While many in the media continue to portray nationwide protests as primarily peaceful, some high-profile critics are challenging their depiction of the often destructive demonstrations.
Among the most prominent voices is U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who said on Saturday that he believes there is a “disparity” between the news narrative about the civil unrest and what is actually happening on the streets of U.S. cities, as reported by the Daily Caller.
“They see the violence”
He made his latest remarks during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Life, Liberty and Levin.
“It’s a lie,” he told host Mark Levin. “The American people are being told a lie by the media.” As for reports that the protests are “mostly peaceful,” the attorney general said he was “appalled” by the obvious misrepresentation.
“Anyone with eyes can see what’s happening,” Barr said. “They see the violence, they see these groups of agitators in their black outfits, with their helmets and their shields which incidentally have a hammer and sickle on them most of the time, rushing the police, causing violence, throwing rocks — people showing up with the rocks and the frozen bottles.”
When asked whether the media could be relied upon for truthful reporting, Barr told Levin that he believed much of the industry has become one-sided.
“It’s reliable for being partisan nowadays,” he said, decrying the “monolithic” environment from which many voices are excluded.
“So these are rare things”
Earlier this month, Barr addressed another common media narrative by challenging the assertion that unarmed Black men are at an alarmingly high risk of being shot by police officers.
“The fact of the matter is, it’s very rare for an unarmed African-American to be shot by a white police officer,” Barr told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “There were 10 cases last year, six of them the suspect was attacking the police officer physically. So these are rare things compared to the 7 to 8,000 young black men who are killed every year.”
President Donald Trump has similarly decried the media’s portrayal of protests, including a response to one reporter’s concern that an event last month violated a local ordinance limiting the size of gatherings.
“You have an exclusion in the law it says peaceful protest,” Trump told the crowd. “I’d call it peaceful protest because they know you’re coming up and they know the news is fake.”
While the prevailing news narrative is unlikely to change, millions of Americans who see the protests differently are sure to appreciate the willingness of the Trump administration to call out what they believe are gross misrepresentations.