Big Three Nets All But Ignore Occupy Oakland Violence and Arrests

The morning shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC on Tuesday devoted just 19 seconds to the arrests of 75 people in northern California, after police evicted Occupy Oakland from their encampment in front of city hall there.  The Early Show devoted a news brief to the story during its last half hour, noting the violent reaction from some of the protesters. Good Morning America and the Today show both punted.

News anchor Jeff Glor gave the news brief 35 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour, and reported that "police are confronting 'Occupy Oakland' protesters this morning in northern California...Officers were sent before dawn to kick out about 300 demonstrators who have been camped out in downtown Oakland. Some protesters threw rocks and bottles. Police responded in some cases by making arrests, tearing down tents, and firing tear gas."

Screen Cap of Footage of Occupy Oakland Arrests; Taken From 25 October 2011 Edition of CBS's Early Show | NewsBusters.orgDavid Morgan's article on CBSNews.com about the confrontation specified that "Oakland police say they arrested 75 people while clearing an anti-Wall Street protest in front of City Hall that had grown into an encampment with dozens of tents." Morgan later noted that "there were reports of a sex assault and a severe beating and fire and paramedics were denied access to the camp, according to city officials, who said they had also received numerous complaints of intimidating and threatening behavior."

By contrast, CBS's competitors, ABC and NBC, failed to cover the arrests in Oakland on their respective morning shows, Good Morning America and the Today show. ABC News's website and MSNBC.com merely reproduced Reuters and AP's write-ups on the story.

Besides their paltry coverage of the violence and arrests in northern California, the media has been largely silent about the anti-Semitism that has popped up at Occupy Wall Street protests around the country. NewsBusters's Scott Whitlock revealed on Tuesday that the issue hasn't come up at all on ABC, CBS, or NBC, as MRC President Brent Bozell sent certified overnight letters to the presidents of the Big Three networks demanding that they report on the racism at these protests.


The MRC also documented in an October 13, 2011 report that these networks gave glowing coverage to the Occupy Wall Street movement, devoting 33 stories on their morning and evening news programs during the first 11 days of October alone. This compares to just 13 stories to the Tea Party movement during all of 2009.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center