, and they kept saying, “Oh, a few bad apples, a few bad apples,” people on one side of the equation.

That is the way a narrative sustains injustice in this world. Narratives do matter, and Fox is pushing that narrative, right now. I saw it all night last night while they were doing their coverage whipping around the country. It’s important, narratives matter,” he decried.

Zurawik also agreed with placing the blame on President Trump, “What he’s done the last four years of encouraging people to hate the press (…) I’m not totally blaming him, but it’s a large factor in the attacks on press that we’re seeing on the streets today.

Maybe Stelter should be the change he wants to see.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Reliable Sources
May 31, 2020
11:02:31 a.m. Eastern [2 minutes 21 seconds]

(…)

This is a local CBS reporter and her cameraman in Louisville, Kentucky, apparently shot with pepper balls while live on the air. Later the police apologized to the station, but we’ve seen other reporters. Here’s Dallas for example, other reporters being hit by rubber bullets, by tear gas. These situations we’ve seen in a number of different cities.

I’ll read some other examples to you. A reporter in Columbia, South Carolina was hit by a rock and had to be taken to the hospital. Here’s a freelance photographer in Minneapolis who was shot in the left eye while covering the protests. She says she’s been blinded in one of her eyes as a result. In Chicago, a Chicago Tribune photographer said looters shoved and stole her cameras.

In D.C., this is in Washington in Lafayette Park, a Fox News crew was harassed and then chased out of the park by protestors who were cursing and screaming at Fox News and criticizing right-wing media. This is deplorable behavior by protestors.

We’ve also seen in Las Vegas the arrest of two photographers. Police took these photographers into custody. That is completely inappropriate. They were then let out the next morning.

We need to follow up on these cases and make sure that people are held accountable when these incidents happen. Reporters should not be the story in these cases. But it’s happened again in the past few hours. Overnight, here in New York City, a reporter for HuffPost was arrested while wearing a police badge and covering a protest in Brooklyn.

In Minneapolis, a Los Angeles Times staff writer had police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at point-blank range at her, into a crowd of protesters and journalists. We’re going to talk to her in just a moment.

A Reuters cameraman also said he was hit by rubber bullets. Some reporters have had to seek medical attention. A news crew for KCRW says the LAPD shot at her with rubber bullets as she was holding her press badge above her head.

In at least one case — As I’ve mentioned, we’ve seen protestors being the aggressors. This is a photographer for KDKA in Pittsburgh. He says he was attacked protesters downtown on Saturday, quote, “They stomped and kicked me,” he said in a tweet from the back of the ambulance. “I’m bruised and bloodied but alive. My camera was destroyed. Another group of protestors pulled me out and saved my life. Thank you.”

This is what’s happening to members of the media in cities across the country this weekend. It feels like targeting. It feels like an escalation. It is deeply disturbing. And we’re waiting for statements about it from the President and from other national leaders.

(…)

11:08:17 a.m. Eastern

STELTER: Look, when journalists are not interfering, when they are not disrupting law enforcement, they should not be targeted by law enforcement. I wonder if, Molly, you feel like there is an increasing amount of targeting happening. That’s what it feels like to me but I’m in a studio. You’re actually there.

MOLLY HENNESSEY-FISKE (LA Times staff writer): Well, last night was a very different experience from past stories that I’ve covered from Ferguson where, at least in my experience, we would see the police confronting or protestors confronting police and the press would be on the sidelines. I did not get arrested there. I didn’t have clashes with police but there certainly was tear gas and there were clashes. But, I wore my press badge the same there and in other situations, in Baton Rouge, in Dallas, and this never happened.

STELTER: Look, these are issues that date back a long time. It’s pre-President Trump, but I’ve got to think the rhetoric against the media from Trump and other politicians and television stars has to be a problem that’s making a bad situation worse. That’s just my personal view.

(…)

11:24:09 a.m. Eastern

DAVID ZURAWIK: But your question about narratives, I don’t want people to think narratives don’t matter. Media narratives are all-important in how we make sense of the world. I’ll give you an example.

Last night I was watching Fox News. They had Bernie Kerik and Mike Huckabee as their analysts or their experts and they kept talking about a few bad apples in the police department. That’s a narrative that was very powerful in places like Baltimore where we had real problems with the police, and they kept saying, “Oh, a few bad apples, a few bad apples,” people on one side of the equation.

After 2015 with Freddie Gray and after the Justice Department, Baltimore Sun, and others exposing a rogue corrupt outfit called the Gun Trace Task Force that was robbing citizens, taking drugs, selling drugs, the few bad apples narrative has quieted down. It was corrupt to the core, and if we keep saying it’s just a few bad apples, we will keep having incidents like this.

That is the way a narrative sustains injustice in this world. Narratives do matter, and Fox is pushing that narrative, right now. I saw it all night last night while they were doing their coverage whipping around the country. It’s important, narratives matter.

(…)

Articles You May Like

NFL suspends Antonio Brown for 3 games after his former chef accused him of using a fake vaccine card
David Perdue Announces Run for Georgia Governor with Trump Endorsement
How Common Was Abortion in the Past?
Half of State School-Board Groups Downgrade Relationship with National Org over ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Letter
Christmas Series BOMBS, Seth Rogen Blames ‘White Supremacists’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *