Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that officials would end the police-free zone known as the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest,” or “CHOP,” after two recent shootings, one of which was deadly – but CNN and MSNBC didn’t feel it was particularly newsworthy.
News broke during the 7 p.m. ET hour on Monday that Seattle’s mayor said the violence was distracting from changes sought by thousands of protesters seeking to address racial inequity and police brutality – but CNN’s 7 p.m. program, “Erin Burnett Outfront” did not mention the news as it unfolded.
CNN continued to ignore the news during its primetime programming, as there was no coverage on back-to-back editions of “Anderson Cooper 360” from 8-10 p.m. ET or during Don Lemon’s “CNN Tonight,” which aired from 10-midnight ET.
“Most mainstream media outlets have bent over backwards to portray the civil unrest as peaceful actions supporting the general aims of justice. That narrative gets largely disrupted if those news organizations now focus on the chaos in places like Seattle,” DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News.
“Thus, they ignore or downplay recent acts of lawlessness so as to not have to backtrack or explain away the simplistic manner in which they have covered events of recent weeks,” McCall said.
CNN did manage to briefly mention CHOP on Monday night, but only to note that Washington D.C. protestors were emulating Seattle’s police-free zone.
MSNBC completely ignored CHOP altogether from 7-midnight ET on Monday, as “MSNBC Live,” “All in with Chris Hayes,” The Rachel Maddow Show,” “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” all declined to report the news of Seattle’s CHOP possibly drawing to a close.
“We can’t call them the press any more. They are ‘the suppress.’ “
— Dan Gainor
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News that the liberal media has “been playing games” with coverage.
“The media downplayed the threat of the virus at such mass events and then they did the same to the violence. The press act like showing what’s really going on during these riots — the hate against police, the violence, looting, arson and violence — would all aid Trump if the American public saw reality. So they hide it,” Gainor said. “We can’t call them the press any more. They are ‘the suppress.’”
Activists set up “CHOP” in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood about two weeks ago, barricading off the area after police evacuated a ransacked precinct building there.
City leaders have faced mounting criticism — including from President Trump — over the protest zone amid reports of violence inside the area and how police can respond to such incidents. Police had not been able to go inside the zone. The dismantling of the CHOP followed the death of a 19-year-old man in a Saturday shooting in which another person was injured.
CNN and MSNBC’s primetime blackout of the latest CHOP news came on the heels of a NewsBusters report that both CBS’ “Evening News” and “NBC Nightly News” failed to cover the shooting death.
“Neither CBS News nor NBC News gave the shootings any airtime during their flagship newscasts,” NewsBusters analyst Nicholas Fondacaro wrote.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.