ABC: 'Mostly Peaceful' Immigration Protests vs. 'Very Ugly' Tea Party Rallies
On Saturday's Good Morning America, reporter Mike Von Fremd downplayed the violence of protesters against Arizona's new immigration law. He spun, "Riot police were called in to try and control demonstrators protesting outside the capital. Most were peaceful. A handful threw bottles at police and were arrested." Yet, ABC derided March's Tea Party rallies as "very ugly," despite the fact that there were no arrests.
In contrast, on March 20, World News host David Muir scolded, "Protesters against the [health care] plan gathered on the streets of the capital where late today we learned words shouted turned very ugly, reports of racial and homophobic slurs, one protester actually spitting on a Congressman." Continuing to fret over those opposed the bill, he complained, "Late word from Washington tonight about just how ugly the crowds gathered outside the Longworth office building have become."
If Tea Party protesters had thrown bottles at members of Congress, it seems unlikely that ABC would have described them as "mostly peaceful."
Over on NBC's Today show on Saturday, correspondent Jose Diaz Balart played it straight with regard to immigration rallies: "Tensions were high outside the Capitol. Four protesters were arrested." On CBS's Early Show, Chris Wragge made only a quick reference to the protests: "On Friday, there were protests against the bill outside the state capitol in Phoenix."