Morning Shows Skip Ideological Labels for Violent Anti-War Protesters

Violent anti-war protesters clashed with Chicago police this weekend, but the network morning shows on Monday avoided attempts at pinning an ideology on them, simply referring to "anti-war" "protesters."

On CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose blandly explained, "Protests turned violent in Chicago...Police battle protesters in Chicago." Reporter Bill Plante added, "And a small group of them clashed with police and 45 were arrested." ABC at least provided mores specifics, including a stabbing and foiled attempts to use Molotov cocktails at the NATO summit.

Good Morning America reporter Alex Perez also identified, "Also Sunday, the hacker group Anonymous waged cyber war online, knocking out the city and police department websites and calling on other hackers to strike in this online video."

Perez closed the segment by mentioning that the Chicago police chief said "most of the demonstrations were peaceful."

Contrast that with how ABC described the actually peaceful Tea Party march on Washington:

“They’ve waved signs likening President Obama to Hitler and the devil; raised questions about whether he was really born in this country; falsely accused him of planning to set up death panels; decried his speech to students as indoctrination; and called him everything from a ‘fascist’ to a ‘socialist’ to a ‘communist.’ ...And all that was before Mr. Obama’s speech was interrupted by a representative who once fought to keep the Confederate flag waving over the South Carolina state house. Add it all up, and some prominent Obama supporters are now saying that it paints a picture of an opposition driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President.”
— ABC’s Dan Harris on World News, September 15, 2009.

On the Today show, Ann Curry summarized, "Violence in the streets. Police brace for new clashes with protests at the NATO summit in Chicago today. This after at least 45 people were arrested over the weekend."
A transcript of the May 21, 2012 GMA segment can be found below:



7:00am tease

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Chicago under siege. Police battle protesters into the night, racing to stop domestic terrorists, saying they've already foiled three violent plots to use guns and explosives. As the president meets with world leaders, are they in danger?


ROBIN ROBERTS: Right to Chicago, now, where President Obama and many of the world's most powerful leaders are gathered right now. ABC's Alex Perez has the very latest for us this morning. Good morning, Alex.

ALEX PEREZ: Good morning, Robin. The demonstration was practically over. The big problem began when police tried to disperse the crowd and they refused to move. Chicago police officers in riot gear beat back anti-war demonstrators late Sunday, welding their batons in a show of force as hundreds of protester, some using makeshift weapons, tried to push through this security perimeter surrounding the NATO summit.

VOICE: If you fail to come ply, may be arrested.

PEREZ: Police say one officer was stabbed, three others injured in the melee. Chicago's top cop, superintendent Gary McCarthy was on the ground trying to help and, later, defended his officers.

GARY MCCARTHY: The officers were assaulted. They don't have to stand there and take an assault. The fingers should be pointed at the people that assaulted the cops.

PEREZ: Even after a day filled with demonstration, the protests and massive police presence continued through the night, including several confrontations along the way. Nearly 50 protesters were detained or arrested.

FEMALE PROTESTER: Hey NATO! What did you say? How many kids did you kill today?

PEREZ: Chicago police are also scrambling to stop what they describe as attempted acts of domestic terrorism as 60 heads of state gather here for the NATO summit. Three men were charged, Saturday, with plotting attacks on President Obama's campaign headquarters, as well as the home of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several financial buildings. Police say they've foiled at least three violent plots, including alleged plans by 24-year-old Sebastian Senakiewicz to use Molotov cocktails at the summit. Also Sunday, the hacker group Anonymous waged cyber war online, knocking out the city and police department websites and calling on other hackers to strike in this online video.

ANONYMOUS: should be fired upon as much as possible.

PEREZ: Now, most of the protesters in police custody were released early this morning. Even with all those clashes, the police superintendent says most of the demonstrations were peaceful. George?

-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.