ABC, CBS and NBC have been avid supporters of the nationwide protests that began following the death of George Floyd. According to an analysis from the Media Research Center, they devoted over 12 hours of coverage during the course of a week to the protests. Yet in all that time covering it, they failed to give attention to the human costs of those protests.
“MRC analysts examined all three broadcast networks’ major morning and evening newscasts between May 28 and June 3, and found that the total airtime spent on those who died during the past week of riots accounted to just four and a half minutes, or less than one percent of the total protest-related coverage,” explained MRC’s Bill D’Agostino.
CBS spent just a single minute (61 seconds) on individuals killed during the riots, amounting to half a percent of their 201 minutes of protest coverage. ABC gave the victims 91 seconds, or 0.76 percent of their total 200 minutes spent on the demonstrations. On NBC, the victims received just over two minutes, or 0.7% of the network’s 309 minutes of protest-related programming.
At least ten people, including three unarmed African Americans, were killed during the riots in that period, according to the Associated Press.
On example that has been given plenty of attention in conservative media, but apparently not so much elsewhere, is retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn, an African American, who was killed trying to stop rioters from looting a pawn shop. According to the MRC, “none of the three broadcast networks could be bothered to spend even a minute on Dorn,” but his name did get a quick mention. Other victims, however, did not, like Marie Kelly, who was only 22 years old and was killed attempting to leave a protest in Davenport, Iowa, after it became violent.
There are others whose deaths either were glossed over or were ignored outright by the broadcast networks. These included David Patrick Underwood, a federal law enforcement officer who was shot while providing security at an Oakland courthouse, and Chris Beaty, a business owner and former Indiana University football player known as “Mr. Indianapolis.”
The mainstream media has attempted to push the narrative that the protests have been “mostly peaceful” by ignoring the violence, destruction, and death that has occurred in the name of George Floyd.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis