Late last month, as the protests over the horrific police killing of George Floyd devolved into riots and looting, rioters attacked CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. After the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in an Atlanta Wendy’s parking lot last Friday, rioters torched the Wendy’s. It appears CNN took precautions to protect its headquarters.
“CNN has put up a fence outside its HQ after the building was attacked during the riots in Atlanta a few weeks ago,” Townhall’s Julio Rosas tweeted with a photo of the CNN building.
CNN has put up a fence outside its HQ after the building was attacked during the riots in Atlanta a few weeks ago. pic.twitter.com/Mdabg9qmiM
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 19, 2020
This defense from riots seems rather hypocritical, considering the many times CNN hosts carried water for the destructive riots.
On June 2, CNN host Chris Cuomo said, “Show me where it says protesters are supposed to be peaceful.” Among others, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany replied by pointing to the First Amendment: “Well, I point him to the First Amendment where it says you have the right to ‘peaceably assemble.’ He should go back and read the Constitution.”
On May 30, CNN host Don Lemon suggested the riots would be a “mechanism,” giving activists the chance to “restructure … our country.”
CNN reporter Sara Sidner, in seeking to explain the rioting, arguably ended up excusing it.
“I know people see violence and think that people are just taking advantage of the situation and there may be some people who are,” Sidner told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “I don’t know that every single person is doing this borne out of pain. But I can tell you many people are. We’ve seen it. They don’t know what to do with that emotion.”
“So their response, especially young folks, is to lash out,” she continued. “And one of the young folks, we talk to him on your show, you had him on your show A young man who was from Minneapolis who said, ‘Do you see all this damage here, you don’t listen to us when we speak, so you listen to us now.'”
This isn't journalism. This is activism. This is excusing arson, looting, rioting, and the destruction of minority-owned businesses.
This is CNN. pic.twitter.com/rHCiOwY2kW
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 1, 2020
The looting, vandalism, and arson across America that CNN hosts and reporters seem anxious to justify has destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. These riots are destructive to the rule of law and the lives of Americans. True protesters do not destroy buildings or loot businesses, and it is disgusting for CNN’s talking heads to act as though this violence is somehow legitimate.
CNN has every right to set up fencing and protect its Atlanta HQ. It just would be nice for the outlet to acknowledge the destructive nature of those riots as it seeks to protect itself from them.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.