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August 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

CNN’s controversial coverage of the events in Ferguson, Missouri put it ahead of Fox News in the ratings among the key 25-54 age group on Monday night, according to Nielsen. The cable news network averaged 356,000 viewers in that demo for the day and 423,000 during primetime. Fox drew 302,000 total day and 405,000 during primetime. Among total viewers, however, Fox was the clear leader with 1,452,000 viewers total day and 2,136,000 viewers primetime. CNN was second, with 946,000/1,027,000 total day/primetime viewers. Meanwhile, some media analysts were taking CNN to task for what they regarded as biased coverage. CNN anchor Don Lemon’s on-air offer of personal assistance to the parents of Michael Brown, the young man whose shooting death by a police officer triggered the events in Ferguson, was strongly criticized by Amy Simons, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. "To me that was a line that was very clearly crossed," she old’s Dylan Byers. "He had gone from being an independent journalist to clearly advocating and making it known which side of this issues he’s on at the moment." But Sandy Davidson, a professor of communications and media law at the University of Missouri, told Byers,"Journalists are a part of the story, I do believe, in part because it’s a story of journalists feeling unduly restricted to report on a matter of very public interest," she added. On Fox News, media commentator Howard Kurtz accused CNN’s Jake Tapper and others of "grandstanding" and said that the media "invasion in Ferguson I think is inflaming the situation, because all the agitators want the exposure." In Russia, the crackdown on the protesters and the arrests of journalists was described in the press as an example of American "hypocrisy." And an anti-Putin activist, Maria Baronova, addressed the "American gvrnmnt" on Twitter next to a news photo of armed Ferguson police officers, saying, "You can’t imagine how those who fight for freedom in Russia hate you these days. Putin saw this."