We discussed the longstanding efforts of the media to avoid “riots” in states like Minnesota and Oregon. Even if riots and looting were in full swing in recent nights, the networks continued to refer to protests, or at most “protests become violent”. It appears that the Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon never received the memo. He was verbally abused at a press conference for calling reporters’ widespread unrest “an uproar”.
Gannon informed reporters when he used the “R word”. He was asked by a reporter, “What was your decision to issue a proliferation warrant while you were peacefully protesting outside the police station?”
Gannon replied with the words: “Just so that everyone is clear, I was in the front and in the middle of the protest, the uprising.” As a result, one person objected to “Don’t do this” and another person exclaimed, “There was no riot.” The objections were reportedly raised by the press.
Gannon was reluctant to give in to the word police:
“It was. The officers who put themselves at risk were pelted with frozen cans of pop, they were pelted with concrete blocks. And yes, we had our helmets on and we had other guards and other equipment, but one officer was injured, hit in the head with a brick … so we had to make decisions. We had to disperse the crowd because we cannot allow our officers to be injured. “
The scene was reminiscent of last year when Craig Melvin, an MSNBC host and co-host of Today, tweeted a “guide” that the “on the spot” images were not a riot but a “protest” . He noticed “This will guide our reporting in MN. “While the situation on the ground in Minneapolis is fluid and there has been violence, it is most accurate right now to describe what is happening there as ‘protests’ – not riots.”
Conversely, there are clear efforts in the media not to label the violence on January 6th as an “insurrection” or an “insurrection”. The nomenclature reflects strict control over how these stories are framed by the media. The concern is that there is more effort going into design than telling these stories by some in the media.
There is no question that the violence in Minnesota began as a protest and many took part in peaceful demonstrations. What had happened over the past two nights, however, was clearly an uproar, as Chief Gannon discovered. The fact that people felt entitled to tell the boss to adapt his own language to a narrative is amazing.
Gannon’s scolding followed another reporter who beat up Brooklyn Center City manager Curt Boganey before he was fired. because it would be “inappropriate”. A reporter immediately told him, “What was inappropriate was the murder of Daunte Wright … you work harder to protect a homicide cop than a victim of a police murder.” Another reporter stated that “Racial profiling… took place in this situation. We stand in solidarity and demand the dismissal of this officer. “
There are growing demands for advocacy in journalism. This includes scholars who reject the concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. Even the dean of Columbia Journalism and New York writer Steve Coll denounced how freedom of expression is being “armed” to protect disinformation. Censorship and advocacy journalism have become articles of faith for many to demonstrate their commitment to racist and political reform. The result, however, has been a steady loss of confidence in the media.