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STANDOFF BETWEEN PRESS AND POLICE IN FERGUSON

August 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Video of CNN anchor Don Lemon being shoved by a police officer while reporting live from Ferguson, Missouri went viral following the incident on Monday. Later, Lemon told Anderson Cooper: "I’m in the middle of a live shot and this officer comes and just starts to push me along with the other people. … I didn’t know what was going on. ‘This is where you told us to be and now all of a sudden the rules have changed and you’re moving us.’" He added that the previous night Ferguson police drew guns on him while he was interviwing protesters defying a midnight curfew." Lemon maintained that "most of the people here are peaceful. They just want their voices to be heard." But clearly some are not so peaceful. While MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was reporting from the scene Monday night, he was hit by protesters who began throwing rocks at him and yelling for him to "tell the true story." He commented, "People are angry, man. They are real angry." On Fox News, correspondent Steve Harrigan was cussed out as he described the activity of some protesters as "child’s play" looking to create a "media event." "This is just child’s play?" one man shouted at him. "Who is the child playing with toys? That’s them." Replied Harrigan: "I don’t want to argue with you." During a stand-up interview later, Harrigan again accused the news media of fanning the flames of protest in Ferguson. His words were echoed by Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, who remarked that press coverage of the Ferguson situation has been "grossly irresponsible." He added, "The first thing everyone should know listening to "the Factor" tonight is that most television journalists are terrified, terrified of being labeled a racist. Therefore, they are never going to challenge any kind of smear thrown out in any kind of a situation." O’Reilly also criticized local authorities in Ferguson, who, he said, have "botched the case. And the local authorities are the Keystone Kops." But if U.S. news media have been critical of the response by local authorities, overseas media have often been condemnatory. China, whose human-rights record has been widely criticized by U.S. officials, accused the U.S. of hypocrisy. "Ferguson riot reveals U.S. racial divide, human rights flaw," headlined Xinhua News. Commented Germany’s Deutsche Welle newspaper: "Media reports are dominated by the images of burning suburban streets and a militarized police force — a visual language that suggests war rather than the tragic death of an unarmed young man shot by a police officer."