NBC's Today on Thursday completely skipped the violence associated with May Day protests in Seattle. CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America covered the riots briefly, but ignored the socialist connection to the protest. GMA news reader Josh Elliott explained, "What started as a peaceful May Day protest in Seattle turned into violence and chaos as the march was winding down."
He added that "demonstrators suddenly began throwing rocks, bottles and metal pipes at police smashing windows." On Wednesday, however, Elliott blandly previewed, "May Day, May 1st is often a holiday used to focus attention on workers' issues." Yet, as the poster for the May Day rally in Seattle explained, the purpose was to "honor the history of May Day" and fight "against capitalism, all nation-states and borders!"
CBS This Morning sanitized the open boarder angle of the protests. Norah O'Donnell minimized, "At least 18 people were arrested after peaceful demonstrations calling for immigration reform turned violent." Immigration reform is a little differant than "fighting" against "all borders."
She added, "Eight police officers were hurt in the fighting."
A local Seattle station recounted the violence:
Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police officers and news crews. As they moved through downtown Seattle to another neighborhood, they flung construction street barriers, trash cans and newspaper bins on the streets in an attempt to stop police officers. Windows of businesses were broken and vehicles with people in them were banged around.
Police used their bikes to shield businesses and eventually began to use pepper spray and "flash bang’ grenades – releasing a flash of light, smoke and a loud noise—to disperse the crowd. But that pushed the group to another nearby neighborhood, and they left a wake of overturned trash cans and debris on the street.
Human Events captured video of American flags being burned.
In 2010, the networks were more than happy to smear the Tea Party as full of violent, unhinged zealots. On March 21, World News anchor Diane Sawyer sneered, "Protesters roaming Washington, some of them increasingly emotional, yelling slurs and epithets."
But violent, anti-American, anti-capitalist May Day protesters are simply "focusing attention" on "workers issues."
For more on May Day's socialist connection, see an analysis by the MRC's Liz Thatcher.
A transcript of the May 2 coverage is below:
ELLIOTT: And police in cities across the country are on guard this morning, trying to keep May Day marches from turning into riots, such as these in Oakland, Seattle and New York last year. May Day, May 1st is often a holiday used to focus attention on workers' issues. Some 30,000 people are expected to demonstrate for immigration reform today in Los Angeles alone.
JOSH ELLIOTT: Meanwhile, what started as a peaceful May Day protest in Seattle turned into violence and chaos as the march was winding down, some demonstrators suddenly began throwing rocks, bottles and metal pipes at police smashing windows, as well. Police, as you can see here, battle back with flash bang grenades and pepper spray in the melee, nearly 20 people were arrested.
NORAH O'DONNELL: The Seattle Times looks at May Day protests that turned violent. At least 18 people were arrested after peaceful demonstrations calling for immigration reform turned violent. Eight police officers were hurt in the fighting.